Dan Harley runs a fashion series called ‘Live Fashion’, conceived in Milan (while shooting fashion week) in 2012 waiting in a street with hundreds of people trying to get into the ‘Fendi ft Karl Lagerfeld’ show – “…it was a great show but there was so much fantastic energy left outside on the streets with most people who didn’t get into the show” – Dan thought then that social media would eventually have the power to change the traditional fashion week runway experience to make things a lot more accessible, interactive & immediate, as opposed to the closed off exclusive ticketed affairs they had historically been – as well as forcing the industry to be a lot more representative of the diversity of people consuming fashion, a lot of whom were waiting out in the street that day
Even now (5 years later) when Dan goes into high street fashion shops he sees a huge range of cultural diversity that’s not represented in the same degree on the global fashion week runways – He always thought it was strange that shows wouldn’t want to appeal to as broad a range of backgrounds as they could to reflect the range of backgrounds buying the end product in the shops or queuing to try to get into the showsDan felt like these 2 ingredients were missing from Fashion Week shows, so he started the series – so far he has produced a show in Paris & 13 shows over various locations around London
The series has evolved recently to add another dimension in the form of social messages based on issues that Dan has personal experience with – The last show was an Aids Awareness show inspired after Dan thought he’d been exposed to HIV earlier in the year & the relief on getting a clear diagnosis – having had a glimpse into the prospect of what a life of antiretroviral drugs & stigma might look like.
This show has a homelessness message inspired by a group of homeless people Dan plays music with & has become friends with around East London (expanded upon in the next section)
The ‘Live Fashion’ show is unlike anything anyone else is doing with it’s high energy interactions with the crowds & the immediate environment – The fashion show has had models taking over the Apple Store in Covent Garden, set off a full scale security staff response in Top Shop (they dramatically over-reacted) literally stopped traffic in Piccadilly Circus, blocked off Brick Lane & hijacked a live chainsaw show in Covent Garden with Dan almost getting decapitated by the agitated chainsaw owner
Crisis Homelessness Show Sat 16th Sept 2017:https://www.crisis.org.uk/Live Fashion 14 took place on Saturday 16th September 2017 during London Fashion Week & has a homelessness message inspired by a group of homeless people Dan regularly plays music with & has become friends with over the last 3 years around Shoreditch, Brick Lane & the Nomadic Gardens (a community project off Brick Lane) having seen how something as simple as the creative process of playing music can build confidence & give a sense of self belief
Further motivated by the 6th year of rising homelessness numbers in London & the UK, it’s been eye opening for Dan to hear, 1st hand, some of the complexities behind a variety of different paths to homelessness & a variety of homelessness outcomes, from sleeping on the streets to living in squats.
When Dan went to talk to Crisis about the idea of doing the show & they told him about how they approach helping get people out of homelessness with their Learning, Wellbeing & Arts classes to build confidence & self belief, Dan felt like that really resonated with his own experience & was excited to hear they loved the idea
The message of the show revolves around Crisis’s 50th Anniversary plan to make sure they are not needed in another 50 years – they are running a 50/50 challenge to go 50 miles in 50 days travelling however you wish; running, swimming, walking, surfing, even space hopping to raise money for the cause – Live Fashion 14 used the same space hopper Crisis have been using in their promotional literature.
Showtime started at 2.30pm with a dozen models catwalking in Leicester Square, before heading down to Trafalgar Square at 3pm then along the Strand to the main London Fashion Week venue at 180 Strand at 4pmCrisis Homelessness Charity supplied leaflets, t-shirts & banners (& their space hopper) to use during the show.Live Fashion 14 features 2 talented designers who both produced outstanding collections at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week show – Maddie Williams instagram: @mwilliams_design https://www.instagram.com/mwilliams_design/ dressed the women with her highly structured, exaggerated silhouettes to celebrate feminine strength using reclaimed or renewable materials – James Reeves instagram: @jamesreevesdesign https://www.instagram.com/jamesreevesdesign/ dressed the men fusing formality & military themes with sequins & prints, pushing the boundaries of traditional tailoring & reconstructing the conventions of menswear
Photographer: Christian Cross https://www.instagram.com/christian_cross_photography/