If you have a keen eye for fashion, love being in a cultured environment, enjoy tasteful entertainment, and take great pleasure in being part of a positive movement which helps others – then Cottage Green, Camberwell was the place for you to be on 7th December at 4.00pm.
La Jeunesse was a fundraising fashion show, which aimed to join together people from not only London but also the UK. Its aim order to fund and raise awareness for various local and international charities. The fashion show itself consisted of a number of talented and gifted up and coming designers. These designers live in or around London and showcased a wide range of styles for all ethnicities. Whilst the inspiring fundraising fashion show was organised by Zainab Lawal, Athena Kugblenu was the host for the evening. And what an amazing host she was.
Although the doors were open at 4.00pm with the show time set to be at 5.00pm, time was clearly something that had slipped away from those in control that night. The crowd of no more than forty at the time were informed that the fashion show would commence at 6.30pm. But until then, we were ushered to take advantage of the refreshments that were situated in the back left corner of the cold rectangular room.
The stage was centre back of the room, and a vast amount of chairs were placed on either side of the room opposite one other – which then, in turn, created a runway for the models to walk down. At the end of the runway were the press and behind them was the DJ/Soundman for the evening, who continued to play music whilst we all patiently waited for the show to begin.
Almost two hours later, and we were informed that the fashion show and those in it were ready. Yaay! Athena took to the stage like a pro and got the crowd hyped up, laughing and ready to rock and roll right the way through the night. We were told the itinerary for the night and it sounded like one that was not to be missed. And it was not!
The talented, angelic voice, Lilac shear was the first entertainer to take to the stage that night. She beautifully sang various songs which illustrated not only her personality but her passion and love for singing. The crowd appalled and Lilac took the time to highlight us with some background information on herself and her career. She also gave us details on where her music could be found online on various outlets such as Twitter, Facebook etc.
Athena came back on to the stage to introduce the first designer for the night. Juliet Odosa, her elegant, simple coloured designers brought smiles to the crowd and complimented the figure of the beautiful models who also did the dresses justice. Once all of Odosa’s designs were shown, she and Athena took to the stage. It was here that Odosa took the opportunity to inform us on what inspires her designs, how long she has been designing, as well as where we can find and contact her for her designs, etc.
The second designer for the night was Zara Catorie. Zara’s designs were very different from those of Odosa. But yet, they were still amazing and exquisite. Zara’s use of the colour white was seen in almost all her designs. But it was done ever so gracefully. The white was at times added with a block pastel colour which gave the outfit flavour, colour and presence. Once again, Athena took the stage with the designers, where they were then given the floor to inform the crowd a bit more about themselves and their designs. At this point, the room had begun to fill and the atmosphere and vibe were at its prime.
Just in time as not only were we given more information about the fundraising that the Fashion show had been put out for, but the spokeswoman for the Honey Pot charity took the stage and obtained us all with information about the charity and how grateful she was that we all had agreed to contribute to such a positive movement.
Next to take the stage was dance group ‘Studio Afro Latino’. Studio Afro Latino specialises in afro-Caribbean dance and they do so with style and grace. Whilst their performance was no longer than a few minutes, it was just enough to get the crowd’s heads bobbing and fingers clicking.
Once Studio Afro Latino had finished, Athena said, ” were going to take a quick ten-minute break now guys, but don’t go too far”. After the break, the second half of the showcase took the crowd by storm as there were even more amazing designers and entertainers that took the stage and strutted down the runway. La Jeunesse fundraising fashion show may have had a slow start, but all was forgiven and forgotten as it turned out to be an exciting, mind-blowing, unforgettable night.
It is always a wonderful feeling when you can appreciate and celebrate those who have an incredible talent, but it is a priceless emotion when you know you have taken part in something that will in return help others who are less fortunate than yourself and those around. That was exactly what La Jeunesse did for many of us that night.
See more photos below.