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Today was my fashion debut. Albeit in small town Woodstock, but I have finally, at the age of 36, made my way into the world of fashion. Ok, it wasn’t Paris! But it was my debut.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, The Woodstock Festival was put on in the town square to celebrate a wonderful 900 years. The theme: Sustainability.
It started a little over a week ago, when I was taken up on my request to put on a Sustainable Fashion Show for the festival. Marketing posters advertising the event were put up immediately, and I posted invitations to various websites and blogs.
The most difficult thing I had to contend with was finding local models (all first-time models) that were happy to donate their time on father’s day.
A makeup artist was sourced from my very own class at London College of Fashion, a professional artist, Anita Alexander. I will never forget the moment at which (and she will kill me for telling you this), when I had supplied pizza and wine for the girls, (I had them locked up in a room for over three hours), Anita, the sweetest and most gentle lady one could meet, got a little miffed at the appearance of food before the show. “Champagne is ok, cigarettes is ok, but not food, you will ruin your make up”, was all she had to say. I was a little astounded at first, but very quickly understood her point. All I could do was apologize and close the pizza boxes. Such an amateur mistake on my behalf. Anita had worked tirelessly for over three hours, getting makeup on these girls and doing an excellent job in making them up, and my outfits looked amazing – if one was to eat pizza and get grease all over the mouth and hands, then her art would be destroyed. I put it down as my first ever lesson in fashion shows. Art and fashion comes first, eating, second. No wonder models are so thin.
I worked all week to re-construct garments from old clothing using my mother’s, grandmother’s and neighbours wardrobes. Styling days and working bees were held in my living room, friends came from miles with jewellery they had made from… well basically rubbish, (but looked amazing). Charity shops were approached and asked for donations. Tables had to be set up for makeup sales, locations had to be sourced for the models to change in and times had to clear with the committees.
Once I had all the models and outfits sorted, I had to come up with a line up for the models to enter the catwalk, ensuring they had enough time to change to their next outfit and that a theme ran through the show. A welcome speech had to be practiced, a short but informative speech that enlightened my audience as to the environmental impact of the fashion and textile industry on the environment, both before and after the increasing demand for sustainable fashion. More can be read about this on my personal blog.
Typing all this now, it seemed simple, but it was not as easy as it sounds. Having said that, it was a lot of fun, I forged some new friendships and business collaborations form various business and charities I approached for assistance and information, and learnt many valuable lessons.
I hope you enjoy the images and movie from my show. Information on the various outfits can be found at
I would like to thank both my group for their endless support and patience with me. Claire, Kerry, Ilaria, and Marina, and an endless supply of thank you’s to Anita Alexander for the makeup and hair. Anita has her own range of makeup, Reina that I swear by as some of the best makeup a girl can wear.

‘Less is more ‘ video about promoting sustainable fashion, trying to open up our eyes.

GEISHA – ilaria

February 2009: Oxfam takes sustainable fashion to new heights with its Spring Summer launch of SUSTAIN ME, a campaign set to shatter the boundaries of reworking your wardrobe.

World-renowned fashion photographer Rankin collaborated with some of the biggest talents in the entertainment industry ranging from fashion, music and film to create a series of fashion-forward imagery.

Leading stylist Katie Shillingford restyled clothing handpicked from Oxfam’s recycling plant Wastesaver to produce a series of distinct looks proving that sustainable clothing can be both stylish and trend led.

Geisha – ilaria

In a society where fast fashion dictates to consumers, it’s time to take a step back to basics. There is a new threat to the way we live our lives and fashion needs to pay attention. Instead of buying more and often, look at how you can work and re-work what you’ve already got. A piece of cloth can be transformed in many different ways with a bit of inspiration and creativity

Day of the shoot

Stop motion was a new concept for all of us and was definitely something that improves with practise and trial and error. It was a long and frustrating day but we couldn’t lose sight of the message that we were aiming to project with this film. The basic notion (as visually depicted within the storyboard) was to emphasise how consumerism within fashion has created a “fast fashion” culture where clothes are discarded well before their physical life-span has ended. This in turn creates waste product, filling up our landfills for the sake of keeping on trend. We then aimed to show the flip side to this issue by showing how one piece of fabric can be adapted to create multiple outfits therefore cutting waste. We were all surprised at how versatile a simple piece of fabric can be and how fashionable and practical clothing can be created without the need to buy multiple purchases. This is a tough subject for the fashion world as it goes against the basic purpose of fashion and clothing, which is a massive business created to sell and make money. If consumers don’t buy as many garments, there is less demand which mean less ££££ for the industry.


