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Sitara*: A show like no other
|Fashion||Tue, 01 May 2012||Tweet|
Very few things are underrated in this town. Our supply of entertainment is so limited that we tend to overly advertise the few events, restaurants, bars and shops that are sprinkled across our little bubble. There have been very few moments where I’ve bought a ticket and felt like I got my money’s worth of entertainment and attending Sitara* 2012 climbed to the top of those experiences. Raising money for the Ashraya Initiative for Children and marking the end of St Andrew’s fashion season, it is a celebration of Asian culture and so much more.
The event took place at Younger Hall which removed drunken bus rides, expensive cab rides or long walks home from the equation. There comes a point where I don’t want to feel like I’m going on a school field trip every time I attend a big event, and the central location had subconscious calming effect. Upon entry, there was an overwhelming crowd squeezed into the Younger Hall reception, specifically concentrated around the creative Rickshaw photo booth. Once the doors were open, attendees were seated promptly and with little complaint. The venue was intimate and the horse shoe runway could be seen clearly from every corner. Lights dimmed, and after a brief security demonstration by a beautifully kimono-clad volunteer, the show began.
Opening the show was the heart-rending music stylings of Nayantara Kansal and her band. The Hindi song O Re Piya (so soft and sweet that I had to ask a member of the committee for its name) radiated throughout the stillness of the room and then smoothly transitioned into Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. After a deafening applause, DJ Tom Burns switched things into gear with an incredible remix of Paradise by Coldplay and the models sashayed out onto the runway. The fashion aspect of the show featured high-energy walks, dances and a playful interaction between all the gorgeous male and female models who displayed colourful and wearable clothes by Amber Malik, Fox and Bhut, La Boutique, The Frockery and one stunning gown by student designer Deborah Marber. The clothing was topped off by the wonderfully intricate byMi origami headpieces and Sally Jane bags.
Framing each walk were scenes from a charming and action-packed rendition of Aladdin that made use of the entire stage and made the Disney original seem slightly bland. The battle between Aladdin and Jafar for Jasmine’s heart was expressed using dance offs, a martial arts exhibit and the jaw-dropping break-dancing talents of one Joe Makangu. His light-hearted performance of the good genie was sealed once he dropped onto the floor of the stage and wowed the audience with his set of dance moves. Rivalling his skills was the gorgeous belly dancer who strutted around the runway, entrancing everyone with her intense and sultry moves which were so concise they seemed to control of the pulsating Arabic beat.
The VIP section was reasonably priced at £45, and was located inside of the runway which was very cramped but provided an intimate view of the show. Each table was covered with pretty flower centrepieces, 3-5 bottles of French white wine, snacks from Balaka, cupcakes from Bibis and ice-cream from Janetta’s. The Goodie bags were filled with assorted vouchers (for the Fairmont, Rascals, Sandra Cormack and byMi origami), Sally Jane ID pouches, a box of clipper tea, bindis, incense and a copy of Invite magazine – definitely not a bag to drunkenly leave behind. Just on the outside of the runway were the Gold tables which came with the same goodies but their location caused seats to be ten pounds cheaper. Standard seats were priced at £20 pounds and were slightly further back but the elevation of the seats ensured that everyone had a good view of the stage. The up-beat after-party, Bindi, was also included in the price of the tickets and extra tickets were sold at the door.
The combination of fashion, pantomime, dance and musical acts made the show transcend the confines of a typical St Andrews event. What could’ve easily been perceived as cheesy successfully came off as animated, fun and thoroughly entertaining. Fashion show? Variety show? It is hard to fully define Sitara* but that quality just makes it all the more captivating.
Photos © Anna Gudnason and Edward Noel