Issue date: 25 March 2011
'Oxvamp' Fashion Show, the 3rd Floor, Bush House, Bristol
Friday 1 April 2011, doors open at 19:00 for 19:30 start
A group of student volunteers from the University of the West of England have partnered up with Oxfam and Orange Street Creative Studios to help organise the Oxvamp Fashion Show at Bush House in Bristol on Friday 1 April 2011.
The 'Oxvamp' show will feature a collection by UWE Fashion students of reconstructed clothes using donated costumes and secondhand clothes from Oxfam's online shop. A large team of UWE volunteers are planning the event and volunteers from Orange Street Creative Studios, charity based in St Paul's have been up-cycling garments too. The designs will be shown off by models supplied by Room Three Model Agency in Bristol, who are offering their services for free in return for portfolio images that will be taken by UWE photography student Marcus Riley.
Janice Heskett from the Oxfam Oxvamp project says that the Oxfam online shop in Portishead originally organised the event to up-cycle donated vintage dresses but that UWE involvement has dramatically added to this.
Janice Heskett explains, “Our main aims were to raise the profile of Oxfam's online shop and to try to recruit volunteers but I have to say that working with UWE has created so much more and I hope that this is the beginning af a long relationship.
“We received a large donation of military jackets and hats from Angels, the BBC costumiers with some amazing pieces including military clothes and hats, dresses, bus conductor jackets and prison officer jackets. Due to the amount of stock available we thought it would be great to try and get a group of fashionistas, designers and dress makers to up-cycle the clothes into new and exciting designs that we can sell online. The Oxvamp fashion show will raise awareness of the on-line shop and sustainable fashion and help to promote the young designers from UWE.”
One of the designers is Anwyl Cooper Willis who is currently studying towards an MA in Fine Art. She describes her design, “Uniforms are very interesting things that can change a person into something quite different, put a jacket on someone and they immediately become a member of the police force. I have taken three jackets, stitched them together to make a skirt and then added six gloves that hold hands onto the skirt to represent police solidarity. Although I'm not studying fashion I couldn't resist the chance to get involved – the idea of combining Oxfam with the power and control implicit in uniforms seemed too good an opportunity to miss.”
Volunteers from Orange Street Creative Studios in St Paul's have also been busy up-cycling and redesigning garments as part of their Fashion Favours project, a vinvolved project, part of the national youth volunteering program funded by v the youth volunteering charity.
Nick Winter from Orange Street, said, “Our textiles project has been a great success, many young volunteers have been working on donated clothing and redesigning it with spectacular results. They have enjoyed learning and using their creative skills for a worthwhile project, recycling garments into up-cycled fashion items to be sold for charity.”
Students from across UWE are involved in planning the show, including volunteers from journalism, marketing and English. Jo Earl from UWE Volunteering, said, “The University encourages students to volunteer alongside studying to give something back to their local community and to boost their employability. The UWE students involved have shown great initiative and enthusiasm in making this event happen.
Orla Dennehy is studying towards a UWE marketing degree at the Bristol Business School. Speaking for the marketing team she said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in a really exciting project, do some work for a good cause and get some valuable hands on marketing experience."