Review: MODO Freedom Fashion Show 2013

Did you miss the Freedom Fashion Show or would simply like to relive the experience? The Tab brings you an overview of all the collections as well as interviews with its organisers and spectators!

This year’s Freedom Fashion Show organised by UCLU Modo society was held in support of Red Light Campaign. The charity was founded by Philipp Engel, a final year European Social and Political student from UCL, and it strives to combat human trafficking through creative means. And what could possibly be more creative than combining our very own budding designers’ creations and the fight against modern day slavery into an evening filled with equal doses of fun and awareness raising? If you missed the show or would simply like to relive the experience, here is a little overview of all the collections!


Sophie Constantinou’s collection was a booming opening to an evening filled with sheer fabrics, statement dresses and – for the social alcoholics among us – plentiful wine and cherry Lambrini. She played up the theme of freedom by cleverly contrasting chains and shackles with floral fabrics and avant-garde bows, as well as colourful knitted scarves for men. Nyrin Jahangir followed up with simple A-line skirts and body-hugging dresses, taking their basic shapes to the next level with vibrant colours and bold prints. She further reinforced what soon became a clear running trend throughout the entire show – florals. Symbolising nature and innocence, flowers were an obvious thematic choice for most designers, albeit not the most inspired one. Rhio Cory interpreted the theme in a more creative – or, living up to her degree, philosophical – way, as her collection consisting of Gaga-esque cutout designs, risqué velvet dresses and tartan invoked the darker side of human trafficking. Tsjanneke Hawkins-Van Der Cinkel chose a contrasting route, with models clad in dresses and suits best described as neo-60s strutting down the runway as Lana del Rey’s Summertime Sadness blasted out of the speakers.

Emily Revess

Next up was Emily Revess’s collection, “For Sophie”, which was immensely popular with the crowd. Its main focus was – hold the phone! – floral print. Her flower appliqué top, sheer skirts and floral headbands managed to take the somewhat repetitive trend and transformed it into an imaginative, but wearable melange of colours.

Aminah Ali

Aminah Ali opted for a more understated approach – her aim was “to communicate a looser interpretation of freedom by invoking thoughts of childhood and innocence.” Her dyed fabrics with splatters of colour were reminiscent of the reckless nature of young age and despite consisting of mere two pieces, the collection showed a lot of hard work and dedication.

Joshua Toh

This was also the case with Joshua Toh’s “Basically…” – despite its name, the only basic thing about this collection was its colour spectrum, which ranged from soft peachy pastels to earthy greens. The collection featured elaborate structured silhouettes, possibly owing to Joshua’s degree in Architecture. Being the only male designer in the entire show, it seems safe to say that he did the men proud.

Valerie Huang

Sarah Elyoussfi and Valerie Huang, too, seemed eager to represent their gender, with uber-feminine, revealing dresses – Valerie’s sheer dress with colourful appliqués in particular left little to the imagination.

Josie Oyinola

The first half of the show finished off on a high note with Josie Oyinola’s military inspired collection “Ominira”. The omnipresent camouflage print took the theme of freedom in a new direction and – along with empowering slogans like “Don’t hate, appreciate” or “Different equals beautiful” accompanying her oriental-looking designs – created a very positive vibe, which resonated with the audience.

Ele Lighter

After an intermission filled with chatter and plentiful booze for the spectators – as well as frantic interviews and, well, plentiful booze, for the Tab team – Ele Lighter’s collection welcomed us back with its vampy appeal and sensual designs covered in lace and feathers.

Evelyn Hoh

Evelyn Hoh’s “Keep Warm” which followed shortly after featured unique combinations of fur and floral prints, best described as neo factory girl chic.

Tiwalola Ogunlesi

But things really got warm with Tiwalola Ogunlesi’s collection, which was – finally – fully centred around men. And the lower halves of their bodies. I am not sure where I am going with this, so I will just say that the collection was amongst my favourites and was an enjoyable departure from the haute couture nature of most designs in the show.

Amy Johns

Next up, Amy Johns‘s collection  was short but sweet – although show-stopping red gowns got slightly repetitive at this point, her sheer design with a Heidi, Girl of the Alps vibe was a refreshing take on the trend. The next collection – “Swing” by Rhi Graves – was a departure from the predominantly sexy and revealing designs with its dusty pink shades and images of birds in flight, emphasising the innocence of human trafficking victims.

Badia Hussein

And then came the grand finale – Badia Hussein‘s “Alpine” collection. After being blinded by sparkles and glitter, I was surprised to see a shoeless male model strolling down the runway – aside from Tiwa’s collection, men were rare sight on the runway much to the audience’s dismay… or mine, at the very least. He was closely followed by a girl in glorified velvet sweatpants and a feather bolero. Sparkly jumpsuits. Flowing capes. Badia’s collection was a fantastic ending to a fantastic evening. The organisers managed to raise over £4,000 for an admirable cause and  the audience was delighted with their fellow students’ work. Well, that – and the wine bar.