A model sum - Bracknell Charities week 2010

Photo:Jo, far right, was the brains behind the show.

Jo, far right, was the brains behind the show.

Photo:Joe Launchbury heads down the catwalk to loud applause

Joe Launchbury heads down the catwalk to loud applause

Photo:Singing in the rain

Singing in the rain

2 October 2010 Waitrose Chronicle

By Jo Hammerton

Just days after the likes of designers Christopher Kane and Stella McCartney unveiled their stylish and innovative creations during London Fashion Week, it was Partners’ turn to storm the catwalk at Jubilee Atrium on Thursday, 23 September – raising more than £1,100 for Charities Week. Group Leader, Testing Jo Hopkins was behind the show along with the self-appointed Waitrose Systems Fun Committee, which normally organises the directorate’s Christmas event. While Jo had had her “light-bulb moment” back in February, it was not until July that preparations snowballed with the creation of an exclusive e-mail address, makemeamodel@waitrose.co.uk and an appeal in the Chronicle for model wannabes. Soon Jo had 15 models on board, including herself. Project Manager, Retail Application Emma Mitchell and Change Lead, End-to-End Development Louise Johnson helped Jo choreograph the show, selecting tracks and dance moves for each of the 10 themes. For rehearsals, models were divided into three groups, A, B and C, only coming together for a full rehearsal the Monday before the show. Each model had fi ttings at John Lewis Reading, which supplied the outfi ts and products, and had around three to four costume changes. Ten themes saw the models showcasing, among others, John Lewis’s autumn/winter (A/W) daywear range, the John Lewis Collection, party wear, accessories and electrical products to tracks such as Madonna’s Vogue. Models also twirled down the catwalk with coats and umbrellas to Singing in the Rain. International Account Coordinator, Business-to-Business Joe Launchbury opened the show with fellow model Adrian Jessup. “Someone asked me nicely if I’d do it and I said I could. The response was ‘right, off you go, into Group A’,” Joe laughs. It was a similar story for Food Technologist Moira Lazenby. “Although it initially seemed like a mad idea for me to hit the catwalk – as I’m not known for my coordination at times – by the end, I was signed up!” Both Joe and Moira relished the experience. “I’ve met some great people, had a laugh and helped raise an amazing amount,” says Moira, who also fell for one of her outfi ts. “I had a particular soft spot for the blue military John Lewis Collection coat.” “From the first song, the remit was simply have fun, enjoy it and don’t fall off the stage,” adds Joe. “There was a real buzz in the Atrium, and it wasn’t all due to the cava!” Fashionistas snapped up tickets for the show at just £5 each, which included a glass of cava on arrival, nibbles and the chance to win a Bobbi Brown makeover. They browsed at stalls that had exhibitors such as Bobbi Brown make-up artists (which John Lewis Reading provided) and Waitrose WineDirect. Raffl e prizes in-cluded an iPod and up to £100 in John Lewis and Waitrose gift vouchers. In thanking the committee members, Jo says: “It really was an across the site event. It went even better than we hoped, with the audience adding to the excitement.” But it is Joe who has the last word. “For many, it was their modelling debut. But next year, who knows – you may see some of us in Paris or Milan!”

Waitrose Chronicle Volume 70 - no 39 2 October 2010

This page was added by Jo Hammerton on 24/09/2012.