For our final “film” we, as a group, decided to use the technique of ‘stop motion’ animation. Commonly used in animations such as “Wallace and Gromit” (although obviously on a MUCH more sophisticated level), this technique takes a longer amount of time to produce that a regular film but the results can be really effective even at an amateur level. We experimented with short clips of stop motion to get an idea for our final take, and just using a basic MovieMaker program I have added certain effects to make the films look more commercial. These images were taken on a standard digital camera (WITHOUT using a tri-pod which is the KEY tool for any successful stop motion film! Note to self!)

1. Global Warming
Global warming will lead to severe climate change. Unless stopped, it will upset the basic control mechanisms of planet earth.

2. Excessive Population Growth
World population may grow to 8.9 billion, with a growing demand for consumer goods and carbon-based energy, far exceeding what the planet can handle

3. Water Shortages
Rivers and aquifers are drying up. Many farmers will not have the water essential for food growing; there will be wars over water.
4 Destruction of Life in the Oceans
Only 10% of edible fish remain in the oceans, and this percentage is rapidly declining.

5 Mass Famine in Ill-Organized Countries
Farm productivity is declining. Rain will rise in cost. This will harm the poorest countries.

6. The Spread of Deserts
Soil is being eroded. Deserts are spreading in areas that used to have good soil and grassland

7. Pandemics
AIDS is continuing to spread. Infections pandemics could spread at unstoppable rates, as they have in the past, but now with the capability to kill enormous numbers of people.

8. Extreme Poverty
2 to 3 billion people live in conditions of extreme poverty, with lack of sanitation. The difference between rich and poor is becoming more extreme

9. Growth of Shantycities
Shantytowns (shantycities) with extreme violence and poverty are growing in many parts of the world. Youth there have no hope.

10 Unstoppable Global Migrations
Large numbers of people are leaving the poorest countries and shantycities, wanting to find a life in countries with opportunities. Migrations will become more extreme if we have severe climate change.

11. Non-Sate Actors with extreme Weapons
Nuclear or biological weapons are becoming easier to build by terrorist organizations, political groups or individuals who are not acting for a given state.

12 Violent Religious Extremism
Religious extremism and jihads may become widespread, leading to large numbers of suicide terrorists and religious war between Muslims and Christians

13 Runaway computer intelligence
Computers will acquire the capability to increase their own intelligence until a chain reaction happens of machines becoming more intelligent at electronic speed.

14 War that could end all civilization
A global war like WW1 or WW2, conducted with today’s vast number of nuclear weapons and new biological weapons, could end civilization.

15. Risks to Homo Sapiens’ existence
We are heading in the direction of scientific experiments (described by Lord Martin Rees) that have a low probability of wiping out Homo Sapiens. The combination of risks gives a relatively high probability of not surviving the century.

16. A new dark age
A global cocktail of intolerable poverty and outrageous wealth, starvation, mass terrorism with nuclear/biological weapons, world war, deliberate pandemics and religious insanity, might plunge humanity into a worldwide pattern of unending hatred and violence – a new Dark Age.

Now go and have a cup of tea, take a deep breath and try not to fee so sad, I was practically suicidal after reading this book, but what a enlightenment, these facts are some of the lighter ones as well, it gets much heavier.

Take a look at my personal blog, (see links above) I have posted a blog on raw materials to help better understand fashion the beggining

Hi all,

I have linked a few of the fantastic websites that look at “Green Fashion” ” Eco Fashion” “Environmental awareness in fashion” etc to our links above, feel free to take a look and add more, they are pretty enlightening.
Who would of thought that Japan, on of our fashion capitals of the word has started to get serious about clothes swapping…… inspired