The London Mela was a free family festival held in Gunnersbury Park last weekend, on Sunday 1st September. ‘A celebration inspired by South Asian Culture’, there was plenty going on, including music, arts, dance and loads of food. BBC Asian Network partnered with London Mela for the 8th successive year hosting a spectacular line up on the Main Stage. Oxfam and the British Heart Foundation were the two charity partners. I went along with Oxfam Fashion who put on an amazing fashion show for the Mela crowds.
So much work went into prepping for the fashion show. The show was led by designer Neishaa Gharat with the aim of showcasing the amazing clothes that Oxfam has to offer and show how great outfits can be built with second-hand finds. Neishaa visited Oxfam’s Batley warehouse and picked the pieces she felt had the most potential, and the Oxfam team helped to prep garments at the sorting warehouse in Milton Keynes (check out the sneak peak of the sorting warehouse on I Want You to Know). She came up with about 100 outfits which had to be whittled down for the Mela show, plus she showcased her own gorgeous designs. Neishaa had some helpers too – see Catherine’s @DesignsInDenim guest post for Oxfam.
The show ran three times during the Mela, and each show had eight scenes or looks, so it was frantic backstage helping the models with their quick changes. I was put in charge of the ‘Fash Phone’ for the day and tweeting pics to Oxfam’s lovely followers. It was also great to catch up with Oxfam’s marketing co-ordinator Kelly, @crazyscissorgal Teresa, and to meet Oxfam’s fashion assistant Helen after many months of emailing and tweeting!
Did you know? Melas originate from the Indian sub-continent. The word Mela comes from the sanskrit “to meet” and is related to “milana” the verb to tune. It is commonly used to describe a large gathering of people celebrating artistic, religious or political events –like a festival!