Film ID:
NEFA 9649

COMMERCIAL BREAK: FASHIONS

c.1988

Visitor Tabs

Description

A filmed sequence from the Tyne Tees Television programme Commercial Break looking at the problems faced by north east fashion designers getting their works produced and sold commercially. The film focuses on Newcastle designer Kathleen Shaw and follows her to a fashion show taking place at Wynyard Hall.

[Picture missing.]

The film opens on a clothing label for ‘Etal Clothing’ inside a garment.

Kathleen Shaw, a fashion designer from Newcastle and owner of Etal Clothing, and a female assistant lay out a piece of red cloth onto a long cutting table.

Interview with Kathleen standing beside a rack of clothing who says that a good number of buyers are in London but when she says she is from Newcastle they say they ‘can’t possibly do business with her’. In the next breath the same buyers explain how they have just flown in from Milan or New York where they have been looking for goods for their shops.  They seem to think that the north of England is only connected by a fortnightly stage coach.

The red cloth is laid out on the cutting table. Kathleen speaks with her assistants and lays out a pattern onto the cloth which is then seem being ironed .

The film cuts to a female model walking along a catwalk to the soundtrack of Talking Heads. She is wearing a white dress with white jacket and is holding an umbrella. Other models pose on the catwalk.

The film cuts to an exterior view of Wynyard Hall near Stockton-on-Tees where a charity dinner and fashion show in being held.

Inside Wynyard Hall a large glass chandelier hangs over the entrance hall where a large crowd of well-dressed guests drink champagne and chat. Sir John Hall, the owner of Wynyard Hall, comes into the room with a number of guests including Stephanie Beacham who, the commentator says, is the star of show ‘The Colbys’. They pose for a number of photographers.

General view of guests sitting at long candle lit tables eating and chatting.

Interview with Kathleen who is also at the event. She says that she couldn't afford the £100 tickets. She is here as a member of staff helping the charitable trust sell raffle tickets and doing odd-jobs.  

General view of guest, including Stephanie Beacham, seated at their tables.

The film cuts to Kathleen who is standing beside a long table that contains dozens of wine and champagne glasses. She is talking with another member of staff standing beside a cash register.

The film cuts to show a number of models in black leather outfits walking and posing on a catwalk. Behind the scenes assistants help models into new outfits. Kathleen says that all of the models and choreographers seen in the show come from London and her designs, which did feature, didn’t receive any mention. Since the show she hasn’t had any response for her designs.

[Picture missing].

In her flat Kathleen sits at a sewing machine working on a garment. Since the show she has had to leave her workshop and is now working from home. She is thinking of moving away from the north east to a ‘niche centre’ such as Edinburgh.

Thread from a spool travels through the sewing machine operated by Kathleen. She says that the event at Wynyard was an opportunity but she also knew that it could leave her flat on her face. However, she is not discouraged by what has happened and has no regrets leaving teaching to start her own business.

The film cuts to a photograph of Kathleen beside Prince Charles [funding for her business came partly from the Princes Youth Business Trust].

The film ends with views of models in white outfits on a catwalk.