Forest Hill Fashion Report
Pavement2Catwalk graced Forest Hill Fashion Week this year with a spectacular vibrant and alternative take on London Fashion Week.
This is the third year that Pavement2Catwalk has contributed to what has become a much-anticipated event in South East London.
The theme this year was focused around addiction and disability and the main collection was made up entirely of T.shirts that were ripped up, painted and reconstructed into garments.
Pavement2Catwalk worked with two groups of clients, from different sectors of society. Both face difficulties and disrespect.
- ReAL – a drug and rehabilitation centre in Catford
- Brighter Horizons – a ground breaking centre for all disabilities
After identifying willing clients from both organisations, l set about inspiring and encouraging them to express their current emotions onto the T.shirts. There were no rules and regulations and they could use whatever colours they wanted.
I then recruited two fashion designers to transform the painted pieces into creations that could be worn down the catwalk.
With the help of Ella and Eleanor, who were both astonishing and intrepid, we joined forces and put a respectable collection together.
Pavement2Catwalk never discriminates against any human being who is willing to embrace the ethos of who we are and what we are about. This year’s event was no exception. We had the privilege of working with a young blind lady called Felitia. She embraced the experience wholeheartedly.
I wanted the collection to have hope, moving from darkness into the light. The second half of the collection featured a vintage section, to represent this. I was delighted when another charity (Clothes For Causes) kindly donated a whole collection of vintage dresses for the closing of the show.
Music was written and recorded especially for the show by veteran producer Marcus Johnson but at the soundcheck, there were technical difficulties and we could not retrieve the music. Luckily Manisha, who was the DJ and founder of Crepe Records, saved the day by finding us some music from her collection.
We also had two make-up artists give up their valuable time to help us out. Delita, who has worked with me tirelessly in the past and a new recruit Lorna. Both ladies were outstanding. The team from Loving Hands Children’s Network also proved invaluable in the run-up and on the day.
It wasn’t possible for all the groups to get together beforehand and so, with next to no time to rehearse, we were on. The room was packed and the atmosphere was intimate and magical. With my part done I could now just watch proceedings from the audience’s perspective… The show was a resounding success and every single person in that room was moved – almost to the point of tears… luckily, of joy!
Pavement2Catwalk strives to bring people together, whether they are disabled or survivors of addiction, mental health or any other social stigma and what better way to unite people than a fashion show.
Report by Donald Waugh