Hello there, my name is Alex. Nottingham University has like, 200 societies and the kids at Impact thought it would be a laugh if I went and tried some of them out and told you all what I think. Not sure if you want to pay that membership fee? Whether it’s BladeSoc or BlowSoc, I’ll be there interviewing the president, attending the socials and getting involved so you don’t have to. You bunch of ingrates.
Soc-umentary – A factual article about a society, presenting the facts with little or no fiction. As in, ‘Did you see that socumentary about Bellringing? That shit cray.’
Socumentary #7 – Fashion Society
Three weeks ago I was given the honour of being invited to Fashion Soc’s biggest event on the calendar, their annual fashion show.
The theme for the evening was to be ‘Through the Looking Glass’. I wondered; how effectively could they create this sense of otherworldliness in Coco Tang, Nottingham’s premium cocktail den? Would they do the memory of Lewis Carroll justice? As the most famous person to have come from my home town, I probably should have felt some sense of protection and pride in his legacy (I didn’t).
Thankfully, upon entering through the (not-so) secret door way into the club, I was pleasantly surprised to find the whole place creatively decked out with Wonderland-esque décor.
I’d love to show you more of the pictures I took of the interior, but some lowlife nicked my camera a couple of days afterwards before I could upload them. How do those people sleep at night?
Having sufficiently felt like I’d fallen into the rabbit hole, I was presented with a complimentary drink and the opportunity to enter the prize draw. I won one of the T-shirts from a local brand being displayed that evening, Bungo. I mean, that’s got to be one of the best starts to an evening ever. The free drink/free t-shirt combo should be used more often. Hell, I might even start going to church if they start up a similar system (I hope you’re making notes God).
I took my seat, a prime position in front of one of the many posing stops on the runway that snaked its way around Coco Tang. I was almost a little disappointed. I was hoping it would be like one of those really high class fashion shows, where the front row of the audience is, bizarrely, better lit than the people on the stage. I’ve always wanted to sit there next to Karl Lagerfeld or whoever and scratch my balls.
The show began. Clothing from student brands as well as local chain and vintage shops were shown off by the impressively professional models as a suitably off-kilter soundtrack emanated from the DJ booth.
The styles ranged from casual, to formal to, well, very very casual.
I had so much respect for the models that braved the catwalk that night, particularly during the ‘Alice in Underland’ routine. To walk through a busy club in just your pants would be tortuous for most, even if everyone in the room wasn’t looking at you. It was a celebratory ‘fuck you’ to the multitude of body problems our generation seems to suffer from. And for that I applaud.
To be honest I just enjoyed having a legitimate reason to check out the girls in their lingerie with my girlfriend sat next to me. Is that such a bad thing?
All the models looked fantastic; you could tell a lot of thought had been put into showing off the threads. The boys in particular had that certain style only created when a girl has control over what we wear. Collars were flicked up, hems were folded and shirts were artfully buttoned. Guys never really bother with the subtleties. I think that’s why the trend to do your shirt all the way up to the top button was so popular a couple of years ago. Made everything a lot simpler.
My attempts at the model’s pout were less successful. Ladies and gents, Blue Steel.
Without a doubt, part of what made up my enjoyment has to be put down to the fact that we were in Coco Tang on a student night, which, as everyone knows, means discounted cocktails.
I reckon I had about four or five that night. Personal favourite has to be the Technicolor Ice Tea. If you haven’t had one, get one. If you have, get another one for me.
Anyway, I had a great night. But this event only happens once a year, what does Fashion Soc get up to the rest of the time? Luckily, president Daisy Raymant was on hand to clue me up:
Hi Daisy, so what was tonight about?
Tonight was our annual fashion show in aid of Breast Cancer Care. We decided to go for an Alice in Wonderland theme with a sort of twisted Tim Burton effect. We’re showcasing stuff from Levi’s, House of Fraser, Wild, Bungo and loads others. All the models are students from the society or the university, with male and female participants so there’s something for everyone. Then when it’s all done tonight, we’re staying in Coco Tang for the after party!
How are the members of the society involved in tonight?
They all helped out somehow, whether it was promotion, selling tickets, the rehearsal, back stage or being models. This is our main event we all work towards.
What else do you get up to?
Once a fortnight we meet up for a cocktail social, which is a really nice opportunity to catch up and, occasionally, discuss fashion. Apart from that, we’ve also organised a social to visit Paris over Easter. It’s a cheap weekend trip away where we’ll be sightseeing and just generally taking in a city well known for its fashion. A lot of people are also interested as it will helpful in developing their street style blogs.
Who is this society for?
It’s for anyone who loves shopping, or takes an interest in fashion or might be looking into the fashion industry for a career. It’s also great for making new friends and meeting like-minded people. The experience of putting on an event like tonight is really useful, and it’s something we can all enjoy whilst raising money for charity. It’s a steep learning curve in organisation!
Do you have to be ‘well dressed’ to join?
No you don’t have to dress in a certain way to join. There’s a perception that we are all fashion snobs, but we will happily welcome anyone who wants to join.
Finally, who’s your favourite designer?
I do like Ellie Saab. I like the girly flowing dresses
The impression I got from my evening with Fashion Soc certainly wasn’t one of a group of fashion snobs. The society seems to consist of a (admittedly predominantly female) group of people with a sincere interest in fashion and a will to meet other, like-minded students whilst gaining invaluable experience through being involved in events like the fashion show. The show itself was astoundingly professional and hugely enjoyable. My only critique would be that I wish it could have gone on longer. If it’s the kind career you want to go into, I would recommend getting involved. Although if you just like drinking cocktails, trips to Paris and gossiping (don’t lie boys) then it seems to be just as relevant.
Good: If you have a penchant for cocktails and would like, one day, to be described as a fashionista.
Bad: If you enjoy pints of bitter and had to google Karl Lagerfeld (I know I had to).