British designs on show as ambassador to Rome holds fashion parade

Published on

January 30, 2018


Damian Delgado

Villa Wolkonsky, the home of Britain’s ambassador in Rome, was set to host its very first fashion show this past Saturday night, but a twist came about in regards to the parade’s tradition of pale-skinned models.

The show became the first catwalk in Italy to celebrate diversity, featuring 16 models of varying sizes, physical abilities and ethnic backgrounds.

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Some of the models included a Brazilian-born model in a wheelchair, a model with a prosthetic leg and another whose hair signaled her mixed-race heritage.

The unusual take for the fashion show was the idea of Jill Morris, the British ambassador. With her time in office, she has made her mark by promoting British fashion and even modeling herself at times.

“It’s the very first diversity catwalk in Italy. I wanted to put on an event that brought together the themes of diversity and fashion,” the ambassador told The Telegraph. She continued:

“I’ve always been interested in fashion. But when I became ambassador, with the role of promoting British business, it enabled me to combine a personal passion with a more serious trade and investment objective.”

There were more than 200 attendants at the show. The clothes were designed by Sadie Clayton, a British designer who has had creations seen on catwalks in London, Berlin and Shanghai.

Clayton is known for incorporating copper in her dresses, admitting that it brings out “incredible colors – blues and greens and wonderful reds.”

Clayton herself was sporting a dress that was made entirely out of copper. “I smoothed the edges very carefully so that it could be worn next to the skin,” she said.

The Villa Wolkonsky was decorated with tapestries and oil paintings, making it a perfect historic backdrop for the show.

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