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When it rains, look for rainbows...

Things may be on hold until Lockdown lifts, but we are staying positive at Fashion & Fairytale HQ.

Hand-dyed rainbow skirt - 1980s
Cindy Beadman's dyeing alchemy.

With rainbows adorning every driveway, window and Instagram feed, these little rays of hope have become symbolic of so much more than a magic mix of weather. With Lockdown looking to last for some time yet, they have come to serve as daily reminders of hope, community kindness and the self sacrifice of our NHS hospital heroes.

With what feels like more hours on the clock, amidst home working, craft disasters, sibling rivalry, preparing umpteen snacks and the respite of daily exercise in the sunshine, I took some time out this Easter weekend to sort through all the wonderful design entries that now grace my office. I was blown away once more by the wide range of imaginative outfits that B&NES students so excitedly submitted to our competition back in grey old January, and was delighted to find that rainbows had inspired many of the designers. I thought I would share them here to brighten up your day too.

Rainbows are in my blood, you might say; my mother's maiden name was Rainbow and my two children delight in calling her Granny Rainbow. It may conjure up Sixties, hippie flower-power for some, or kickstart the 'I can sing a rainbow' earworm for others (sorry), but it also inspired our Creative Director, Cindy Beadman's designs. In fact, whilst researching and writing her biography over the past few months, it is her technicolour hand-dyeing wizadry that sets Cindy apart as a fashion pioneer and explains why her gowns adorn the iconic collections of the V&A, Philadelphia and Munich Museums of Modern Art and the Fashion Museum, Bath to this day.

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by Cindy's creations as I write; carefully packed away from the bright and bleaching effect of sunshine, every now and again I carefully unfurl the tissue paper and I'm treated to a sumptuous, silken prism of colours and textures.

All of Cindy's collections; Coral Reef, Rocks, Fairytale, Hanging Hearts, Bubbles, Seaweed etc, incorporated rainbows of dyes inspired by the natural environment and we cannot wait to share them with you at our gala fashion show (July 9th) and exhibition at the Assembly Rooms, Bath (3rd-5th August), this summer. We are still working towards these dates, but are playing things by ear until we get a clearer idea of when Lockdown may lift.

Until that time, if you have a few extra hours in your day and fancy getting creative then join our collective of pattern cutters and seamstresses, all working hard to make our winning young designers' dreams come true. Just click here to get in touch. We promise a feel-good rainbow glow in exchange.

Stay safe,



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