Edita reports | CATWALK4CHANGE: Change happened that night

CATWALK4CHANGE Body Paint
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.

CATWALK4CHANGE-BLOGGER-SHOW

Josie of josielovesshoes

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Joanna of mademoiselle-lala

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Alice of fashioncadet

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Netty of nets-the-alternative-fashion-model

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Phoebe of ufabdirectory

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Sabrina of theyoungeccentric

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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).
CATWALK4CHNAGE MATURE PART
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…

CATWALK4CHANGE Jo Wood and Liris Crosse

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.

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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.

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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.

CATWALK4CHANGE Edita pret-a-reporter speech

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.


Edita speech PHOTO CREDIT CHRIS MANSFIELD

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.

Edita reports | CATWALK4CHANGE: More about the show

CATWALK4CHANGE Edita in African PrintCATWALK4CHANGE Edita African StyleCATWALK4CHANGE Edita in AfricanCatwalk4Change Bloggers
Styling: Aga, Images: James Lyon for Models of Diversity, Kaftan: from Onita Couture

These are a few more outtakes from the CATWALK4CHANGE promo shoot. Working with James Lyon is always rewarding. I asked the founder of Models of Diversity, Angel Sinclair, on the day whether my mother would recognise me in this tribal look, she smiled and said probably not. And that’s what I want the show to be about: opening minds and stepping out of the comfort zone and into new horizons. I don’t usually roam around London in blue lipstick and tribal turbans, but who’s to say that I can’t.

Want to see more culture clashing? Then get tickets for CATWALK4CHANGE today. Amazing bloggers are to woo crowds in jaw-dropping couture by coveted designers from all around the world. The event, which is presented by Models of Diversity will be opened by a showcase by the UK’s top mature models followed by the blogger show which will be headed by myself, pret-a-reporter. All the proceeds from tickets sales go to MIND and Macmillan. See you there.

Edita reports | CATWALK4CHANGE

CATWALK4CHANGE Edita, Joanna and Alice - UK Bloggers on the Runway
Image by James Lyon

I have teamed up with Angel Sinclair, the founder of the Models of Diversity campaign, to stage the first ever catwalk show with bloggers as the models. Why? Because bloggers are the new it girls. The concept of the show is Diversity Juxtapositioned – as you can see from the poster. I want African girls wearing Eastern European folk clothing, Eastern Europeans sporting African print, Indian girls in kimonos and Chinese beauties in saris. The time to embrace global beauty is long overdue.

Check out these wonderful bloggers who are going to strut their stuff on the catwalk this September: Natasha of girlinthelens.com, Joanna of  mademoiselle-lala.com, Svetlana of ballerinanation.wordpress.com, AJ – myafricancloset.wordpress.com, Emma of fashion-mommy.com, Ambarina of beautypassionista.co.uk, Sarah of styleonthecouch, Alice of fashioncadet.com, Toni Caroline of fashionyourseatbelts.net, Julie of rainingcake.com, Julia of stylonylon.com, Sally of eighteenf.blogspot.co.uk, Josie of josielovesshoes.blogspot.co.uk, Sarah of sarahissmiley.blogspot.co.uk and Ruth Harrison Roberts who blogs at a whole myriad of blogs.

Special thanks to Onita for the amazing Asian Couture, the lovely Aga for the styling and the super talented Fiona for the hair.

Can’t wait to see you all at the show – tickets go on sale next month. All the proceeds go to MIND and MacMillan.