Vogue and GQ praise clothes made in collaboration with Forest Gate charity helping homeless mums and children
PUBLISHED: 14:59 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:59 10 January 2020
A catwalk of clothes created in partnership with a Forest Gate charity helping vulnerable women and children has been praised by critics at GQ and Vogue.
Bethany Williams designed the line after spending time at the Magpie Project in Magpie Close, which supports homeless young families.
Vogue's Olivia Singer called the designer's autumn/winter 2020 collection "joyful and optimistic" and a mention in GQ praised its use of check pattern.
As well as exposure for the Magpie Project at the January 4 catwalk, the charity will get 20 per cent of the profit from the collection.
Jane Williams (no relation to Bethany) founded the Magpie Project. She said: "Bethany is using her spotlight to highlight the plight of mums with small children in temporary or insecure accommodation, especially those who have no recourse to public funds."
While it wasn't clear at first how high-fashion would mix with an organisation working with destitute mothers and children, Ms Williams said: "As soon as we met Bethany we knew it would work."
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The charity took part in the design, graphics, communications and music and model choice for the collection, according to her, adding: "Bethany did not want this collaboration to be a matter of 'putting her name' to something. But rather a true partnership.
"She came, she made tea, she handed out nappies, and she chatted so easily with mums and hugged all the babies. She worked really hard and put in a lot of time to research and listen to exactly what the issues facing our mums are."
Bethany said she was shocked when she learned about the level of child homelessness in Newham, adding: "I was struck by how the Magpie Project does all it can to support mums to look after their children in the best way that they can even in the worst of financial and housing conditions.
This isn't the first time the designer has used fashion for good.
She's been celebrated for her use of recycled materials and work for social causes like fashion education in women's prisons.
"Fashion is a powerful, rich and influential industry. I have always wanted my clothes to mean something and to help bring about change."
More information can be found and donations made at themagpieproject.org.