The UCD Fashion Show returned this year in support of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC). Ireland’s largest student-run fashion show was held over two evenings on April 11th and 12th in Astra Hall. The show was run by almost 150 students and staff and featured the works of ten finalists competing in the UCD Young Designer of the Year Competition.
All proceeds raised from the show, including tickets and profits from the raffle, went directly to the DRCC. With about 600 guests attending on the first night alone, the show managed to gather a considerable audience for its cause.
Fionnuala Moran, Deputy Editor of GOSS.ie, hosted the event. The show featured the works of student designers from all over the country and the theme, ‘reinvention,’ was to showcase designs inspired by Alexander McQueen. The show was sponsored by FM104.
After a brief introduction from Moran, the show began with models strutting down the floors of the hall. The makeup and clothing seemed to be inspired by the Hunger Games series (although the outfits were inspired by McQueen). Amongst the many show-stopping ruffled gowns, plaid skirts, open tinfoil jackets revealing sculpted abs, the focal point of the show’s cause was a skirt that showcased newspaper clippings surrounding the trial of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.
Speaking to the University Observer, Ciarán McShane, the producer of the fashion show, explained how the skirt was meant to be the statement piece, “It just seemed relevant to put into the show and relevant towards our charity. Obviously we’re not commenting on the verdict itself, we’re just pointing out facts and highlighting the importance of the case itself.”
The event was as much about the cause as it was about the fashion. Between sections of the event, Moran called on Maeve, a UCD student who is a survivor of sexual assault, to relate her experience on stage. Cheered on by a sympathetic crowd, she appealed to the audience, “We cannot let this rape culture and shaming of rape survivors continue. We need to speak out, and I urge anyone who survived rape or sexual assault to talk.”
The winner of Young Designer of the Year was Larraine O’Callaghan. Following the event, the DRCC tweeted, “We would like to say a big thank you to absolutely everyone who took part in & donated in support of the DRCC for the #UCDfashionshow the last 2 nights. It was heartwarming to see so many students want to support our crisis counselling services. DRCC – 1800 77 8888.”