In a town where the market for fashion shows is pretty much completely saturated, it seems inevitable that a hierarchy will form. FS and DW at the top, everyone else down below. Attending Label 2018, however, has made me rethink my perceptions of lower-budgeted, and apparently lesser fashion shows. While I was sceptical about Label before I attended, I can’t deny that the event disproved all my preconceptions. The event was hosted in a refreshingly underused venue, the Rufflet’s hotel. This was the perfect location for the theme “a deconstructed fairy tale” with the surrounding gardens, glittering lights, elegant conservatory, and intimate space. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the BELLS performing. While they sounded incredibly beautiful and were a well-suited group for this event, it felt overly formal, demanding all the attention of the guests and stopping any conversation at the reception. Over-formality, however, was certainly not a feature of what followed . Unlike many fashion shows, the audience were seated around the catwalk which contributed to the intimacy of the event. And any remaining reservations I might have had vanished within seconds of the first model walking onto the catwalk. I fear that the reputation of Label isn’t hugely complimentary to the models, but every one was utterly beautiful. I should make clear I’m not just referring to something superficial, but also inherent confidence in their bodies that made them so outstandingly stunning. I wish I could highlight certain models that made a lasting effect yet each model carried themselves with a confidence that wasn’t arrogant but rather comfortable and happy. The show was only lightly choreographed which allowed the models to express themselves in a way that strikes true to the inclusive creative ethos of Label. While this was not necessarily entirely professional, I would class it as a strength, not a weakness, as rather than the models being merely mannequins for unwearable clothes, it meant they performed as individuals- a strikingly empowering sight. There was a 20-minute intermission in which the K-Pop dance group the Saints of Seoul performed. This was as well rehearsed as the BELLS yet was more successful as it felt more integrated with the show. While the programme was incredibly informative as it explained the concept of the show, the break allowed guests to mingle with the committee and discuss the ideas behind Label. The bar was well staffed and hence queues were minimal during the break which is a rarity for St. Andrews event. Another rarity for event venues was the quality of the bathrooms, so clean that wearing a jumpsuit was not even a challenge (not commonplace, I can assure you). Overall, I’m surprised events don’t use this venue more frequently. After the interval, the show commenced with even more zest than the first act as the models stormed the catwalk in lingerie. It was here that the confidence of the models became truly obvious. It was here too that models started to share glances of reassurance with one another, something that contributed to the personable element of the event. Another refreshing element to the show was the range of clothes and jewellery. The selection was varied, but everything was wearable and something that students might have actually wanted to buy rather than being unaffordable and only suitable for a catwalk. The finale was as wonderful as the rest of the show with the models choosing their own outfits. This too honed in on the personal, intimate, and inclusive foundations of the show, adding to its encouragement of self-expression and confidence. The show was a delight to watch and left me and the other audiences feeling utterly empowered, something that is a rarity in an age of body shaming. While this side of the event could not have been more successful, it was a shame that no transport was provided and that the guests received very little for their money. The production could have also been more polished in many respects but I am of the opinion that this did not matter due to the joy the show gave the audience. It is a real shame that this was the final year that Label will be in St. Andrews; while the bigger fashion shows are always the highlight of the event calendar and understandably so, Label provides something different and something hugely enjoyable. While the production was not as successful as the show, the models made this event incredibly memorable and empowering. As I previously mentioned, a hierarchy of the fashion shows exists and after last Friday night,I would suggest that Label be placed somewhere near the top.