Panel of Charity Shop Design Challenge Judges revealed

Adding to the magnificent John Bright and Jenny Beavan, we are very fortunate to confirm a fashion heavyweight panel of Charity Shop Design Challenge 2016 judges, and the fantastic thing about it is that they all have their heart firmly based on the South Coast.

Basia Szkutnicka
Basia is a fashion consultant, educator and writer, and formerly course director and lecturer at London College of Fashion. From January 2017 she will hold the position of Professor of Fashion Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is also the author of "Vintage Details; A Fashion Sourcebook"

Maggie Alderson
Maggie is a fashion writer and bestselling novelist. She has been editor of ELLE UK and ES Magazine and for several years had a fashion column in The Times. She contributes to leading magazines and newspapers in the UK, the USA and Australia and is currently writing her tenth novel.

Ben Ramsden
Environmental Activist and Ethical Fashion Entrepreneur campaigning and supporting various social projects including entrepreneurship, education, natural resource management, seed security and living wages for farmers across 1000 villages in India.

Philip Oakley
St. Leonards based lighting and interior designer and eccentric dog owner. Philip has been creating lighting displays for Blackpool Illuminations and working with Savile Row tailor Richard James amongst many other projects.

2016 "Wearable Art" tickets on sale NOW!

present this year's event flyer!

To book tickets directly via the De La Warr Pavilion website please click here



We are thrilled to announce that two of our Charity Shop Design Challenge judges this year will be costume design legends John Bright and Jenny Beavan.

John Bright originally trained as an actor and has spent the last five decades working at the heart of the costume industry and within a long professional relationship with Ismail Merchant and James Ivory. In 1965 John established Cosprop, which is now one of the world's leading costumiers housing a large collection of original garments that appeared in a wide range of TV, film and theatre. 

John won an Academy Award in costume design for 

"Room With A View" (shared with Jenny) (1986)


and received various Academy Award nominations amongst which were

"Remains of the Day"

"Sense and Sensibility"

and "Howards End"


Introducing ... Jenny Beavan

Jenny is a costume designer and has worked on more than 60 films, many of them in collaboration with John Bright and Merchant Ivory. After her degree in set design from the Central School of Art and Design, her first break came when she took an unpaid job designing costumes for a small film for them and has since had multiple award nominations and won Academy Awards for "Room With A View" (with John), an Emmy for "Emma" and more recently a Bafta and another Academy Award for 

"Mad Max Fury Road"

Jenny has also designed costumes for the upcoming

"A United Kingdom"

as well as Guy Richie's "Sherlock Holmes"

"The King's Speech"

"Child 44"

"Gosford Park"

Having John and Jenny in our team of competition judges is an amazing opportunity for all entrants to have their work seen and appreciated by them ... who knows where we might see the winners' designs next..?


We at FRONT ROW are proud to present the

An exciting new chapter is being written in the history of the FRONT ROW Fashion Show. Since 2008 we have professionally showcased not only young designers creating innovative catwalk collections made from recycled, reworked, preloved and vintage garments and materials, but also incredibly talented performance artists and musicians.


WearUrArt Charity Shop Design Challenge 2016 

an inspiring and extraordinary design competition we are launching NATIONWIDE, with substantial cash prizes to be won!


Create an outfit of wearable art from Charity Shop clothing and/or recycled materials to the theme


max £30.00 to be spent in a Charity Shop
(receipts must be kept and submitted)


Let your imagination run wild.
Think outside the box.
The piece you create is WEARABLE ART.
Use surprising materials.
Be innovative.
Go crazy.


FRIDAY, 14th October 2016



Please note that submissions without registration cannot be considered. So don't forget!

(Winner "Best Outfit" 2013 Peter Quinnell)


If shortlisted, you will take part in the


Saturday, 26th November 2016
at the iconic De La Warr Pavilion

plus an additional 
showcase at the prestigious


Saturday, 10th November 2016

(Finalist 2015 Designer: Beccy Mccray)

The following categories will be awarded in a ceremony on the night of the show:

Creative Excellence
Best Technical Achievement
Best Drama
Best Innovation
Best Young Newcomer
Best Overall Outfit

Be part of something amazing!
Good luck.



Enter our 

and be part of the

Wearable Art Design Competition Showcase

at the iconic

The challenge is to find charity shop or second hand clothes and/or vintage fabrics on a budget of £30.00 maximum and create an outfit to the theme

Let your imagination run wild. 
Think outside the box. 
The piece you create is Wearable Art.
Use surprising materials. 
Be innovative.
 It is all about extravagance and grand theatre.
Create a piece so extraordinary it will take the audience's breath away.
 We expect great things from you!


This is how you register

As part of your registration we need:

*your name
*date of birth
*phone number
Please send all the information to


*your entry fee of £20.00 


The following categories will be awarded in a ceremony on the night of the showcase:


Please note:
All amazing entries shortlisted to take part in the showcase, you will have to provide your own model, make up and hair for the catwalk.

