Barbados’ Top Model – Sara Collins: Front Row at Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief Haiti

Twas the night before London Fashion Week,
when all through Somerset House
every celebrity was bustling…why even Kate Moss!
With an 8 hour flight to London still hanging in the air,
I prayed that St. Cambpell’s fashions
would make my night something shiny to share!

Sir Bob Geldof with his wife Jeanne Marine and daughter Tiger Lily Geldof

Sir Bob Geldof with his wife Jeanne Marine and daughter Tiger Lily Geldof

Pinching myself several times to ensure I was truly here in London and at one of the many hot shows I had on my itinerary, I sipped Chambord diced Champagne and chatted away to the likes of Top Shop mogul Sir Philip Green as well as Founder of Live Aid and Live8, Sir Bob Geldof (there to see his daughter Pixie strut her stuff on the catwalk), as we waited for this event to begin. There was no resisting the donation of £40 in return for one of the limited edition Vivienne Westwood Charity T-Shirts -which then had me contemplating if I should wear it over my silver leopard print dress…how très chic! With access to the ‘behind the scenes‘ venue, I popped my head backstage to see Geri Halliwell test run the catwalk whilst the fashion papparazzi battled out the best spot for photography outside. And so my jetlag was utterly forgotten and I knew this evening could only get even better! And it certainly did!

Geri Halliwell of The Spice Girls

Geri Halliwell of The Spice Girls

Always a star studded event Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief this year aimed at raising money for The White Ribbon Alliance to help victims of the Haitian earthquake. Specifically aimed at the health needs and rights of women and girls worldwide, White Ribbon Alliance will be helping to support the rebuilding of the healthcare system for mothers and their babies in Haiti. With tickets to this well sought after show starting at £75 and rising to a whopping £650 for top seats, more than 400 people attended. Seen were the likes of actress Jolie Richardson and Joanna Lumley sitting front row. I felt humbled by how the outside world was coming together to help our Caribbean island!

Comedians David Walliams and James Corden snogging at the end of the runway

Comedians David Walliams and James Corden snogging at the end of the runway

Welcomed by Naomi’s credited mentor, the Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown, we were all thanked jokingly for being at the show with the words: “You are about to see some really fantastic ‘catwalking’ stars. And this is absolutely as far as I’m going to go down this runway.” Once Mrs. Brown left the stage and our giggling had subsided, we were heartened by a live performance by Beverly Knight (wearing Ashish) who sang “Soul Survivor” after being introduced by Sting’s wife Trudie Styler.

Host International Top Model Naomi Campbell hits the runway in Alexander McQueen.

Host International Top Model Naomi Campbell hits the runway in Alexander McQueen.

Naomi, of course, then opened the fashion show with bang of a walk, followed by singers along with reality TV stars, actresses, people who are just famous for being famous and other supermodels – all prancing out in style in the most amazing designs by Alexander McQueen, Diane von Fuerstenberg, Christopher Kane, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Ungaro, Moschino, Jasmine de Milo and Jenny Packham. We saw the likes of supermodels Kate Moss and Eva Herzigova, Annabelle Neilsen, Geri Halliwell, Britian’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, Andrew Flintoff, Girls Aloud singers Nicola Roberts and Kimberly Walsh, The Saturdays, Alexandra Burke, Jo Wood, singer Jamelia, accompanied by her daughters Teja and Tiani, Dame Shirley Bassey, David Walliams and James Corden, Erin O’Connor, Denise Van Outen, Larry Lamb, Pixie Geldof, David Gandy, Amber and Yasmin Le Bon, Alice Dellal, Roisin Murphy and even Naomi’s mother Valeri Campbell! My head got tired from all the zipping from side to side as they passed in splendid form, one after the other! Wow! What a blast of beautiful fashion and for such a good cause!

Dame Shirley Bassey

Dame Shirley Bassey

Highlights of the night were the tribute to Alexander McQueen with Kate Moss (who made this her second catwalk outing in over 6 years) that went hand in hand with Naomi Campbell and Alexander McQueen’s Muse, Annabelle Neilsen, strutting his most amazing dresses. Later the same dress Kate wore was snapped up in the auction that followed by Philip Green for a whooping £100,000! David Walliams and James Corden camping down the runway and snogging at the end of it; a very pregnant Denise Van Outen gracing us with her “yummy mummy tummy” in a beautiful floaty white Jasmine de Milo; a scrumptious looking David Gandy making us ladies drool as he sauntered down the runway; London based model Tolula Adeyemi stumbling in the painstakingly uber-high platform heels yet being encouraged by the crowd for her quick recovery; a Damian Hirst painting going for £300,000 and a “Naomi for Haiti” Lotus Evora bought by Naomi’s partner, Vladislav Doronin for the highest bid for the night of £320,000.

Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen's Muse Annabelle Neilsen, Naomi Campbell paying tribute to Alexander McQueen

Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen's Muse Annabelle Neilsen, Naomi Campbell paying tribute to Alexander McQueen

Rounding up approx. £1.4 million with the auction included the whole night was a huge fundraising success. Other items are still available to bid online so the total end is expected to be much higher!

The crowd before the show

The crowd before the show

The very ‘hush hush‘ location of the after-party saw the likes of almost everyone at the show and was held at the new Brompton Club…strictly no photographers allowed…and thus I boogied away on the dance floor enjoying the sound of copious amounts of Champagne Magnums popping around me! And guess who I would see there? Long time friend and a fellow Bajan…hats off to top man Miguel who is the Club’s Bar Manager!

Behind the scenes before the show... Sara has a catwalk test ;)

Behind the scenes before the show... Sara has a catwalk test 😉

What a night to remember! Fashion for Relief’s next stop: Russia! Go Naomi! {This item appeared in a shorter version in a segment of the Barbadian Mainstream Media}

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