Experiencing DUCFS at 40

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Following a spectacular triad of 40th anniversary shows, who wouldn’t be keen for some insider knowledge? Duru Akin, a second year English Lit and History student from Hild Bede and fellow Palatinate editor, kindly agreed to share her experience of being one of this year’s DUCFS models.

What made you want to audition this year?

To be completely honest, it was an impulsive, last-minute decision. A close friend of mine dared me to do it and forced me through the doors on the last day of the auditions, even when I started having second doubts. I never imagined the fashion show to be something I’d immerse myself in, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.

It was the 40th anniversary of DUCFS this year. What went on to make these shows stand out from previous years?

When the models first met the exec, they made it clear that we weren’t add-ons to the show, rather a part of it. I think settling that from the very beginning created this massive web of help and communication, which was integral in putting on an outstanding show. 

What was the rehearsal process like?

It is insane how much time and effort goes into the rehearsals. They were each almost two hours long, and I remember having two a day on average. We even had full run-throughs which took the whole day. The rehearsals definitely disrupted my academic life.

What was your favourite look to wear?

It has to be Lisa Huang’s Burberry-esque jacket, which I wore with a white shirt and faux leather mini skirt. 

In three words, sum up the atmosphere backstage.

Chaotic, loud, wholesome.

How do you think DUCFS will look in another 40 years’ time?

Every year DUCFS grows and becomes a bigger production than it was the year before. At this rate, I cannot imagine what it would look like in 3 years, let alone in 40. What I can tell is, although much will change, DUCFS will definitely preserve its wholesome core and continue touching people’s lives through strengthening the Durham tradition that they have become over the years. 

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of getting involved?

I’d say it’s essential to talk to a previous model to get an idea of how serious of a commitment DUCFS is, as this was what I struggled with the most. However, I would encourage anyone to do it, even if they had a passing thought about it, because DUCFS influenced my life greatly in a way I never would’ve imagined. 

In three words, sum up your DUCFS experience.

Inspiring, thrilling, exhausting.

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