Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:23

Renaissance: fashions spring re-birth

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Hi readers, it certainly has been some time since we last conversed and I started to think that I would never leave the confines of my sofa, let alone write again until after the 19th of April, the night I attended Fashions Finest "Renaissance" show at Nottingham's swanky Alea Casino.

Fashion is a love which never fails to leave me and it proved to remain high up in my life agenda again after I attended 'Renaissance'. And, if it wasn't good enough to be entertained by a number of emerging designers and their wonderful garments, it was even more a treat to hear a diverse range of fresh musicians perform new music.

Nottingham had more talent than an evening's worth of "Britain's got talent" auditions that night and I was so happy that I had to write you a blow by blow account of the whole night! So here comes the typing and the photos all over again. Retold, in these beautiful photographs taken by Mikey San.

First and foremost opening the show was the lovely and local Josh Kemp. Josh played us to two acoustic numbers, one "a love song in his own modest words" apparently, which I enjoyed as he sung it beautifully to me!

Josh is definitely one to watch and has been touring constantly, playing no less than two hundred and fifty venues last year so we heard. His soulful voice, lifting melodies, bone structure and that determination will serve him well and I do hope to hear more from him in the near future although I'm not sure he knows my phone number yet!
The fashion parade then commenced in a spectacular of colour and celebration thanks to talented new-comer Callecia J brown. Very much a fan of the Edwardian era, the forties, fifties and all fabrics wonderful and bright, Callecia combined all these influences to make, in my opinion a modern remake of 'My fair lady' and the result was stunning.  I loved this collection with its ruffles, tailoring and bright African inspired geometric prints and so would the Edwardians if they'd have been so lucky to have worn her designs!
Continuing with the Edwardian theme, young designer Joey Storer made me very proud when I watched his elegant Edwardian inspired feminine clothes glide down the catwalk alongside recent creations made this year during his first year at Nottingham Trent University studying knitwear and design. I was drawn to Joey's bold use of colour, print and contoured design when I first saw his collection at West Nottinghamshire College fashion show last year. To see his progression into knitwear since was a real treat. Bold block colour and a real flair for shape and styling were evident for all to see on his first ever public catwalk and I predict that we will be seeing a lot more from Joey in the near future!
Giving the models a rest and arresting our ears with his fine blend of soulful lyrics, rhyme and his memorable 'let's get funky' dancehall style track then was the unforgettable P.Nology. Admitting soon into his act that he was the one who chatted up Kelly Rowland live on the 'X –factor' last year, we all found it hard to see why he didn't win over her heart fully with his cheeky humour and charisma. Recently touring with Dappy and with a European tour to many clubbing destinations ahead of him, I think we will be seeing a lot more of this man and I certainly couldn't get that tune out of my head that night or, the next day for that matter. 
Returning to fashion from yesteryear, emerging designer Helena Ocansey then took us on an alternative history trip to the French revolution through the eyes of Marianne Antoinette. In Helena's words, her clothes portrayed "a celebration of life during the French revolution". Instead of portraying Marianne's fear of persecution when her popularity fell with the French public, bright prints designed by Helena adorning beautifully boned and corseted garments sang out a celebration of life in colour! Indeed, a very talented designer, re-writing history right before our eyes.
Taking inspiration from London night life and tailoring beautifully fitting clothing, newcomer, Dean Dufurn exhibited his 'Butterfly' entitled collection. Celebrating feminine curves and contours, Dean exhibited a wonderful collection of tailored with clever ruffled embellishment and detailing.
As if things couldn't get any better for me, I then got to see the acclaimed Zeeno Dee Designs, Winner of Fashions Finest Top designer of 2013. Showcasing, clever detailing such as pleats, geometric patterns and futuristic contours, Zeeno took my breath away with her attention to detail. I particularly liked the geometric fashioned, Grecian –come- modernistic galactic number. So trident and beautiful like model Lily Hannah Appleton-Goldstraw wearing it. And then there was the white dress. Oh how I wish I had that dress in my wardrobe and the Grecian escape to warrant its wear or maybe a red carpet award ceremony.
Finally, one lady who looked and sounded every inch red carpet worth was Ava Rose. A regular backstage volunteer at Fashions finest and clearly a very talented singer undiscovered until now,  Ava took our breath away with her soulful tones, raw with emotion and experience of a performer twice her age. A real beauty, singing in a unique style which could stand equally against the likes of Nina Simone.
And if that wasn't good enough, I also won a prize on the raffle!! A NYX make up goody bag which I will eagerly await its delivery from Nikki Tipping, makeup artist to the models in the show, our own blogger at Fashions finest and my face saviour!

Prizes a-side, the show did have a serious intent and the raffle was undertaken to raise money for YCR Young citizens of Rwanda, a charity set up Jemrose Walker from Nottingham to help the child  and teen survivors of the genocide which happened twenty years ago. Orphaned and Left with no parents, finances, education or prospects, these young people had nothing until Jemrose left her life in Nottinghamshire and moved to Rwanda. There she rented a 'safe house' to accommodate young people and continues to raise money to provide education, guidance, food and housing for this group of vulnerable young people. Speaking to her sister Shearon that evening, I was truly moved to hear of her sister's determination to help the young people succeed in life and achieve things we all take for granted such as having an education and being able to eat every day. I couldn't think of a more worthy cause to donate money.

All in all, a highly entertaining evening for a worthy cause. Definitely worth leaving the sofa for, and the best way to see spring in.

Photos by Mikey San. Mikey San/twitter@whoismikey

See the full gallery of photos here

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