Chairperson of DCU Style and producer of the DCU Fashion Show 2016: Rebirth of Style Gary Grimes reveals how this year’s show came together.
The DCU Fashion Show took place for the eleventh year on March 9th 2016. Following on from last year’s 10th anniversary celebration, 10 Years of Style, one of my main tasks as chairperson of DCU Style was to figure out what direction we were going to take the show in next. And so came the theme for this year’s show, Rebirth of Style.
The idea was that this would mark the beginning of a new chapter for DCU Style, the start of the next 10 years. I felt it was hugely important that this be reflected in the marketing and promotion of the show and so I opted for all our visuals to be white and black – to represent an unmarked canvas and also to starkly contrast from last year’s colourful birthday party look. We ended up with a really cohesive promotional campaign, which I could not have been achieved without the talent and hard work of our graphic designer Kev Kremers and our videographer Samuel Foxton.
Of course, there’s no fashion show without lots and lots and lots of clothes. Choosing the styling team is one of the most crucial aspects of the show and was one of the first things I wanted to have in place. After advertising on our social media accounts, we received an overwhelming number of applications, more than ever before. After weeks of interviews I finally settled on a dream team led by head stylists Alana Laverty and Rheanna Waters. I was confident that the team struck the right balance of a strong work ethic and exquisite taste. After watching the show months later it was clear to me I was right.
One of the most fun parts of producing the show is casting the models. I was determined going into this year as Chairperson that I wanted to make the show bigger than ever before, starting by increasing the number of models in the show. Similarly to styling applications, we saw a record number of DCU students come to our two day casting call in November, which was so exciting for us as we hoped to cast the most diverse and confident cast yet. The models rehearsed tirelessly for weeks running up to the show, under the guidance of choreographers Jessica Traynor and Saoirse Vandenberg. Their hard work clearly paid off as the show went seamlessly on the night and displayed perfectly the level of professionalism DCU Style pride ourselves on.
The girls had their make-up done by the talented students of the LA College of Creative Arts. Their looks were inspired by the make-up worn by models in Raf Simons’ debut A/W ‘12 Dior couture show. All hair was done by the Dylan Bradshaw academy, who were a pleasure to work with as always.
Without a doubt, producing Rebirth of Style was one of the most challenging and rewarding undertakings of my life. To get the chance to produce a fashion event of such a huge scale whilst still a student here in DCU has been an invaluable experience. It brought on a lot of stress and more than a few tearful outbursts but watching it all come together as I stood in the soundbooth at the back of packed out Helix on March 9th made that all totally worth it. I’m hugely grateful to have been given the opportunity to produce this show and I can not wait to sit in the audience next year to see what the incoming committee have achieved with the show. If I know DCU Style, I have no doubt it will be something spectacular.
By Gary Grimes