The Funky Fashion Fling
On Monday 30th January, family and friends of the members of IWA’s Knockmitten Youth Cafė, gathered together in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel to see the young people strut their stuff on the runway as they took part in the Funky Fashion Fling.
The Youth Cafė in Knockmitten, Clondalkin is for young people with and without disabilities from 13 to 21 years old. The Funky Fashion Fling was the latest project for members of the club. Their friends in the Bray Youth Cafė had so much fun organising and presenting last year’s ‘Wheely Cool Fashion Show’ that they decided to follow suit and organise one of their own.
The planning stage began in late 2016; they needed a venue, clothes, a running order for the show, raffle prizes, an MC...so much to do! The Louis Fitzgerald Hotel was sourced as the ideal venue for the show and there was great delight when they confirmed their availability for the night. Next the gang headed to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre to ask local retailers for support. Moss Bros, Aeropostale and Vila were very happy to supply them with clothes for the show whilst many other shops in Liffey Valley offered their support by way of prizes to be raffled on the night. All funds raised on the raffle would go towards covering the cost of the fashion show.
Then it was onto a running order for the show. The cafė members decided on the rounds they would have like a mask round, a casual wear round and a sleep wear round but they also wanted to bring something a little different to their show; something that combined fashion and disability. This is where Izzy Wheels came in.
Izzy Wheels is a company which manufactures a range of personalised spoke guards for wheelchairs. It’s run by Ailbhe Keane and inspired by her sister Izzy who is a wheelchair user. Ailbhe and Izzy have always had a passion for fashion. Ailbhe who studies design wanted her sister to have a way to coordinate her chair with her clothes and so she began designing personalised spoke guards for wheelchairs. Ailbhe was contacted about the Funky Fashion Fling and agreed to come on board for the evening. Ailbhe, along with a number of other designers and illustrators, even created a special collection – The Roll Models collection – of wheel artwork to be launched on the night.
When the night finally arrived, the nervous but excited models had one final meeting before the doors opened and the crowd streamed in. Families chatted to each other while they waited to see their loved ones ‘do their thang!’ The show kicked off at 8p.m. with the mask round – Ant + Dec, Sir Alan Sugar and Tommy Cooper were just some of the celebrities walking down the red carpet. Guiding us through the show were MC’s Lia and Dave Barry (Youth Worker). This was followed by the sleepwear round, which finished with the young people bashing a sleeping Dave with pillows! Then we had the casual round, the formal wear round and the sportswear round. Throughout the show, the crowd were on their feet dancing along to the music and cheering as their loved ones took to the red carpet. There were plenty of cameras flashing in our models eyes, giving them the real model experience. Between each round, lots of prizes were raffled off.
The final round of the night was dedicated to the unveiling of Izzy Wheels ‘Roll Models’ collection. Nine new and special designs were unveiled with the help of all the guys who are manual wheelchair users. There were lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as the models wheeled by.
When the show was over we were treated to lovely finger food prepared by the staff of the Louis Fitzgerald and the tunes continued as everyone relaxed and chilled out after the hectic preparation for the show.
An enjoyable experience for all!