Service users turn fashionistas through innovative link-up

A group of Eden House service users have joined forces with female fashion designers in Bristol to put on a catwalk show.

The group of female service users, managed by BGSW CRC at Eden House have been participating in weekly sessions with Tail End fashion designer and label director Fran Rennison.

These workshops supported the service users to explore their creativity, learn valuable practical skills and to work as a team to produce garments and accessories for themselves and their families, culminating in a glamorous fashion show at the Old Market Assembly in May.

Beverley, not her real name, was one of those to take part in the rewarding experience. She said: “At the beginning I didn’t want to go in to the group as the last time I did sewing I was 15 in college. At the time the women were about to do tie dye with t-shirts. I was surprised and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then we decided to do trousers, cut the pattern out, starting them from scratch, pockets waist bands, the whole lot. At first I felt a bit dubious, didn’t have faith in myself about it, but we had faith in Fran.”

“I didn’t expect the show to go as well as it did. The clothes looked fantastic. It made me so proud that we’d come from doing none of this before and then there we were watching models parade what we had made, a huge achievement in itself. When they made us stand up to applaud us, I felt so proud and so embarrassed. We felt like celebrities, coming down the stairs afterwards, people were stopping us and thanking us. Just no words can explain how good that felt. For me the fashion show is something that I’ll never forget, a night to remember.”

Beverley has now decided to get a sewing machine so she can put her new skills into practice at home.