The first LGBT+ university fashion show in Durham is coming this summer on the 17th of June to raise money for the Albert Kennedy Trust. indigo gets an exclusive first look with its co-founders, Pauli Soravia and Coco Collard.
What inspired you to put on the fashion show?
PS: Well, it was more of a project that was handed down to us from the president of Durham University’s LGBT+ Association, but we both really wanted to take charge because of our previous experiences modelling for fashion shows at university. Durham does love a good fashion show!
CC: Yes, we thought it would be so empowering to put on an LGBT+ fashion show and such a nice change from the heteronormative fashion shows that we normally see here in Durham, which can sometimes be quite exclusionary for people from the community. And there has not been a university LGBT+ fashion show ever in the UK, which makes it a cool thing to be a part of.
PS: But our primary aim is to raise money for an amazing national charity, Albert Kennedy Trust, which has been doing so much good in helping and supporting homeless LGBT+ youths in the UK.
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Tell us more about the theme of the LGBT+ fashion show, ‘Uprising’.
CC: If we look at the way rights were accessed and maintained in the LGBT+ community like the Stonewall riots and other protest movements, it was mostly through active resistance and uprising. It is a concept that is very endemic to LGBT history and the community, in general. At the same time, uprising is also about accessing your identity and finding joy through that process. So, the fashion show takes a darker, grittier look at the origins of LGBT+ movements but it will also be a celebration of identity, self-love and joy.
How do you think the fashion show will impact the LGBT+ community in Durham?
PS: As part of the community myself, I feel like there is not much to cater to us beyond Monday at Osbourne’s (Durham’s only LGBT+ night). The fashion show will be a huge step forward towards accessibility. It will give people an opportunity to access fashion in a new way, as we are featuring brands that make non-binary clothing and casting models from different backgrounds with different identities. It will also just be a great night to meet other people and enjoy ourselves.
CC: To add to that, I’d say the fashion show will also be a celebration of the creativity of Durham’s LGBT+ community because we have so much talent from our student community coming together to make this event happen, from helping out with choreography to agreeing to perform their drag or pole-dancing routines during the show.
Through this project, we have also gotten in touch with Glow, a company looking to put on more LGBT+ nights in Durham next year. They will be running the after party for our fashion show and it will be a great sneak peek for what’s to come for our community!
Let’s hear from some of the models!
Get your tickets here!