Simone Rocha AW 14/15 My re-creation
I have a fluctuating relationship with London Fashion Week. I began attending when I was 15, the landscape of Somerset House an altogether different terrain with a handful of street style snappers and a press lounge that welcomed bloggers. All of this has changed, for various - and very understandable - reasons. Blogging, press, social media, the industry. All these areas (and each in relation to the others) have been shifting and re-moulding what is valued; where the focus lies.
I am drawn back - dropping in to the odd show, catching up with old faces, meeting new ones. But as each six months rolls by, season on season, I’ve been a little less involved. That's not to say that there aren't designers who make my heart sing (and my potential purse strings tremble) - but I’m happy to remain at more of a remove than previously.
Yet, this time, there’s a difference. Come Saturday Sept 13th, I’ll be taking part in a shoot with a twist. Titled ‘Charity Fashion Live’, it’s going to be located in my most favourite of venues – a charity shop (a Red Cross, to be specific). Emma of Back of the Wardrobe will be conjuring up a second hand styling storm – emulating outfits from the shows held that day, using just what she can find on the rails. The fab photographer Claire Pepper (who I’ve worked with previously on this Charlotte Taylor shoot) will be there to capture these spontaneous creations on camera, while Darren O’Mahoney will be producing a film. It’ll be a day of snap decisions and social media, with all the looks broadcast online in as quick a turnaround as can be managed. Afterwards the outfits will be auctioned on eBay in aid of The British Red Cross.
I’m one of two models for the day. Although it’s usual to have no idea in advance how one might be dressed on a shoot, it’s a little more unusual for the rest of the team to be equally in the dark… The element of unpredictability makes it a hugely exciting prospect though. It weaves together so many of my interests, from second hand sustainability to innovative creation. The ethos chimes strongly with my own, relying on promotion of the longevity of clothing – and the creative possibilities to be found on a budget.
In preparation, I had a little go myself, with help from my mum – choosing a look from Simone Rocha’s AW14/15 collection: see image above left (photo credit Vogue.co.uk). My DIY version is composed from a long tartan skirt (bought from a charity jumble sale) that was turned upside down and transformed into a strapless dress with the help of ribbon and belts. It was ribbon-tied just above the bust with enough fabric from the hem pulled over to form the ruffles cascading over the top. Then it was belted with a cummerbund (you can see the detail behind). The open zip even forms a slit at the back! All the accessories were sourced in charity shops over the years too. Although I might not be able to get away with it on the catwalk, it seemed curiously appropriate for striding around country lanes.
Interestingly, I’ve actually used this skirt before for some other recreations of my own, including this homage to Corrie Nielsen several years back. It’s amazing how often the contents of my own wardrobe/ dressing up box can yield items suddenly deemed ever so ‘on trend’ or ‘of the moment’.
You can follow the fun on Saturday on Twitter - with @Backofwardrobe using the hashtag #charityfashionlive. I'm sure it will be making plenty of appearances on my twitter too, which you can follow at @RosalindJana. Images below are from previous years. I can't wait to see what happens..