Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Get the Henley look

Get the Henley look

A POP-UP fashion exhibition is back for the third year running at the Old Fire Station Gallery in Henley.

It will be hosting work by photographer Ollie Weait, dress designer Arzu Kara, milliner Liz Felix and jewellery maker Nadieh Hodgson.

Pop-Up Henley Fashion Week 2017 runs from next Thursday (March 2) to Tuesday (March 7) and is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Ollie Weait

Ollie, who lives in Henley, has worked in creative imagery for more than 25 years in advertising, entertainment and marketing.

He will be showcasing a selection of his fashion photography and portraits while on the Sunday he will be offering a personalised photoshoot with hair and make-up provided on site.

Ollie, who enjoys working with local businesses and people for his shoots, is looking forward to it.

He says: “Henley, historically, has a conservative veneer but there are actually a lot of creative people here and that’s what I and my fellow exhibitors want to promote.

“I have worked with Arzu for three or four years and Liz more recently to build up their portfolio of images and they are very creative people.

“We’re trying to say that there are a lot of artisan-type people who are worth commissioning and supporting here in Henley.”

He added: “I hope to not only promote my ability as a photographer but also show that high quality photography exists in Henley and not just in London.”

Ollie, who gives private photography lessons and teaches evening classes at The Henley College, likes to be able to promote the town.

He has used local brands, people and businesses in his shoots such as Hotel du Vin, Laurence Menswear, Bremont and Hofmann’s.

Arzu Kara

Arzu, who has a workshop in Newtown Road, Henley, helped launch the event three years ago and believes that Henley has great potential.

She says: “Because of my work I am quite well connected in London where the buzz and creativity is amazing. Henley also has that potential and we are looking to build up the reputation so we can get sponsorship.

“Henley is full of fashionable ladies who love their labels and the feedback has been amazing since our launch three years ago as we are known for creating beautiful things.”

Arzu will be showcasing her spring/summer collection which she says is perfect for events such as Royal Ascot and Henley Royal Regatta.

“The dresses are elegant, finish below the knee, and cover the top of the shoulders,” she says. “They are very sophisticated.

“I have used pastle colours, a very soft palette — like sorbet colours but muted. All the dresses are lined with silk and their silhouettes are small, very elegant with sophisticated lines.

“I will also be bringing my classic pieces — everyday wardrobe staples — and elegant cardigans.”

Arzu says she tries not to be influenced by other people’s designs or what’s on trend.

“I design work that I like which has clean lines,” she says. “I like a really well cut pattern and can fall in love with sleeves. I design things that I would be very happy to wear at any time.”

Liz, who opened Liz Felix Millinery in Reading Road, Henley, in May 2014 has been designing and making hats for 20 years.

This is the second year she has taken part in the event and this year will be giving a talk and demonstration about her work. One of her regular customers is Prime Minister Thersea May, who is MP for Sonning and Maidenhead.

Liz says: “The fashion week is a really interesting event and I enjoyed taking part last year as it’s a great way of celebrating local designers and bringing them together.

“The Old Fire Station is a lovely venue and we’re doing something a bit different and making it more interactive. There will be a lot more for people to do and it should be a lot of fun.”

Nadieh Hodgson

Nadieh, from Sonning Common, has been designing jewellery for 15 years and has a global following.

She will be selling necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings, all inspired by her travels and the latest trends. She says: “I work mainly with pearls, semi-precious stones and silver and mainly sell them through charity events such as the charity action group events at Phyllis Court Club in Henley.

“My pieces are very traditional in style but they have a modern twist in that I like to use misshaped pearls. I also like to match the colours to each season so for spring and summer I am currently using a lot of turquoise and coral. The trend at the moment is for very long necklaces and tassels and my pieces reflect that.”

She added: “I hope that the exhibition will inspire other designers to do their own thing.”

l Information on Pop-Up Henley Fashion Week 2017, including biographies of the exhibitors, can be found on Henley Town Council’s website at www.henleytowncouncil.gov.uk/The-Old-Fire-Station-Gallery.aspx

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