Charity fashion show

Models are being groomed for a fashion show to raise money for the endangered Suffolk Horse. By Katy Evans.

Well-bred fashionistas will be turning out in force to support a charity fashion show next week to help the much-loved Suffolk horse.

Photographer: Simon Parker

Models: Georgie and Deborah

MODELS are being groomed for a charity fashion show which aims to raise money for a popular and endangered breed of horse.


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Suffolks are iconic in the farming community but they are becoming increasingly rare. One local lady is so enamoured with the big friendly giants that she has called upon her work in the fashion world to raise much needed funds.

Isabel Clover, lecturer in art and design at the Suffolk College, has enlisted the help of a number of county-wide business to take part in the show at Endeavour House in Ipswich next week.

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“The horse needs help,” implores Isabel, who has worked at the college for 39 years.

“The reason for staging the show at the council building was because I wanted to try and bring the whole of Suffolk into the heart of Ipswich; bringing the country to the town, so to speak.”

“The Suffolk breed is a symbol of Suffolk's agricultural community,” adds Isabel. “It's part of the trinity – along with Red Pol Cattle and Suffolk sheep - and I felt this event would help bring the county together with the common aim of helping this magnificent animal.”

Isabel is a teacher of embroidery at the College and is also the creator of the Charter Wall Hangings – beautiful tapestries depicting the history of Ipswich through the centuries - which are currently on display at the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre (but have also been on show around the county).

She came up with the idea for the fashion show last September and enlisted the help of fellow horse lover and part-time model Jo Dodds to help organise the event. Together they are staging the catwalk show with the help of Ipswich hairdressers Renaissance, and make-up artist Nicola McHardy from BodyLines, also of Ipswich.

Former Pupils Rebecca Spragge and Carlos Patrick will also be displaying work in the fashion show. After a foundation course in art, Rebecca went on to study theatre costume in Liverpool and will be showing some of her beautiful and intricate corsets and wedding designs.

Carlos Patrick, originally from Cuba but now living in Kesgrave, will show his jazzy new black and white collection which takes inspiration from the 20s.

Coes of Ipswich (who also have stores throughout the county) will be showing men's and women's casual wear, Simply Splendid of Needham Market will dazzle the audience with their stunning evening gowns, and Susan Rooke of Woodbridge will be providing occasion wear and mother of the bride outfits, perfect for any spring or summer wedding ort garden party.

Around 10 other fashion businesses will be exhibiting on the night, including Chica Shoes, Elizabeth Gash knitwear, High Fliers country wear, plus jewellery, scarves and hat hire.

Isabel deliberately targeted business both in Ipswich and throughout Suffolk to take part in the show, again to unite all of Suffolk for a common cause.

“The horse really does tug at the heart strings so I hope lots of people will come to show their support and have a great evening,” concludes Isobel.

The charity fashion show in aid of the Suffolk Punch Horse is on March 16 in the Atrium at Endeavour House, Russell Road, Ipswich. The event opens at 6pm with trade stalls and the catwalk show is at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 (including wine) available from Susan Rooke in Woodbridge, Simply Splendid inn Needham Market, and the reception desk at Endeavour House in Ipswich.

Address Book

Simply Splendid; Needham Market, The Station Yard, 01449 722969.

Susan Rooke, 1 Market Hill, Woodbridge, 01394 386570.

Coes, Norwich Road, Ipswich, 01473 256061.

Rebecca Spragge, 520 Earlham Road, Norwich, 01603 502172.

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