This fashion show was the last stage in a creative process, which started off with four volunteer design teams, based in four parts of the country, who gave their time to find new and exciting designers. The creative workshops were set up by Junky Styling in London, Traid, who nurtured the Bristol designers, the Ethical Fashion Forum in Nottingham and Kesh(pictured above), who worked with the Manchester based designers.
Said designers had to then compete against each other to create the best outfit from recycled clothes, e.g.: the clothes given to charity shops – and it was at this fashion show where the winner would be decided by designer Ben de Lisi.
TV presenter Miquita Oliver hosted the event and the celebrity quota was filled by Rolling Stone daughter, Leah Wood (pictured above), who modeled on the catwalk and Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman, who provided some post-show tunes.
Even bigger names (not in attendance) but supporting the charity include actress Kate Winslet and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who donated a suit and a shirt respectively, to be remade into something fabulous. Designer Zandra Rhodes is also a big supporter of this recycling fashion cause saying, “It is appalling how much we waste in society these days, but it seems we are entering a new era of resourcefulness. This is really exciting – and the best part of it is young people are leading the new trend.”
Taking place in Central Saint Martins aptly named Innovation Centre; the venue was small and intimate, which perfectly captured the tone of the event. Unlike most fashion shows, this one had a very human element when a representative from the Body & Soul charity got on stage to talk about her experience living with HIV. She spoke about having to live a double life, having to hide her illness from the world due to the level of prejudice that still exists towards the disease. Money raised from this event will go towards generating awareness about HIV.
As we sat by the catwalk, video screens showed the designers in their workshops making the clothes that would soon appear in front of us. What these guys did with discarded shirts and dresses was pretty impressive, it wasn’t about following trends but making creative, innovative and pretty pieces, and there was a lot of that evident on the catwalk.
Ben de Lisi was there to judge the entries, with only a matter of minutes to decide who the winner would be, he was asked how he would do it and said, “I shoot straight from the hip, I know exactly what I want.”
Who he wanted was designer Anne-Marie Fleming, from the Junky Styling stable. She seemed to me to be a safe choice as although her design was good, it was not the best seen on the catwalk by a long way.
This event worked so well to promote two causes, the importance of recycling (not always being a slave to trends) and reducing the level of our prejudice about supposedly taboo subjects.
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