by Patricia Belyea
BIRMINGHAM UK At 5pm tonight, The Festival of Quilts Fashion Show began with a glass of wine for all in the theatre that seats 400. Wendy Gardiner (L) welcomed us to the Show and Brenda Killigrew (R) emceed the exciting event.
The garments, made by Festival tutors, British fashion students and designers from across Europe, were modeled by lovely young ladies or the designers themselves.
My favorite designer-model was Marina Ulanova from Russia in her black and white collection. Marina strutted the runway like a diva with everyone in the audience really connecting with her.
A Festival tutor, I don’t make clothes. Instead I brought creative clothing by Janet Foster. Janet, who lives in La Conner, named her three-piece ensemble “Turkish Delight.” The sumptuous vest is made with gently curved piecing, a padded rolled hem, and colorful appliqued tulips. Embellishments included metallic netting, gold stitching, crystals, and stone tulip beads with pearl centers.
One of the recently graduate fashion students, Daisy Collingridge, showed her Quilt Monsters. They were fabulous concoctions that conjured up images of whimsical couture quilts. That’s Daisy hiding in the draped garment in the center.
The other fashion student, Emily Barfield, caught the audience’s attention with translucent wedding dresses that exposed hooped infrastructures and the models’ granny panties.
The hour went quickly, with garment after garment whirling down the runway. The fashions in the show exuded creativity and craftsmanship—all designed to inspire, entertain or challenge.