Kilburn: Gaumont State hosts charity fashion show

The Gaumont State played host to an evening of fashion, glamour and music for the Oxjam Kilburn festival

ICONIC doors reopened to the public for the first time in nearly 15 years to allow the community to enjoy a night of fashion, glamour and music.

The famous art deco Gaumont State theatre, in Kilburn High Road, was one of the largest cinema auditoriums in Europe when it opened in 1937, and it was restored to its original glory last Friday when it played host to a charity fashion show.

The show was put on by organisers of Oxjam Kilburn, a month long music, and fashion and comedy festival put on to raise money for the anti poverty charity Oxfam.

Mark Liburd from Rauch Ministries, who own the Gaumont State, said: “The main reason we agreed to the show was to support the work Oxfam is doing. We really believe in the work they do, and we wanted to do something for the community, so this seemed like a great option.”

Graduates from all over London were called upon to get their design hats on. Their challenge was to redesign an item of clothing they found in an Oxfam store on a budget of just �15 which was then showcased under a panel of judges and available to buy on the night.

Organiser and Oxjam volunteer Jodi fabricated the idea of fusing the joys of music and fashion after having worked in fashion events organisation herself.

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She said: “When I volunteered for Oxjam in May I thought about what I could bring to the festival and decided on putting together the fashion show.”

Sima Rahman, a designer who entered the competition said: “I was told I had a week and just �15, so it was a difficult task.”

Against a back drop of British new wave sounds provided by DJ’s Nimble Fingerz, Jack Swift and DJ Scott Langley, and the opulent interiors of the Gaumont State, a line up of stunning models glided down sweeping staircases in an array of unique and on trend looks.

Sima Rahman created a Parisian meets dolly girl chic ensemble, while designer Flore Edith teamed a stunning French Riviera long green gown, with a large black hat.

Jodi explained that: “all the designers had excelled themselves” and judge and menswear designer Domingo Rodriguez said: “I was really impressed with what they did with such small budgets.”

The mood was intensified with intimate performances by soulful singer Hawa Power and Indie rock band I Love Zagreb.

In between guests enjoyed refreshments and explored an Oxfam fashion pop-up shop, where new donations of coats, dresses, shoes and jewellery were on sale.

As the designers and models made their curtain call, the judges Domingo Rodriguez and Hasan Hejazi, whose collection has been bought by Harrods in Knightsbridge, announced the winning design – a tailored heritage green and brass button coat dress by Canadian student Renee Lacroix.

Ms Lacroix, is originally from Montreal in Canada, moved to London a month ago and her winning design was the first full outfit she has made since moving.

She fashioned her dress from an original large floor length coat from Oxfam, she said: “I am really pleased. I was not expecting to win because the standard was really high, and you can never expect that. But I did my best and I got rewarded.”

The winning design immediately sold for �65 for Oxfam.

The night was inevitably a celebratory fusion of divides.

The old met the new as upcoming local designers showcased amid the stunning backdrop of the Gaumont State’s historical art deco design.

Music coordinated with fashion for an evening of raw talent, and a mix of local fashionista’s and residents joined together to appreciate Oxjam Kilburn in an extraordinary venue.

Oxjam organisers are putting on a series of events across Kilburn throughout October, culminating in a music takeover of five venues along the Kilburn High Road on October 23.

Acts includes Oxford based band Spring Offensive and Rubicks, Nylo, Phantom, Dansette Junior, Red Drapes and Juan Zelada.

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