The common desire to support those injured in Afghanistan at our Shirts and Sticks for Soldiers fashion Show and party at Ronnie Scotts brought together people from the Armed Forces, journalists and writers from the British fashion, political, financial, and travel business, and producers and directors of music, film and theatre. We were delighted that HRH The Prince of Wales’s charming Equerry Major Pete Flynn could attend. The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen chatted with all the servicemen about their experiences, Major Pete Flynn charmed singer songwriter Madam, PR Queen Lara Mingay arrived on the arm of GQ’s Bill Prince, Nick Foulkes cast his discerning eye over the show, and Nicholas and Georgia Coleridge watched their elegant son Freddie model for the first time. Penelope Chilvers, who kindly supplied her stunning velvet embroidered slippers for the Fashion Show, took a table with her friends Lisa Armstrong and handsome husband Paul, Stephen and Jane Moore, and Paul and Caroline Weiland. Bill Prince re-met photographer Giles Duley, who used to be a Conde Nast fashion photographer before changing to war journalism several years ago. His breathtaking photography took him to Afghanistan last year, where he was blown up by an IED, losing an arm and two legs. Giles will be going back to his photography as soon as he can, and had a stunning exhibition of his work in November.
Our inspirational servicemen Lieutenant Alex Horsfall and Sergeant Simon Harmer ( of Michael Buble fame! ) were introduced by General Sir Philip Trousdell, and gave amazing speeches which greatly moved everyone, notably the young 18 and 19 year old models at our show. We also had the great company of Captain Harry Parker and Royal Marine Mark Fincham, both of whom I also had the priviledge of meeting at Headley Court Military Hospital recovering from severe injuries. We greatly missed Corporal Ricky Fergusson who received a Military Cross for risking death four times to save fellow servicemen hit by Taliban bombs before he too was hit, losing both legs, five fingers and an eye, as he sadly couldn’t attend at the last minute due to a further operation. He described himself as ‘ gutted’ to not be able to attend, so we shall have to have another! I was able to present the first hand carved wood walking sticks, made with a buffalo horn handle to each individuals height, and decorated with a silver band engraved with initials and regimental badge. We sent Ricky’s to his home to open at Christmas.
Thank you to everyone who supported our event, enabling us to continue making bespoke shirts and begin making bespoke engraved walking sticks for our courageous servicemen and women. To give a donation please go to Shirts for Soldiers on our website. Very happy 2012. Emma x