Just before London Fashion Week, there was something else to feast your eyes on. Something that I am responsible for along with an internationally known campaign, Models of Diversity. I am talking about CATWALK4CHANGE.
I met Angel Sinclair, the founder of the campaign, at a fashion show a year ago. She sat just behind me, introduced herself and I thought, wow, there actually is a campaign for something that I truly believe in?
Fashion is a very selective industry. It’s true. Equally, despite it being an industry of the forward-thinking, it is slow to make changes. It took a long time for the industry to set the standard regarding minimum BMIs (and that only happened because British Vogue decided to chip in) and unfortunately it still is taking far too long for it to embrace diversity. And I don’t mean only skin colour; I mean different ages, religions and even – I am going into an extreme taboo zone here for fashion – abilities.
However, there is a sphere in fashion where no one has any control over. I am a part of this sphere: blogging. Bloggers stand for real people and have grown in influence massively in the last few years. With honorary passes to fashion shows, access to exclusive content and personal websites with more page views than a lot of the established brands, bloggers can contribute to the changing face of fashion; in fact they have the power to propel it.
Which is why I decided to take matters into my own hands and thanks to the platform that Models of Diversity provided, I headed a blogger fashion show – for the first time ever, the most buzzed about UK bloggers took centre stage and displayed couture creations from all around the world. Designers included Annessi, Eldimaa, Onita, Scottacus Anthony and Martina Bohn to name just a few.
Here are a few of my favourite looks from the show – the beautiful chaos that I had in my head was brought to life and it was spectacular. The wonderful Brenda Cuffy, my head stylist, and her team made sure that the catwalk displayed exactly what I had in my head. So I can say confidently that it’s not true that people can’t read minds – Brenda read mine.
Josie of josielovesshoes
Joanna of mademoiselle-lala
Alice of fashioncadet
Netty of nets-the-alternative-fashion-model
Phoebe of ufabdirectory
Sabrina of theyoungeccentric
Steffy Reid, the guest star model and London 2012 Paralympic Medalist, closed the blogger show
There were more looks and bloggers in my show; ALL of them fantastic. These are just some of my favourites. My blogger show was a part of something much grander: two acts, Stedman Pearson and Stacey Jackson (I still have her songs in my head – they are SO catchy, it’s unreal) and a huge mature model showcase. Below are a few of my favourite looks (and people, too – when I got to know these amazing people, I was blown away, yes you: Steven, Jordana & Nicole and ALL the other elegant boys and girls).
I have to be honest… My favourite part was the corsetry showcase. So alluring. I wanted to wear a corset straight away. The celebrity corset designer is the crazily talented – Deborah Brand. Speaking of celebrities…
Familiar faces, familiar logo? How surreal it is to see Jo Wood and Liris Crosse next to a press board with my logo on it? It’s still difficult to believe it happened.
The woman who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to bring my vision to life, Angel Sinclair, with her dear friend, Alex Reid.
The tension is building up before my speech… The audience was more energetic than a crowd at a rock concert. This was the first time I have ever experienced anything like this at a fashion show.
Apparently I was a power speaker – my speech was even compared to those of Al Pacino! I am wearing a couture gown worth more than all of my savings. Thanks to Onita Couture.
This brings me to the thank you part. I am very grateful to all the people who made this event happen; Bernard who helped us with the music and introduced me to my new favourite DJ – Storm Clarke, Charlotte Avery, the amazingly talented bodypainters Victoria and Jenny, the hunky male models John & Stuart, Rebecca Goodyear and her PR team, Carla’s Cakery, Stacey Jackson’s team, Stedman, Illamasqua, Fiona Chaffey and her team (such a talented hair guru), Adam Finch, Fiona of unreal-flowers, the management of the Waterlily (yes, you Hassan), the life climbers (cancer victims who took the time to attend the show), all of the models, bloggers, photographers, press, guests and the entire team at Models of Diversity founded by Angel Sinclair and Sal Maria Williams.
Finally, I’d like to give a special personal thank you to James Lyon. You are an amazing, talented person. Plus you have Pink Floyd on vinyl – what else can I say?
All the money we raised via ticket sales went to Macmillan and Mind.
The first image is by Spaces Photography snapped by the adorable Yema, images with the logo are by James Lyon, images with no logos are by Walterlan Papetti and the very last image is by Chris Mansfield.