North Devon designer take her new collection of glamorous over 60s fashion to catwalk competition.
TAKING to the international catwalk might not be something normally associated with the over 60s, but a fashion designer from Umberleigh is determined to change the script.
Olivia Ann May, a final-year fashion textiles student at Middlesex University took her new collection on to the public stage for the first time on Thursday at the university’s fashion degree show.
Her work was modelled by 83-year-old Daphne Selfe, known as “the world’s oldest supermodel”, who has spent a lifetime in front of the camera.
Joining the well known octogenarian were fellow senior models 73 year old Jan de Villeneuve, 73 and Pam Lucas, 62.
Olivia’s classmates opted for more conventional professional model, but the 22-year-old is passionate about how older people look and concerned by the ageism which she says exists in fashion.
“How the elderly dress is being forgotten about in the fashion industry and the outfits you find on the high street for this age group are boring,” said Olivia, who currently lives in north London.
“I am passionate about how older people look – glamour, sophistication and style are all things I want to bring to their every day dress.
“We are working later and women still need a working wardrobe into their 60s and 70s. Generally there is nothing around which can make an older women feel fabulous and this needs to change.”
Commenting on Olivia’s Work, 83-year-old model Daphne Selfe, said: “It’s fantastic! The pieces are suitable for my age and yet they’re colourful and unusual.
“The colour is lovely, in London we always have so much black, black is a kind of uniform for London, so it’s nice to wear some colour for a change and I very much like working amongst young people.”
The 70-plus fashion and fashion textile students were using the show to compete for a place at a Middlesex University event at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, later this year.
Who went through was up to a panel of UK fashion designers, Louise Gray, Carolyn Massey and Richard Nicholl, with a decision due to be announced this week.