Illustration by Joana Faria
On Tuesday night Amelia, myself and Zandra Rhodes met at the Freemason’s Hall to attend the FAD Junior Fashion Awards. Well, Zandra was there, across the catwalk, she didn’t technically ARRIVE with us. We’d been invited by email: an email that was gushing in gratitude for the work we had done to support this charity. I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t have a clue what this lovely lady was talking about – there’s so much good stuff on here that I occasionally miss the odd article. But Fran from FAD was happy, and I was to attend!
The usual beginning ensued – I quiverred in the background having forgotten my ticket while Amelia dragged me by the arm, kicking and screaming, onto the front row. I have to say that I am finally starting to get used to all this and by the A/W 2012 shows I’ll be poised at the front of the queues, shoulders back, sunglasses on, marching to the front.
The Freemason’s was absolutely boiling as always (please sort some air conditioning out for next year, VFS!). In fact, somebody should have supplied fans in goodie bags. Imagine! You could show bin bags covered in sh*t and people would say nice things if you kept them cool.
Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) are a charity who work with young people to give them the confidence to get into fashion. Where do I sign up?! One of last year’s students, Prash Muraleetharan, delivered the most inspirational speech that I was almost in tears, and the show hadn’t even started. Amelia and I scrambled to write down what he had said. All this before we’d seen a single badly made dressed or batiked skirt (as I imagined).
Illustration by Aniela Murphy
Amelia and I continually remarked throughout the show about how young these budding designers were. I can honestly say that there was very little difference between this show and those on the BFC catwalk (you know, the on-schedule one that is supposedly the creme-de-la-creme of current British fashion).
You can read Amelia’s full report here. I couldn’t make head nor tail of who was who – the looks appeared, the names changed so quickly, and the running order was in the wrong order. AND, to top it off, it was impossible to take pictures because a certain somebody kept telling me off for getting in the way. Tehe.
This year’s theme had been inspired by the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries at the V&A, which was evident on the catwalk, but not in a typically student way by any means. When the theme was announced, before the show, I thought ‘Oh hear we go – cue silly headgear and bucket top boots’. No such thing – the inspiration had been handled with such sophistication that it acted as a discrete point of reference rather than a fancy dress theme.
So to the winners. The winning collection was David Short’s medieval emerald number, crowning him the first boy ever to scoop the coveted prize.
Illustration by Aniela Murphy
My favourite was Andre Augusto’s body-con number with exaggerated sleeves and strap detail – an Alexander McQueen in the making.
Sarah Kilkenny’s simple a-line dress with rope detail scooped the Award for Research.
Karmen-Marie Parker burst into tears when Zandra Rhodes (my Zandra) presented her with the award for Commercial Innovation – her sports-luxe denim creation had real style.
A totally inspirational show, which reduced me to tears and left me reeling. In amongst all the ridiculous ludicrousness of fashion week, this was the perfect antidote.
Oh do pop over to Amelia’s review because she’s far more diligent than I am and has listed all the other fabulous youngsters and their creations – and has more gratuitous shots of MY Zandra for your delectation. Oh and here’s a video, in which you can probably see me blubbing somewhere on the left…
Photography by Amelia Gregory and Matt Bramford
Aniela Murphy, FAD Junior Awards, Fashion Awareness Direct, Freemasons’ Hall, Joana Faria, Karmen-Marie Parker, lfw, London Fashion Week, M&S, Prash Muraleetharan, Sarah Kilkenny, University of East London, va, Vauxhall Fashion Scout, Zandra Rhodes
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