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2nd annual BCH Fashion Show wins hearts

Actions speak louder than words. For the second year, South & City College Birmingham and the Birmingham Children’s Hospital teamed up for the collaboration event of the year – the Children’s Fashion Show.

Following on from the success of 2022’s show, staff members from both organisations teamed up to work with patients from the Children’s Hospital in spotlighting stereotypes and hurdles surrounding accessible fashion. This year’s themes included: Varsity ~ a relaxed set of apparel looks themed around the children’s interests, hobbies & personalities, and Alice in Wonderland ~ a fantasy look inspired by the many characters of Lewis Carroll’s fictional novel.

When asked what the project has meant to the students at South & City College, Carmen Burkett – Deputy Head of Fashion & Textiles, who helped to lead the collaboration, commented that:

“It has been great for our students because the industry in this country doesn’t always do our creative talent justice. For our students to get this live experience has been fantastic – especially when they get to highlight such an important need to make fashion more accessible for everyone.”

With confidence and personality overflowing on the runway, the patients from Birmingham Children’s Hospital strutted their stuff in outfits that has been custom-made & designed with their needs in mind by the fashion students at South & City College Birmingham. And what would a spotlight event be without hair & make-up as well? The show was supported by our fantastic teams across Hair & Beauty – children & staff had their celebrity moment to craft their own looks and experience the life of a model strutting the catwalk and having their photos taken. All this while Music Production students ran catwalk tech.

Sinead & Casey, Fashion students at Fusion, were one of many who also helped produce patterns for the show in their class. “We both did this last year and are back for a second round. Carmen got us interested as part of our work experience, and we wanted to help kids who just don’t get to feel special. It really is wonderful to see it all come together. We were just praying the garments fit!”

Fashion is for everyone

As the evening ended Surbjit Singh, Head of School for Art, Design & Fashion, shared his heartfelt words about how much the event had not only inspired him but also inspired the College through the tremendous work of the students & staff of the Fashion department. Surbjit shared how such a brilliant idea has helped to encourage everyone involved to think differently, chase after opportunities and continue to grow:

“There have been many events within and around the College which have had a focus around fundraising – thinking of ways that we can support the Hospital. We have raised thousands for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and we look forward to many more events like this. On behalf of South & City College, all its staff, its learners, and of course the Children’s Hospital and everyone involved – we just want to say, thank you. We are so proud to be ambassadors and advocates for such an exciting event, and we are so happy to see all the children, speak to all the parents, have the dialogues we have had tonight – and see how an experience like this will be so memorable for these children now, tomorrow and for the years to come.”