Last night, I attended a Cancer Charity Fashion Show. It was put together by Macmillan [Cancer Charity] and local designer, Julien MacDonald.
I was surprised when I arrived to find crowds queuing outside and animal rights protesters, throngs of police and television cameras, but I shouldn't have been surprised. Lately,Mr MacDonald has committed the sin of using real fur at his fashion shows. I don't know what I really think about this. I mean there was a time around 20-30 years ago when it seemed normal to own a real fur coat, but nowadays, it doesn't seem right--even though they look so good.
I feared that the protesters might have caused some trouble, but they were peaceful. In the event, all they did was to hand out leaflets. One tall lady protester in a a well worn cardigan with equally well worn skin handed me a leaflet with a picture of a dismembered fox. She said, "We're not expecting fur to be used at this particular event, but we'd like you to see this leaflet." So I took it from her.
We had our bags searched as we finally got into the building. This was to ensure that none of us were masquerading as a protester and carrying any kind of weapon or spray.
The show started with a Scottish Piper band from Newport and then Jeff Banks the designer took to the stage and stirred up the crowd. Some celebrities took part as models: Robert Sidoli, the Merthyr boy who is also part of the Welsh winning rugby team; Lucy Cohen--a newsreader from HTV; Stuart Cable ex-Stereophonic who is now a TV presenter and a couple of other celebs.
In the interval we managed to get into the bowls hall opposite and get a drink and the second half was better than the first. Four breast cancer survivors took part as models and I felt a lump in my throat when they took to the stage. After all, that's what the event was all about.
The part I loved best was when Julien's designs were shown. These were the actual dresses worn by well known celebs for various award ceremonies, etc. Kylie's little black number she wore in Sydney for instance. One dress on the catwalk cost £45,000! Many were very expensive. What I loved about Julien's designs and seeing them live as it were, was that the dresses were so fluid, the way they moved on the models as they sashayed down the runway.
The finale brought all the models back on stage with Julien MacDonald and Jeff Banks in amongst the leggy lovelies. Julien's proud parents and sister were sitting in the front row. What a joy that must have been to see the Merthyr Boy Done Good back from London in his home town!
All in all, it was a good evening and it's even inspired us at Cancer Aid to maybe put on another fashion show ourselves as we did a couple of years back. It made me realise what a great job we did back then.
My book, IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER, is due for publication in May 2006. As the storyline involves a charity fashion show, it might be an idea if the book launch and possible fashion show are held at the same time. I intend to donate the royalites to Cancer Aid, the charity I work for.