Front Row put on a mesmerising show

Freya Von Strapp Paper Couture. Avery Stallion Photography
Freya Von Strapp Paper Couture. Avery Stallion Photography

THIS year’s fashion show focusing on vintage and recycled creations, Front Row Goes Opera, was fantastically professional, yet sprinkled with humour.

In its fifth year, the show was on a bigger scale than previously, and the crowd in the auditorium at Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion last Saturday (November 17) was large and appreciative.

Before the show, guests were greeted in the foyer by Jenny Edbrooke, and invited underneath her voluminous skirt as part of her performance Smalls.

All the collections this year were inspired by opera, and accompanied by a variety of dramatic music, as well as the considerable talent of opera singer Jenny Miller.

Compere Hannah Louise Palmer introduced the collections, which ranged from the work of graphic design students at Parkwood Sixth Form, who created costumes based on Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers to established designers.

Leida Nassir-Pour wowed the audience with her breathtaking and intricate creations on the theme of the game of chess, and the East-West conflict.

Freya Von Strapp’s Firebird Collection of unbelievably intricate paper couture provided a stunning finish to the show.

Creative director Maika Crampton pronounced it Front Row’s best fashion event yet, and said: “It’s been an amazing evening. As designers we didn’t see much of the show as we were working backstage to make sure everything went smoothly, but when all the comments and photos and footage came pouring in the following days, we actually realised how well the event was received.

“There have been some extraordinary collections, everyone has outdone themselves - it was such a big step up from last year.

“Four new designers have already asked to take part in the 2013 show.

“The De La Warr Pavilion was the perfect venue. Their event production staff have been very supportive of our little venture from day one which gave us the confidence to do it. Both charities Terrence Higgins Trust and St Michael’s Hospice were able to raise a considerable amount with their raffle and vintage stall - thanks to all the guests who gave generously.”

The winners of this year’s Charity Shop Challenge, which saw entrants create outfits to fit the theme ‘DIVA 2K12’ with a maximum budget of £20, were Lorna Fraser, for Best Drama; Daisy West, for Best Use of Material; and Peter Quinnell won Best Outfit and Creative Excellence, for his all-in-one bodysuit created from a selection of multicoloured jumpers.