Brighton Fashion Week Talks: May

Vanessa Austin Locke gives us the lowdown on the schedule for BFW 2012 and takes to the runway herself for The Martlets Hospice

It seems a long time since I wrote my last column here but I think that’s because so much has happened I can’t quite believe it’s possible to cram all that into one month.

BFW HQ is buzzing and none of us are getting much sleep. The thought that the event is only two months away makes me feel slightly sick, but it’s also really exciting. I can reveal that our very own Jess Eaton will be headlining the all new Zeitgeist Show (associate sponsor iCrossing). I was chatting to Jess just the other day and she was telling me about the new collection. Roadkill Couture, which went down a storm last year, is the ultimate in recycling. Jess takes animals that have died of natural causes, been killed on our roads, or used for consumption, and she turns them into couture. Controversial you might think, and it’s true that there’s a conversation to be had there but that’s part of what BFW likes to encourage; open dialogue and artistic debate.

This year Jess’s collection has grown up a bit and she’s working with much more urban, futuristic themes. Someone’s just donated her an alpaca with dreads so look out for that on the catwalk! Other confirmed designers include Joe Goode, Charles of London, Arthur and Betty, Park So Yen and Jenivieve Berlin among a whole host of talent, which we’ll be revealing more of shortly. I’m also here to let you know that this year, the host of The Ready to Wear Show will be Joey Bevan of Britain’s Next Top Model.

So, the schedule is looking something like this with more being added daily:

The Brighton Frocks ShowWednesday 30 May, All Saints Church, Hove

The Zeitgeist Show (associate sponsor iCrossing)Thursday 31 May, All Saints Church, Hove

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The Photocopy Club(does Fashion)Friday 1 June, Create Studio

The Ready to Wear ShowSaturday 2 and Sunday 3 June, Brighton Corn Exchange

The Closing Party Sunday 3 June, venue TBC

For tickets please visit  

I wanted to let you know about a great competition we have coming up too. Business Cash Advance who are the sponsor of our Ready to Wear Show are holding a competition for the Best Dressed Window, with a substantial cash prize. All you need to do is submit a picture of your lovingly dressed window which will go before our panel of judges and the winner will be announced live at The Ready to Wear Show. If you’re in trade and think your shop window is picture perfect then get in touch at and we’ll let you know how to enter.

In other fashion news I had a bit of a buzz last week at The Martlets Charity fashion show, Stepping Out In Style. Years ago (more than I care to admit to) I did a spot of runway modelling and Tramp Vintage Boutique asked me if I’d come out of retirement for one night only to support the work of this incredible hospice, which is, incidentally, where my stepmother (not wicked) works. Well of course I couldn’t say no but I was absolutely petrified. The thing is, when you’re walking at LFW or something like that, it’s so big that you don’t really see anyone. All you see is a wall of flashing lights in front of you and before you know it you’re off. With a show like this though, the audience are about two feet away from you, and you can see all their faces and your mates are there trying to make you giggle. Luckily for me, one of my friends and Brighton belle Grace Cruise, who I think I’ve pointed out to you before, was also modelling for Tramp and we had a stiff drink backstage and whatdya know? Everything was fine. I might even go so far as saying that I enjoyed it.

Everyone was lovely, the girls from Walk in Wardrobe looking endlessly glam, Profile and Box 2 looking sleek and Bugsy Pants having fun as usual. Peter Jarrette compered beautifully and was a friendly face to have at the end of the runway. Most importantly lots of cash was raised for the incredible Martlets Hospice and what’s more... I didn’t fall over!

Images courtesy of Stuart Grimwood  

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