Chorleywood designer of world's most expensive diamond dress, Debbie Wingham, helps aspiring youngsters (From Watford Observer)
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Chorleywood designer of world's most expensive diamond dress, Debbie Wingham, helps aspiring youngsters
A Chorleywood fashion designer, who has just designed the world's most expensive diamond dress, is giving children a chance to shine at London Fashion Week.
Debbie Wingham - designer of a red diamond abaya valued at $17.7 million - is setting up Future of Fashion creative academies to help youngsters follow in her footsteps.
Aspiring designers aged seven to 16 will get the first experience at the Chorleywood Village Day on Saturday, July 12.
Debbie, whose creations have been featured in exclusive fashion magazines Vogue, Elle and Vanity Fair and on popular US dramas Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty, will be running two catwalks at midday and 3pm in the main arena area.
Children taking part will be doing different creative fashion design activities throughout the day to showcase during the catwalk - and one child will be offered a guaranteed place at London Fashion Week 2015.
Debbie said: "I always intended to open a fashion academy when I had the right amount of experience and success to teach.
"I love fashion and adore working with children - I have three of my own.
"I like to give back to my local community too, hence why I am launching the academy in this area first.
"Plus, let’s face it, the fashion academy may not be diamond-encrusted but it will be very high profile. Who else has put a group of children in a show during London Fashion Week?"
It will be the first time children designers have ever showcased at the world famous fashion event.
Debbie continued: "Children are the future of fashion and the future of any other industry for that matter.
"Once Future of Fashion is up and running I fully intend to branch out and run it nationally. "Infact it may become international, as a number of my Arabian clients are interested to enrol their children."
Future of Fashion will officially launch during the summer holidays as week-long workshops where pupils can create millinery (hats), accessories - including bags, jewellery and shoes - customise clothing and make fashion fancy nibbles. Both boys and girls are welcome and will be given projects to suit.
Pupils will learn skills of upcycling, template and pattern-making skills, design and mood-board techniques.
Their work will be displayed in a finale show at the end of the week in front of the media and scouts from two London fashion colleges.
The first Future of Fashion will be in Dr.Challoners high school in Little Chalfont starting August 4. See www.futureoffashion.co.uk for more details.
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