Town dresses for success
LLANELLI's first ever Fashion Week has been hailed a huge success, uniting the town, lifting spirits and supporting a charity close to everyone's heart.
With nearly 2,000 people turning out to five star-studded catwalk shows hosted at five venues, and more than 5,500 raffle tickets sold, organisers have praised the community's unswerving support and devotion to making the town a better place.
But the event wasn't all about showcasing the latest trends and boosting retailers, and organisers expect to have raised a substantial amount of cash for the Ray Gravell and Friends Charitable Trust.
Angela Saunders, of the organising committee, said the week had surpassed all expectations.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"There was a real buzz about the town by the end of the week and we had fantastic support throughout," she said.
"It is testament to what somewhere like Llanelli can do — everyone involved was just so generous with their time and resources, and it proved that Grav was right when he said west is best.
"We have had a lot of positive feedback from the Elli Centre and the stores involved, so hopefully it has been successful for the town and will be followed up next year."
The week ended on a high with a stellar cast, boasting models from the world of sport, TV and film, as well as the current Miss Great Britain Amy Carrier, who was bowled over by the warm welcome she received during her stay.
"I think the fashion week has been really successful and everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves, which is important," she said.
"I have spent four days here and I've just found it to be such a friendly place — everyone has been really welcoming."
As well as the final of the Face of Llanelli competition (see page 3) Friday night's red carpet extravaganza at the Stradey Park Hotel saw Julia Davies-Maddocks crowned the town's first Young Designer of the Year.
The 27-year-old Coleg Sir Gâr fashion student wowed the audience with a floor-length tiered blue and copper gown, and walked away with a £500 prize and a four-week placement with Pembrey-based designer to the stars Jayne Pierson.
"I'm elated," she said. "I thought I'd give the competition a go because I will try anything, and it is such a nice surprise to win. Having a placement with Jayne is a dream come true."
And year 10 Glan y Mor pupil Angharad Thorn will spend a week working with Jayne Pierson after winning the under-17s category in the designer competition.
The event aimed to promote local shops, and both St Elli Centre manager Andrew Stephens and Emilia McDowall, of Bridal Elegance, who dressed many of the celebrity models, described it as a "fantastic" opportunity.
"For something that only took six months to organise, it progressed to a week-long event promoting the town's retailers," Mr Stephens said.
"It was very well supported, had a good team behind it, and is hopefully something we will continue."
Mrs McDowall added: "It was a great platform to showcase what Llanelli has to offer — there is so much fashion right on people's doorsteps.
"I hope it does promote the shops, and it was a good opportunity for all the retailers to get together and support each other."
Star editor Bede MacGowan praised the organisers for their hard work. "We feel privileged to have been able to support this great event as media partners," he said.
More Fashion Week pictures — pages 32 & 33