The annual Fashion Show run by UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) has been cancelled, The University Observer has learned.
Speaking to The University Observer, UCDSU President Barry Murphy stated that the event, which has been running consecutively for 31 years, will be “postponed until Spring 2020.” Revenue collected from the Fashion Show is traditionally donated to the Union’s chosen charities along with money raised from RAG Week.
The show, which was advertised in the Winging It in UCD handbook distributed early in Semester 1 and which was to take place on the 10th and the 11th April, has been produced in Semester 2 of the academic year for the past 31 years. “In recent years it has declined in appeal to the student body” Murphy stated in an interview, as “less and less students attending the show, despite it being an amazing production.”
The Fashion Show is organised by UCDSU, Student Services and a producer that is appointed by both the Union and Student Services. Murphy said that in discussions between the Union and Student Services “at this point in time, there wasn’t enough interest from the student body in wanting to run the fashion show…We made a call this week that it would be better being postponed until next year.”
“This event was one that we really thought about investing in, but in that last year, only a small few number of students attended, despite the show being a brilliant production. We thought best our resources might be better invested in another event, possible towards the end of the year, that would appeal to the general student and to expand what has become a tradition, called Mind, Body and Soul.”
Plans for the Fashion Show began back in the summer of 2018, when the Winging It handbook was being created, according to Murphy. “There would have been discussions with the outgoing producer of the show, and the responsibility of looking after the social media and the email address would have been left with [the Union].”
“Pre-Christmas and since Christmas the underlying discussion has been ‘is this going to go ahead or not?’…At the same time, we’ve had people who have been involved in the show for years saying it’s impossible to do this unless you start in October/November, so therefore you have run out of time.”
Murphy said that the Union “remained optimistic and hopeful that some students would come on board.” UCDSU advertised the position of Producer for the Fashion Show in January 2019 on their Facebook page. Murphy told The University Observer, that the Union only received one application for the position of producer this year. Murphy maintained that the quality of the application was not a factor in considering cancelling the show. “The factor with the application was the time period between the application and the proximity to the planned date. The run-up period at this stage it was going to be too short and too much stress, not only on us here as a team but also on the producer and the resources.”
Murphy holds the hope that a producer could be found in the summer of 2019 “with the aim of bringing back the Fashion Show bigger and better than it has ever been before.”
The Union’s sponsored charities this year are the Peter McVerry Trust and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC). Murphy believed that the continued fundraising from the upcoming “24 hour ice-cream roll” and Mind, Body and Soul “will mean that the effects of cancelling the Fashion Show, which was a very costly event, will neutralise any loss in possible fundraising efforts.”