Team London Bridge and CoolTan Arts Produce Fashion Show for London Bridge Community

CoolTan Arts took to the catwalk for the second time this year, putting on a special fashion show for the London Bridge Community, organised in collaboration with Team London Bridge on Thursday 31st May.
Held in Bermondsey’s Cable Club, under the arches of London Bridge Station, the intimate underground venue provided a very atmospheric setting to show off CoolTan’s fabulous collection.
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The show’s theme commemorated Dickens’ Bicentenary and drew inspiration from his fictional characters, such as Nancy and the Artful Dodger, from Oliver Twist, and Miss Havisham, from Great Expectations.
The first half of the show featured batik garments made by CoolTan Arts Participants Liz Innes and Ese Imonioro using the traditional wax method. The models looked sensational wearing Victorian style long black dresses with vibrant corsets and draped with colourful batik accents.
The second half of the show had the feel of a performance with models dressed as Dickensian characters parading down the catwalk accompanied by readings prepared by our CoolTan poets.
The grand finale was the appearance of Miss Havisham in her famous wedding dress. This was a show-stopping look comprised of a variety of different fabric pieces including dyed grey lace, jewels and a head-to-toe-veil.
A sing-along brought the show to an entertaining end, with the audience and CoolTan members joining together to sing ‘Consider yourself (our friend)’ from the 1968 film Oliver Twist.
Afterwards CoolTan Arts and members of the London Bridge business community enjoyed an informal reception and talked more about CoolTan’s work. When asked for thoughts about the show the audience feedback was overwhelmingly positive, describing the event as “uplifting”, ”imaginative” and “inspiring”.
“The atmosphere was fantastic, the models walked with such confidence and presented the characters beautifully,” said Asia Kalbarczyk from The Draft House.
Lorraine Eyers from City Hall said “I really enjoyed the whole evening. The show was creative, inventive and really good fun!”
Georgina Dawkins Business Manager at Team London Bridge said of the event: “It’s been fantastic to see the hard work of so many people coming together to produce such a successful and fitting showcase for the Dickens Bicentenary and to raise awareness of the great work that CoolTan Arts does with local people.
“The poetry written especially for each costume really evoked the characters being portrayed and created a wonderful atmosphere in the arches of Cable.
“We’ve had excellent feedback from everyone who came along and we’d love to see the CoolTan Arts Fashion Show replicated in one of the larger London Bridge businesses for an evening event.”

Watch this space for info on CoolTan Arts’ next fashion show!
Hair and makeup were provided by The Stress Exchange and items in the goody bags came from several local London Bridge businesses.
Photographs with thanks to Diana Patient ( ), Deejay Nye and Eva Megias.

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