FRONT ROW WearUrArt Design 
Showcase and Award Ceremony 
will take place at the iconic
De La Warr Pavilion
Bexhill TN40 1DP

plus an additional showcase at London's 
Southbank Centre on

Saturday, 10th December 2016

Good luck!


(by Kim Batty) 
Catapulted through the megasphere and bursting through seven light years of existence, FRONT ROW takes us back to the future and Out of This World, hurtling through dimensions of fashion, unnervingly alien but totally real.
Straight down the runway and with undeniable finesse, our probe-less hosts, Doon Mackichan and Maria McErlane, who have been making us laugh since the dawn of time itself and then, for the next three humanoid hours, a little absolutely fabulous but mostly fabulous.

Whilst being entertained, a two piece electronica band are beamed down, Sister Gracie. So in-sync is their performance, one could wonder whether they were once one and now, a product of some industrial fission, splitting them into two elite performers. I wanted to waggle my five arms and nod my two heads, I won’t tell you about the rest.

Francis Fifi’s headwear opens the fashion show. Modernist clean lines and rounded corners, Darth tribal and with murmurations of ancient Eastern head gear but sparkling with futuristic spangle, they reflect the ideas of the future, from the past. Bevali & Isabella Francis, a mother and daughter combo of deadly Power Ranger designers, don’t mess.

 Bexhill College take a piece of other worldliness from the escapisms of storytelling and the supernatural. A Maleficent horned female shares the stage with an owl like feathered creation and a fawn with a magnificent train. Mashing and mixing with space age, a white, feathered mini and origami interstellar cloak.

Intergalactic, pink, PVC barbies infiltrate the catwalk from FdA Fashion, Brighton University, scarily plastic, even scarier that they are real. Chunky-monkey, very wearable, over-sized, black, Talking Heads, tops with black knee-pads, bring us almost back to earth. But only almost, before scooping us up and putting us on the ghost train with some cloth woven sceptres.

 Dreambolic designers Sam Lewis and Stephanie Hills mess with our tiny human minds by bringing down the borders and fusing the post-war Charleston, flapper dapper with Arabian Nights' silks. And why the devil not, from Zeppelin to magic carpet, in beautifully crafted satin slacks, a particular shooting star for me.

 And so this brings us to the Charity Shop Challenge 2015 Awards' super-trooping, funny mongering, talented, old you lot. So supersonically high was the standard, I almost went into orbit. A lady in a sparkling catsuit and an enormous global paper lampshade on her head filled with lights funks up the jam, so Seventies cyber and crazy. I would give up my hover board and cruise to the moon for a disco ball-style afro.

  All the entries were prize-worthy, the audience erupted with applause, laughter, shouting, banging their handbags and anything they could find to make some noise of appreciation.

But we cannot skip past the "Supreme Being of Creative Excellence" Award winning entry, Peter Quinnell’s amazatronic splendorama. Dressed in silver thigh length boots, a silver angled moon raking skirt and pronged bra, with a fish bowl helmet and spatula antennae, she looked out of her silver masked head with anticipation and an air of disgruntled frustration, that she had been removed from her planet and forced into the De La Warr. Described by one audience member as “ Betty Crocker meets Barbarella” you had to give her the prize, not only because of its brilliance, but because she would have zapped you with her stingray and thrown you in a black hole, if you didn’t.

Descending on us like a moon landing, the Terence Higgins Trust volunteers took us into planet campalicious, a planet that promotes less is more: less clothes, more fun. A plethora of beautiful bodies expelling dark forces from the nooks of the galaxy promoting one eternal vision of freedom and expression.

 After we had all wet our whistles, Rye Studio School students gave us space street wear. (That’s if some of you like a fluorescent bird’s nest collar) Sharp and current, sweat suits with iridescent triangles and large foiled hoods, spiky black shorts and a ruffle collar all had the air of cool.
Even the wedding dress, adorned with multiple straps, was cool.


And then in from the dark, Caragh Jane Logan's eponymous Karma Gedden label appeared, rainbow light up trainers, fibre optic headwear, glo body paint, somewhere in the multiverse a free party was missing its ravers. Luckily, they had landed on Bexhill Galactica and danced their wares away.


Colonising the stage like alien micro-organisms, Hastings Contemporary Dance School were exploring the space as if it was a lost planet, behaving separately, reacting collectively, creeping and bending, along the run way. They looked scared and alien and moved in a cross between gymnastics and dance. Other than an outpouring of talent and skill, it was a highly emotional performance and was nothing less than superb.


So now, Freya von Bulow, self described as “good with scissors”, that has to be an understatement of seismic proportions. Paper Couture that is haute couture. The volume of the dresses, built up by layers of paper and netting, is phenomenal. Each dress, all in white, contained finite cutting and shredding, producing binary, ghostly brides, beautiful and frightening.

 Bringing us back down to Earth, only to be shot straight back out of our human canons into the stratosphere, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, ramp up the energy, in a collection of sassy leopard prints, tartan suits and straps and zips and some more zips, not forgetting some bad ass PVC and a gothic ruffle. The Sputnik was thrown into orbit and ended the show with a bang, bang, bang. Bravo.


(all photos by Malcolm Tam)