CLASSIC MODELS held an exclusive fashion show on 23rd May, only of the second of its kind hosted at London’s Ritz Hotel.
Samantha Tomlin, 44, is managing director of the agency, which she founded two years ago with fellow model Jana Forster. Classic Models represents those models over the age of 30 and champions the diversity that is so sadly lacking in the industry. ” We are just so honoured to host our first show at this premier London hotel ” said Samantha.
They wanted their first show to be small, but exclusive so they chose The Ritz to showcase several designers and unveil some of their top female bookings, including legendary model Jilly Johnson, the fabulous 63-year-old former model and actress who has not appeared on the catwalk for a decade.
Also strutting her stuff was Nicole Gibson, the transgender model who hit the headlines in recent years and trained many of the new models for the catwalk.
The evening was held in aid of The Samaritans and was sponsored by Vie Aesthetics. It started with a speech by media consultant Iain McCullum after which a minute’s silence was observed in memory of those killed in the Manchester bomb attack.
The audience, invited guests and others who generously paid £250 a ticket to aid the charity, included such celebrities as rock legend Marc Almond, Jilly’s fellow band member Blonde on Blonde’s Nina Carter, Cowboy Builder and One Show presenter Dominic Littlewood.
Samantha opened the show in a stunning gown by Philip Armstrong, who also created Jana Forster’s gown. Jilly wowed the audience by closing the first part of the show in a fabulous couture gown by Liverpool designer Kaffa Mockbill, accessorised with a hat by Jess Collet and pearls by Coleman Douglas. Guests enjoyed a performance by Opera singer Victoria Joyce.
Other designers for the evening were Gomez Gracia and the vintage gowns were by Lime Green Bow.
Beth Simons and Katie Underwood representing The Samaritans where bowled over by the evening. Beth gave a moving speech about the organisation that has helped save countless lives.
Jilly mingled with the guests and was delighted by the enthusiastic reception to her catwalk comeback. Her husband Ashley Brodin was also there and proudly watched Jilly strut her stuff.
For Vicky Grammatikopoulou, the co-owner of Vie Aesthetics, the evening was “like a fairy tale. so pleased to be part of this and help with a cause like the Samaritans” Dr liakass who had several clients appearing in the show was equally bowled over he tells me “Age is just a matter of mind you can look good at any age the show is more about timeless beauty ”
Following the success of the show – and because Classic Models is all about diversity – Samantha and Jana are planning a men’s show later in the year.
Copyright Steven Smith
Photographer Sandra Vijandi