Art Couture Festival draws big crowds and dazzling creations

Stroud News and Journal: Irene Jeffrey (left) was the oldest contestant to enter the festival this year aged 98, pictured with activities and events co-ordinator at Richmond Village, Julia Mundell. Buy this photo » Irene Jeffrey (left) was the oldest contestant to enter the festival this year aged 98, pictured with activities and events co-ordinator at Richmond Village, Julia Mundell.

THOUSANDS of fashion lovers descended on Painswick on Sunday for the Art Couture Festival.

A celebrity panel, including fashion designer Savannah Miller, judged astonishing creations made of textiles, paper and recycled materials based on themes of circus, food for thought, rough diamond and head candy.

Patron Todd Lynn, a fashion designer to rock stars Bono and Mick Jagger, attended the event as did Dr Dawn Harper from Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.

Frances Day, co-organiser of the festival, said: "We think around 10,000 visitors turned out. It was a great atmosphere. The standard and quality of the entrants was quite amazing."

Artists and designers travelled from across the country to enter the annual fashion competition including Irene Jeffrey, 98, of Richmond Village, Painswick, who was the oldest competitor.

The catwalk also welcomed its first animal entrant, Toffee the miniature donkey.

Spectators were also able to watch 20 of the top body painting artists get to work on their models with their unique creations taking up to six hours to complete.

Kirsten Fletcher won best in show with an outfit made out of old camping tents.

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