Written by: Francisca Matias & Matthew Miller
Glasgow Women’s Aid – a charity that has been in bloom for the past 35 years, offering support, legal and financial advice, as well as provide safe, anonymous refuge to women, young people and children who experience domestic abuse.
This year’s Glasgow University’s Charity Fashion Show (GUCFS) had the honour to support such a charity with two fully flourished nights supported by a number of sponsors such as Selective Personnel, Helmworks Film, Jagermeister, Boho, Arctic Coffee, Deliveroo, FF, Dragon Soop, Redbull UK, among others! Notably the significance that such a charity has in our society is reflected through the unanimous success of the number of sponsors, designers, raffles, fundraising events, cross-campus affiliations and all the work put in by the students backstage/on-stage on the two days of the final show.
In Bloom reflects and embodies the power many women, children and young people devise notwithstanding their adverse everyday experiences. From the diverse and deviating Western ‘beauty standard’ models to the inclusive cross-campus events and nation-wide engagement, GUCFS efficaciously celebrated the distinctive, and rather essential beauty found in underrepresented and marginalised identities. The reiteration of non-conventional, stripped back shoot locationscombined with the muted colour palettesreflect what was presented on the 21stand 22ndof February of 2020 – and altogether what it means to be a supporter of Glasgow Women’s Aid.
SWG3 is not what one would immediately associate with being in bloom. The rugged warehouse however served as the perfect, unusual backdrop for this year’s theme. From the enthusing backstage all the way through to the vine-, nature-covered front stage, the models carried, or attempted to carry, the undervalued voices and representations of Glasgow Women’s Aid. This was no average university fashion show with a couple of rugby boys in Calvin Klein’s and bow ties. From the grungy, fierce looks of Dana Nicola to the eccentric but innocent, flowery looks of Emma Wilkinson. The industrial, yet non-conventional voices of Greg Brears’ looks to Ryan Kyle’s unheard-of fluorescent expressions. Into Holly Cunningham’s ode to mother Earth and the underestimated strength nature carries, onto Kat Evans’ floral punch line. The unapologetic drawings that make up the fabric patterns of Thomas Cox and Hayley McSporran’s beyond minimalistic, edgy and clean-cut outfits. Or to the empowering divine feminine looks of Nadia Pinkey into the gender neutral, playful and colourful miens of Tomboyx. These are just some of the designers which were presented in the fashion show which conspicuously set the scene that embodied the strong support system Glasgow Women’s Aid stands for and as. This indubitablywas the artistic and innovative quintessence of the forms of the human body, its elegance and abilities. The models quickly found their stride and gave a performance which personified every woman, child and young person who inspired this year’s show. The bloom was definitely in the room.
The understated resilience with which we are surrounded by everyday through nature, particularly in a time where social, political and environmental tensions exist, is unprecedented. It is through this nature that Glasgow Women’s Aid’s efforts trail many people’s lives. Its vitality to the 1 in 4 women who suffer from domestic abuse at some point in their life is hugely present in this ever-blooming support system.