Herts Advertiser reporter steps out for catwalk debut at St Albans fashion show

Herts Advertiser's Sophie Crockett on the catwalk

Herts Advertiser's Sophie Crockett on the catwalk

Archant

I am no model, nor do I have any ambition to be one but on Friday I swapped my notepad for a pair of heels and headed to the Cathedral.

Arriving at 9am for an Oaklands College fitting, I began my 12 hour day as a St Albans Fashion Week (SAFW) model trying on some original pieces from their very talented students.

After donning a sheer shift dress, my 5ft 10ins frame proved too tall (and thus the dress too short) and I was soon asked to wear an impressive handmade corset with dramatic black chiffon dress.

I couldn’t believe that these pieces had been designed and handmade by students and it seemed I wasn’t alone, as many of the young designers had already had offers made for their pieces.

As the models and retailers began to trickle in, the buzz around the evening show soon followed.

It was great to see all of the retailers come together and put names to faces, including Caroline Jones, whom I had been speaking to since she began her ‘Knickers Model’s Own’ campaign.

Caroline was set to showcase some of the looks from her very successful campaign, which has seen the mum of three wear solely charity shop clothes for an entire year.

But initial catch ups were cut short as the first rehearsal, a daunting experience for a catwalk newbie , began. It all ran smoothly with military precision and an upbeat vibe that had everyone excited about the evening ahead.

Following a lunch break, it was time for the dress rehearsal where I got to strut my stuff wearing beautiful pieces including a luxury coat from Grace & Oliver (which I was super grateful for on such a chilly October day), a casual but chic outfit from Chloe James, my Oaklands ensemble, and a stunning Jenny Packham dress from The Bride.

Come 3pm I was whisked off to hair and make-up where artists from bareminerals worked their wonders on my face and hairdressers from Hob Salons transformed my lacklustre locks into a beautiful up-do fit for a bride.

By this point, all the models had come together and backstage soon became a sea of mobile phones snapping the best selfie before the show.

The catwalk show began with Grace Woodward’s Graceland Collection and my time to take centre stage was soon approaching; cue the fear of falling flat on my face.

No need to worry, my inner Cara came out and I managed to make it through the first half accident free.

First to take to the catwalk for the second half, the girlie-girl in me came out and I was excited to wear my favourite ensemble - the wedding dress.

I finished the evening wearing Oaklands College and was thrilled to not only have made it through without breaking any bones, but to have also participated in such a wonderful event. SAFW encapsulates the very best of the St Albans expanding fashion scene with all the character of our city.

Models then headed off to Club Batchwood for the hotly anticipated after-party but there was only one place I was going - the Pudding Stop for well-deserved brownie.

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