Leeds RAG Fashion Show is one of the biggest events on the Leeds fashion calendar – whether you’re a student at the uni or not. Every year, the show gets bigger and bigger, each one focussed around a unique theme. This year? The theme is centred around “ELYSIAN”, which means beautiful or creative; divinely inspired; peaceful and perfect.
This week, we caught up with Megan Slack, one of the inspiring people behind the show this year, about what to expect from the 2020 show, what inspired the theme, and their plans to make this show the biggest one yet.
So, what inspired the theme this year? What does it mean to you, and the rest of the team?
People across the world are becoming more conscious in their fashion choices, whether they choose to shop vintage, shop independently, or rework their denim. Leeds is leading the way in sustainability, in more ways than one, so when you consider Leeds’ viewpoint, the theme of the show is inevitable. Living sustainably includes embracing ethical fashion, and RAG is highlighting the difference that interpreting sustainable fashion can make.
Before the theme of ‘Elysian’ was announced, RAG had already chosen Plastic Oceans UK and Hubbub as their charities, both well deserving environmental charities who are working to educate the public about the dangers of climate change, and so the environmentally-conscious theme follows suit, and only emphasis further that ethical fashion is at the heart of everything LRFS are working towards this year.
What was it that made you want to be a part of the LRFS committee?
I became intrigued with RAG after working alongside the press team for their 2017 and 2019 shows, where, after witnessing the show, I was left in awe at the spectacle I had just witnessed. Every year, RAG present more than a fashion show, they showcase a display, which highlights the most pressing issues in the fashion industry while promoting diversity and supporting local designers, all while entertaining and including the students of Leeds.
After the success of the 2019 show, I I had to become a committee member for the 2020 show, and so, here we are!
The show is known for getting bigger and bigger every year. What can guests expect from the 2020 event?
The 2020 show is different for RAG for a number of reasons. Firstly, for the first time in RAG history, there will be two shows, which means there is even more chance to raise money for the charities and even more chance for people to grab a seat and the most stylish event on Leeds’s calendar. Secondly, RAG has their very own sustainability team who are working as part of the committee and are devoted to ensuring the show is as environmentally friendly as possible. These five individuals are assessing all the emissions generated from show and fundraisers in an attempt to ensure LRFS 2020 is the first emissions neutral student fashion show in the country.
Last year, LRFS raised £23,000 for charity, though there is no reason we cannot raise £30,000 this year, and so, that is what we are aiming for. The most significant difference, as previously touched upon, is that the show will run for two nights, which offers a higher chance to hit that target and beat last years results.
What do you think about the comments that there is a lack of diversity this year?
We ask anybody who thinks there is a lack of diversity to come to the show, and they will quickly realise for themselves that LRFS 2020 is, if anything, even more diverse than previous years (if that is even possible!). LRFS prides itself on diversity, and rightly so, as the show is a pioneer in celebrating differences and promoting inclusivity, and this year is absolutely no exception. We can hope that after all our models strut their stuff on the runway on February 28th, people will applaud the shows diversity. Still, in the meantime, you just need to reminisce on the success of diversity in the previous shows and know that something even more fabulous is on the horizon.
What prompted you to choose those two charities: Hubbub and Plastic Oceans UK?
The chosen charities always represent ethos and theme of the show, and this year is no exception. Hubbub and Plastic Oceans UK are equally as inspirational when it comes to promoting a greener mindset, and this mindset is at the heart of everything LRFS are working towards. So, it is only natural that the charities reflect the ideology of the show. The charities share undeniable connotations with this years theme, ‘Elysian’ which originates from a Greek mythological place, a’ blissful state’ called Elysian Fields. With the beauty of Elysian in mind, the charities are promoting sustainability, which contributes a greener planet, while educating consumers with an environmentally conscious mindset.