The Town Hall opened its doors, courtesy of the Mayor, Cllr Michael Boyd, for a fashion show organised by Niche, the boutique on Cinque Ports Street, in aid of the Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital and the Community Transport scheme.
The show started with a short presentation about the new development on the site of the old ambulance station at the top of Rye Hill. The new structure, next to the Hospital, is in the process of being built and will provide the ‘Hub on Rye Hill’.
It will be a modern, bright and well-thought-out multi -purpose building, and it is hoped that the local community will make use of the space, which includes a café, therapy rooms and office space, a large open auditorium and two big activity areas.
Part of it may be used to provide a day-care facility and this leaves lots of room for other activities, during the day and in the evenings. Further publicity will follow very shortly, and 50% of the fashion show proceeds will go towards the £50,000 that needs to be raised to equip it. If you fancy buying your very own brick to be built into the structure, contact the fundraisers!
Lesley Farrow and her husband Peter, who own the fashion boutique and jewellery shop, gave their time, expertise and skills, to put on the wonderful fashion displays that followed. Also, most generously, they provided a £100 raffle prize voucher for the boutique, won by ticket number 55.
Lesley compered and Peter and Reg Marchant coped with the sound system, so thanks go to them, too. The hats were provided by Herald and Heart, and the selection of fresh, brightly coloured straw hats and baker-boy caps added greatly to the fun.
Lesley had lined up four models, known to many in the enthusiastic audience, with Jane Conlin, one of them, who had also worked so closely with Lesley to make the event happen, opening the show.
Forty outfits were paraded up and down the central catwalk with an emphasis on ethically produced fashion brands, that is, the designing, sourcing and manufacture of clothes in a way that benefits people and communities and minimises environmental impacts. For example, one of Lesley’s designers uses no nitrates in the dyes. This emphasis on the damage fast fashion is doing to the planet fitted well with the news of the day on climate change protests and brought the outside world into the Town Hall.
The outfits themselves were very wearable, cropped pants, tunics and T-shirts very much the order of the day, Retro dresses, reminiscent of the designs of the Sixties and the fitted silhouette of the 1940s, provided a glamorous edge. The outfits had been manufactured all over the continent, in Germany and Italy particularly, and from Denmark as well as the UK. Scarves accessorised many of the clothes and shoes added to the look. Super leather bags gave the final touch.
Linen was as popular as ever, in corals, blues and white, with cotton summer dresses and floaty vintage design fabrics. A long black tee shirt dress was accessorised with a gorgeous bright yellow straw hat and ethically produced Mongolian cashmere jumpers were flung across shoulders in case of cold breezes to come.
Lesley did a wonderful job in putting on the show. Last-minute adjustments had to be made as the shop stock got sold, but it all fell into place on the catwalk with an appreciative audience and a glass of bubbly courtesy of the Bell at Iden. Jackie Dudfield, Hospital Board member, thanked her, and the hospital charity and the community bus are hugely grateful for all the effort that goes in and of course the resulting funds raised, £1,120.
Image Credits: Faulkner Smith, Stefanie Faulkner Smith.