First Night speaks to Frankie Haydon-White, the Director of the first ever DST Charity Fashion Show.

What is the DST charity fashion show?

The DST Charity Fashion Show is exactly what it says on the tin! It’s a fashion show featuring all the beautiful and interesting costumes we have in our Internal Hires, modelled by DST members with all profits going to our charity CALM – a leading suicide prevention charity. Our fashion show is a little different though, as it is more of a variety show as we not only have walks by our amazing models but also acts ranging from dance to stand up comedy to singing to pole dancing to comedy sketches! It’s taking place in the Assembly Rooms Theatre as well, so don’t expect a typical catwalk….


What made you want to be the fashion show’s Director?

I’m always looking out to get involved in new things and I’d wanted to be part of a charity fashion show for a while but found the university-wide ones a little intimidating to get involved in, so when the opportunity cropped up to be part of the first ever DST Charity Fashion Show I jumped at it. As a director who enjoys looking at movement I thought there was no better place to implement my skills than on a fashion show and although I know nothing about fashion I wanted the challenge of organising a big event that could be enjoyed by so many people and could potentially do so much to change the lives of the people helped by the charity.


What has the process been like to far?

In one word: hectic. Since being brought on board it feels like it’s been non-stop admin, organisation and planning. Since this is the first ever DST charity fashion show everything has been a learning curve and we’ve encountered so many issues I can’t even tell you but it’s been very rewarding to see it start to come together. So far we’ve mainly been working theoretically but as term begins we start rehearsals and fittings and I know that’s where the real chaos will begin. I’m just hoping things go as smoothly as they can although I know by the night in reality we’ll have it all sorted (fingers crossed anyway!).


What makes this different to other fashion shows in Durham?

There’s a few key differences between this event and similar, college-based ones. Firstly the outfits the models will be wearing come entirely from the DST stocks. There’s not going to be any high fashion in this show but it’s completely sustainable and hopefully a lot of fun. Secondly the models are DST members from every year and every college rather than just the one! This is mainly a show for DST members performed and organised by DST members so it’s an event I hope the whole community can get behind.


Why should audiences come and watch the show?

This is the first ever DST charity fashion show so you could come and see it simply out of the morbid curiosity of if it will fail (spoiler: it won’t and it’s going to be amazing!). Or you could come and see it for the huge amount and variety it amazing acts we have performing. You could come see it to support your friends and all your favourite DST faces modelling (and with most theatre execs being represented I guarantee you’ll know someone to come and support!). You could come and see it simply to appreciate the fab costumes Internal Hires has to offer. Or, perhaps most importantly, you could come and see it to support our incredible charity CALM which is a leading suicide prevention charity in the UK. It’s going to be a great night filled with entertainment, fun costumes and all profits go towards an amazing charity. You’ve got no excuse not to see it really.


The DST Charity Fashion Show will take place in the Assembly Rooms Theatre at 7:30pm.

Image: Tanisha Jha