Image above: Adele Parks and Gaby Roslin with Jacks Thomas; photograph Jim Cox
Cream teas and couture
“I was worried we weren’t going to get enough clothes, but we were inundated. It took six days to sort them all out.”
Paula Nelson, co-organiser of the fashion show at St Michael & All Angels Church on Saturday (20 January), doesn’t seem like the type to spend her days sorting second hand clothes. A very elegant, retired corporate barrister, she found herself elbow deep in ‘pre-loved’, or vintage clothing when she agreed to organise the event with Jacks Thomas in aid of the church’s three charities.
It was a huge success. If you’re thinking ‘jumble sale’, think again. These were not piles of second hand clothes on tables for the public to rummage though. These were designer labels – Christian Dior, Hardy Amies, Bruce Oldfield, a Vanessa Bruno navy coat, an Ashish beaded skirt and a cream silk blouse from Alexandra Shulman’s wardrobe, and Biba originals, tastefully arranged on clothing rails in the aisles.
Image above: The models showing off the designer clothes; L to R: Kay Porter, Helen Dods, Fr Brandon, Sarah Nelson and Lizzie Ellen.
The trick is not to put out too many, maintaining the air of exclusivity. There was no undignified squabbling, as you might find at the more common variety of clothes sale hitherto mentioned, but let’s just say that when the starting gun was fired to go and buy whatever it was they had their eye on, the ladies of St Michael & All Angels Church set off like greyhounds in the slips, and many went home with absolute bargains.
Image above: Like greyhounds in the slips
The nave of the Arts & Crafts church made a natural catwalk, with a little reorganisation of the pews around tables set for afternoon tea. Among the models was Father Brandon Fletcher-James, Curate of the parish, who after sashaying down the aisle was pleased to take his suit home with him.
TV presenter Gaby Roslin and novellist Adele Parks chatted briefly to Jacks about their books, Spread the Joy (Gaby’s) and Just Between Us (Adele’s) and pianists Tom Dupernex and Will Hopkins created a relaxed ambiance (with the same effect as supermarket music on happy shoppers, but so much classier), mellowed further by a nice bottle of Prosecco.
A masterclass (mistress class?) in how to arrange an enjoyable event and separate the participants from their cash in aid of charity.
Image above: Torin Douglas and Jane Davies enjoying the afternoon with Lesley Exley
Images above: Models on the catwalk; photographs Jix Cox
Images above: Photographs from the afternoon, including Gaby Roslin and Adele Parks; Jacks Thomas and Fr Brandon; proud raffle prize winner Carol Douglas, wearing her own wool crepe Jean Muir dress and church photographer Jim Cox, wearing a suit he had hand made in Liverpool in the 1960s (that he can still get into!) and a kipper tie. Chiswick Calendar editor Bridget Osborne sharing a laugh with Paula Nelson; photograph Jim Cox.
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