Kent Barker

Hastings’ own home-grown fashion show – Front Row – has just been accorded national recognition and an additional showing at a prestigious London location.

This Saturday, 26th November, the show opens at the De La Warr pavilion in Bexhill with creations from eclectic British designers. It then moves to London’s Southbank Centre for a specially choreographed second event.

The highlight of both shows will be 17 shortlisted entries in the ‘Charity Shop Design Challenge’. This encourages up-and-coming young designers to create an entire look for less than £30 spent in a charity shop.

Front Row founder and Creative Director Maika Crampton said: “£30 is only the tiniest fraction of what most designers would think of spending on materials. It’s a massive challenge, yet in the past we’ve seen some extraordinarily innovative and creative designs produced. Now we’re going nationwide and I think it will be even more exciting. There are absolutely no creative boundaries! And we have big plans to exhibit the winning designs at various locations throughout the country next year.”

Front Row began in Hastings in 2008 and last year’s sell-out show got national media coverage and filled the De La Warr Pavilion with creative designs from 40

independent and student designers from fashion colleges mainly in the South East of England.

This week-end’s event will be hosted by actor and musician Rachel Spinetti, while the awards for Best Overall Design and Creative Excellence will be presented by Academy Award winning costume designers Jenny Beavan and John Bright. Musical entertainment will be provided by Maggie K de Monde of Scarlet Fantastic and French Electro/Rock band Pussy Chérie.

“It’s been tremendously exciting to see the show grow from modest origins in a Hastings back-room to the national event we’ve got this year. Charity shops are one of the fastest growing retail sectors and we’re

delighted to be able to promote them along with our specially selected charities, the Terrance Higgins Trust and the local St Michael’s Hospice,” said Maika. “We’re also constantly thrilled and amazed by the talent of young British designers – particularly from along the South Coast. We hope and expect to see their work on the international catwalks before long.

The Front Row organisers are also hosting one of the country’s biggest independent Vintage Fairs at the De La Warr Pavilion on Sunday 27th November from 11.00 am. In collaboration with Red Rose Vintage Fairs there will be more than forty stalls, a classic car display and live entertainment.