By Anna Venediger
With an exceptional £1,800 made from their launch party last Tuesday, Leeds Rag Fashion Show is back and making us more excited than ever before. They had their launch party at Belgrave where they transformed the whole place with environmentally sustainable decorations ranging from recycled straws to a borrowed flower wall.
Since LRFS is soon approaching we thought it would only be fitting to interview the two directors behind the show – Mollie Ford and Michele Fawwaz.
Mollie (left) and Michele (right), the two LRFS 2020 directors.
Thank you both for taking a bit of time out of your busy schedules! So, first of all, what made you two want to be the Directors of LRFS 2020?
Michele: So, we’ve both been involved in RAG before, I’ve modelled in it twice and Mollie’s been on Take Me Out and first dates committee. We were really keen to get more involved and just decided to do it. Yeah, we’ve just been really big fans of the fashion shows for ages and thought what could be a step up from before?
What do you think is the best part of being the Directors and how on earth do you keep on top of your own Uni work?
Mollie: I don’t! No, I’m joking. The best thing is probably the stuff that we have been planning for a long time and when it finally starts to come together. That’s like the most rewarding bit, but also the hardest bit.
Michele: Yeah, it’s such a good feeling when you see something come together, and also, we’ve already raised a lot of money for charity and it’s early on so that’s really exciting. But the hardest bit is that it is a full-time job and yeah it takes a lot of time, but it’s so worth it.
Mollie: I think that with Uni work, you just have to be so organised and on it with where we’re spending our time and what we’re doing.
And speaking of the charities, how did you pick the two – Hubub and Plastic Oceans UK?
Mollie: So obviously we know that climate change and sustainability is a really hot topic at the moment and it’s something that we are passionate about. So, we were looking into charities that we could get involved with and it sums up the show quite well this year.
Michele: #changeiscoming !!! Keep your eyes peeled for the 3rd December when all will be revealed.
Very exciting! What are you two most excited about this year?
Mollie: The holiday we go on after it’s finished!
Michele: Yes, oh my god!! … I’m actually super excited to have two show nights this year because that has never happened before and that should be really good. And the afterparty, and all the other fundraisers we’re going to host-
Mollie: - Everything!
You just said that you have two shows this year, what else have you done differently this year from past shows?
Michele: So, for the first time ever, we have a Sustainability Team and their doing their absolute best to make the show as sustainable as possible.
Mollie: Like we know we’re not a sustainable fashion show, but we are trying our best to be a sustainable fashion show-
Michele: - Yeah, we do run on a student budget which is very difficult.
Mollie: But also, not to shade other years before but it’s also more than what past years have done in terms of trying to be as sustainable as possible
Michele: For example, we are currently making decorations out of recycled straws for our launch party.
What are you doing to make it sustainable compared to the years before?
Michele: The Sustainability team have come up with loads of different projects; we’ve got a panel coming up, where they’re going to get guest speakers to come in and talk about sustainability and the environment. We’ve got a clothes swap coming up on the 3rd December, we’ve got a Trashion project where we use recycled materials from other things we’ve done.
Mollie: There’s even smaller things like for example; we’ve cut the number of models there are this year so we’re bringing in less fast fashion into the show and reducing the amount of make-up and hair products needed. We’ve reduced our footprint in lots of different ways that people won’t even realise or notice.
Is there a way that people at Uni can get involved in the show?
Mollie: They can buy a ticket and come to it!
Michele: So, we’ve already got our committee and our models which were cast a couple of weeks ago. But if you do still want to be involved in the show, you can be a runner, which we’ll advertise for in January and that’s just basically helping out on the show nights.
Mollie: Yeah and we have opportunities for dressers and If you feel like you have any particular passion for film and photography then feel free to drop us a message on our Instagram and our Facebook and we can see what we can do.
I know it’s a while away, but have you got any top tips for people applying for LRFS 2021?
Michele: Try and be as creative as possible with your application
Mollie: Literally anything that you can come up with, like for our interview we ended up doing a video instead of a regular application.
Michele: Yeah just be really creative, but you can just send in a normal application but it’s not as exciting.
Mollie: Even with our committee applications, the people that came up with really rogue ideas was things that we really liked!
Thank you so much for the interview! I can’t wait to see how the two show nights go!! They have just announced that the two show dates are 28th and 29th February – so keep your diary free for a set to be sell-out show.
Photo of the launch party
Photography courtesy of @juliakaut and @emilymoorex