After six months of hard work and planning, the eagerly anticipated and glamorous Leeds Rag Fashion Show made a momentous return to the Leeds University Union.
The event aims to raise as much money as possible for two local charities: Mencap and The Refugee Council. Last years event raised over £15,000 for local charities.
A 30-person student committee, with two directors and the support of a 60-person production team created a vibrant show with the theme of “Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution” and a cohort of glamourous models paraded edgy and diverse outfits with intervals of entertainment. The clothes were provided by a variety of shops and designers including Blue Rinse, Bolongaro Trevor, Accent Clothing, Lambert’s Yard, Anita Massarella, Daz Rockz and Oh My Love.
Combining live entertainment in between catwalk demos, with spoken poetry, ballet and musical performances, a fresh vibe promoted the idea of philanthropy.
The catwalk demonstrated revolution dramatically with the show split into six scenes: Expect Resistance, Kaleidoscope, Peace for the People, What’s On Your Mind? And Born Naked.
Statements regarding women’s rights, LGBT rights, the dominance of social media and the right to freedom of expression ran strong throughout the show with placards framing the stage and runway.
The runway in fact became a walking timeline of revolution showing inspiration from the loose, free-flowing fabrics of the Seventies paired with I-don’t-care blunt hairstyles and on to the Eighties with structured jacket shapes and reworked military style garments, with disco in mind. Then the audience were thrown into a dystopian future with metallics and daring cuts, in a palette of greys and charcoal, showing the rebellious creative joy fashion can bring.
Chloe Elphick, head of production, said: “The energy in the room was beyond anything than we could have hoped for and the turn out is amazing.”
The energetic buzz of the atmosphere flowed from the stage into the audience who weren’t quiet for one second: applause, laughter and cheering filled the room. A wonderful evening, for wonderful charities.
The styling team were students: Naomi Mullings, Beth Arthurs, Christa Cahill and Ellie Pandya.
Pictures by Ryan Blackwell and Katie Elsworth