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Barbican Theatre & The Box present ‘Identity Parade’ – celebrating Plymouth’s identity in the world of fashion

The Box & Barbican Theatre are excited to present ‘Identity Parade‘ – a fashion show with a twist and a showcase for some of Plymouth and the South West’s most exciting designers, creatives and brands, held in the stunning atrium at The Box Friday 27 May at 8pm.  

Identity Parade is inspired by ‘Dress Code – Fashion Stories from The Box’ – the city’s first-ever exhibition dedicated to fashion. The show spans the 1700s to the present day and includes everything from lace to latex.

Image: latex dress designed and made in Plymouth by Westward Bound exclusively for the ‘Dress Code’ exhibition (image credit The Box)

Terah Walkup, art curator at The Box said: 

‘’Dress Code – Fashion Stories from The Box’ is drawn from The Box’s costume and textiles collection. The exhibition tells regional fashion stories, specifically Plymouth’s history of garment production, and how garments can be read to understand identities and the lived experiences of those that once wore them. Contemporary conversations around sustainability are also reflected. Our dress history collection has strengths in the 1700s through the 1970s but, except for our recent acquisition of a Westward Bound dress, there is little material that represents the past several decades so we’re really excited to partner with The Barbican to tell the city’s contemporary fashion stories.” 

From red carpet couture to amazing accessories, the event on 27 May is a fashion show all about identity: individual identity, community identity and Plymouth’s identity in the world of fashion. 

Barbican Theatre’s CEO, Laura Kriefman will be the host on the evening and co-devised the idea of a fashion show to support the ‘Dress Code’ exhibition, with the Barbican Theatre’s Event Production Manager, Tim Norman. 

Laura said

“We have loved working with The Box on this gorgeous collaboration celebrating the Dress Code exhibition. Representing Plymouth’s own identity is vital to us and a fashion show was the perfect solution. Plymouth is full of exciting fashionistas who have been creating unique runway looks. Add that to the pool of talent from the fashion and costume courses at Plymouth College of Art – and I can tell you – you are in for a treat at Identity Parade.” 

A call out for fashion designers, makers, customisers and fashionistas from the Devon & Cornwall area was issued in April. The team was overwhelmed when more than 25 applications came through from an incredible mix of designers, makers and brands all wanting to submit looks for the 10 runways categories which include Fashion Is Forever (sustainability), Fishy Realness (sea, feminine & coastal) Hiding In Plain Sight (social camouflage and alt culture) and Dress Code (identity and being your ‘you’).  

Designers and brands confirmed as presenting looks on the runway include sustainable & ethical fashion brand Nomads Clothing (based in Launceston) Oxfam Plymouth, Jo Gorniak, Love Deluxe, Emma Lovering, Kiki Fraikue, River Smith, Spike Davies, Miles Scott, Donna Howell, Frankie Rayers Smith, Oliwia Nowtonik, Fay Tyalor, Millie Jenkinson, Yasmin Styles, Sara Evans, Lu Firth, and Farrah Seyedi.  

Image: Jacket designed and made by Jo Gorniak
Image: customised wedding dress by Emma Lovering. Image credit LoveJoJo.

Laura continues “We’ve got so many amazing looks for our runway from queer glamour to high fashion and sustainable vintage to transhuman looks. As the show host I can’t wait to see all these amazing looks hit the runway on 27th May, accompanied by the outstanding DJ Adeevah. ”

Image: DJ Adeevah will score the fashion show live at The Box

The fashion show will feature a live set from DJ Adeevah, who uses music to connect, celebrate and spread good vibes to the crowd. Booty bouncing, sweat drippin’ and good vibes is what Adeevah is all about. With a mix of Ballroom, Vogue, UK Funky, and Baile Funk guaranteed to get you living your best life on the dancefloor. Adeevah is also a member of Booty Bass, a collective of female and non binary DJ’s from Bristol and London.

Identity Parade is being produced in collaboration with Queer District Collective (event sponsor) and Bogey Knights (runway sponsors) who will each feature looks in categories in the show. 

Queer District Collective’s Chairperson, Josh Pulstone says 

“Identity is the very essence of what the Queer District Collective looks to explore and champion. To sponsor an event that is produced by two of Plymouth’s leading arts organisations was not only an opportunity to be represented at the highest level of the city’s cultural scene, but it also shines a spotlight on our growing district down on the Bretonside area, with the individuals who make it what it is”.

The event is also sponsored by Barbican Botanics, Drake Circus and Plymouth History Festival. 

Tickets are Pay What You Can (minimum £5) and can be booked on The Box website https://www.theboxplymouth.com/events Doors open at The Box from  7:30pm, showtime 8pm. For ages 16+. 

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