Dec 2, 2016

Burning Through The Layers of the Trinity Fashion Show

Siobhan O’Leary Ashford reflects on the resonant message produced by the Burnt Out theme of Trinity Fashion Society’s show last night.

Siobhan O’Leary AshfordDeputy Fashion Editor
Anna Moran for The University Times

Layering. This is a Trinity aesthetic. It is an aesthetic that suggests both hard work and hard play. It is an aesthetic that attempts to balance numerous opportunities and identities. It was this aesthetic that was chosen by the Trinity Fashion Society for their annual fashion show last night under the theme “Burnt Out”. The models from Trinity confidently stalked down the catwalk, dressed in looks that encapsulated the theme. From lace leotards worn with tracksuit pants, to ripped fishnets paired with elegant dresses, the stylists Lucy O’Sullivan and Heather Moore cleverly represented the average Trinity student’s experience.

The burnt out aesthetic is prevalent among all members of the Trinity student population. College is a time of layering – opportunities tend to overlap and question each other. Your college course may not entirely match up with your preferred extracurriculars. Even the physical act of going to college requires layering. You need to be ready, both on the inside and out, for lectures, a meeting, a coffee date, lunch, all topped off with a society event and a round of drinks.

Even describing the many layers of college life is exhausting. The campus at 10am on a Friday morning often sees girls gliding across the polished cobblestones, wearing the silken gown of last night’s event under their favourite ratty jumper that will provide some comfort for their first lecture. Boys clutch steaming cups of coffee in cold hands with flecks of black nail varnish on their nails, hitching up their sports bag which is full of textbooks, trainers and Tupperware. Rips in tights abound. Footwear is comfortable, suitable for dancing into the night and trudging home penniless without enough change for the Dart.


Last night’s fashion show portrayed the classic Trinity student as capable of becoming mentally frayed due to the numerous expectations and obligations weighing them down. Yet this never shows through in their style. When confronting the theme burnt out, the stylists could have chosen to use dark colours to represent depression, or a kaleidoscope of colour to portray the panic and confusion of the college years. It can be said, however, that their approach was more intelligent. By styling the models in looks that a college student could identify with and covet, awareness was brought to the fact that we are all burnt out. Everyone, regardless of how well they layer their clothing, and hence, their life, needs support.

No better charity provides that support than Trinity Fashion Society’s chosen cause for their fashion show, Pieta House. Pieta House is an organisation based in Dublin that provides free support for those who struggle with suicidal ideation and self-harm. As the organiser of the event, Carla King-Molina expressed in her open speech, college is a breeding ground for such harmful behaviours. It is very possible that the girl across the cobblestones is hiding more than a rip in her tights under that silk dress. A portion of the ticket price went towards Pieta House, so even those attending the show were explicit in addressing the issues surrounding the theme. The Trinity Fashion Show, as well as being an excellent exhibition of the society’s skills and professionalism, peeled back the layers of our campus for all to see on the runway, while also presenting us with a solution in the form of Pieta House.

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