THE ANNUAL UCD Fashion Show, which was being managed the Arts Society (Arts Soc) this year, may not go ahead due to lack of sponsorship. Arts Soc Auditor, Jonathan Cosgrove, has said the future of the fashion show is “uncertain” as the show’s prior sponsor, the Down’s Syndrome Centre, refused to get behind the project this year.
“The charity got in touch with me at the end of August telling me they have signed off on it. I don’t know what happened, I think they just lost interest,” Mr Cosgrove stated.
Blaming the economic downturn for the lack of alternative financial backing for the event, Mr Cosgrove explained that the society had been “investigating other people to work with, but it’s really short notice … when it is so late, nothing can really be done.”
He emphasised that unless sponsors for the Fashion Show were obtained, the event could not take place, but expressed optimism that if backing was found, the show could possibly go ahead. “We need to be securing sponsors in the next few weeks if it were to go ahead. Feedback hasn’t been amazing, but personally, I think we could get [the show] up in a short time.”
Mr Cosgrove added that as yet, funding for the event has not been offered by the university, however he mentioned that the idea had been put forward that the Fashion Show could collaborate with the UCD Community Musical, Guys and Dolls, which is due to take place in February.
However Mr Cosgrove explained that the time constraints with this arrangement would be difficult for the organisers to overcome, as the Fashion Show usually takes place in April. “It has been put forward that we do it at the same time [as the musical], but the way I see it if we do, we’re looking at the middle of February. That would give us six weeks in this term and four next semester, but to try and get auditions done and the committee fully organised by then wouldn’t be fair on those involved, especially with exams.”
Mr Cosgrove suggested that the best option for the Fashion Show at the present time would be to lay the infrastructure for next year’s show, rather than to attempt to organise the event with such short notice. “We would prefer to do this properly rather than throwing something ad hoc together. I don’t want it to run a loss because if it is a charity thing, there is no point.”
Mr Cosgrove explained that “it is an event that I think is really worthwhile and it shouldn’t go away. Even if it can’t happen this year, it is something that I would want to see come back [next year]”.
Arts Soc regained the management of the UCD Fashion Show this year, having been project managed by the Down Syndrome Centre last year. The fashion show was last cancelled in 2006 due to organisational and financial difficulties, with the organisers failing to secure a title sponsor for the event.