Rags to Runway Fashion Show – ‘The Fashion of the Future”

18 Jul 2013

On Thursday night June 20th, a collaboration between the “Oxfam Reworked” Project based at Oxfam in Caversham and Leighton Park School, resulted in a spectacular ‘Rags to Runway’ Fashion Show.  An audience of more than 160 friends, parents, students and the local community watched as students modelled items created by Oxfam volunteers and Leighton Park School students. The event also showcased student’s coursework, particularly that of Catherine Unsworth, who generously donated proceeds from the sale of her work to Oxfam. Oxfam volunteers and students used items donated to Oxfam which had not sold and transformed them into amazing coats, dresses and one beautiful wedding outfit, which was modelled by Year 9 student Sophie Laing on the night. Cathy Croft and Debs Ramsay, both Oxfam volunteers who lead the Reworked Project in Caversham, have worked with Ann Farmer and Jo Jones, textile teachers at Leighton Park School, to encourage students to participate in this project. Many have produced spectacular outfits as a result. Thirty-five student models took to the Runway in a total of 70 outfits, which displayed the imagination of the reworked team, with a further twenty students helping behind the scenes. These outfits ranged from fun reworked jackets and cardigans to impressively chic dresses that would not have looked out of place at Royal Ascot. One dress was made entirely from ties; another from rejected shirts. Another beautiful pink corset dress sold as soon as it appeared on the Runway. The Leighton Park School jazz band the ‘Milestones’, mentored by Stuart Henderson, launched the show with the apposite number ‘Price Tag’ by Jessie J. Quakers were proactive in the launch of the charity in 1942, so it was fitting that one of the first of such reworked fashion shows in the Berkshire area would be hosted at Leighton Park, a school founded on Quaker values in 1890. The total amount of money raised during the evening, which included entrance fees and reworked items sold on the night, was in excess of £1000.  This is significantly more than was anticipated from this first Fashion Show. Event coordinator, Trudy Crouch-Hyde herself a parent, said of the evening: ‘The students, through their enthusiasm and professionalism, helped to create an evening that surpassed all our expectations. The audience had a wonderful time that perfectly showcased the fashion of the future. They are already asking when the next show will be. The Oxfam project volunteers are creatively gifted and dedicated.”