She designs gowns for the stars and created the world’s most expensive dress – but haute couturier Debbie Wingham has never forgotten her roots.
The fashion expert swished pupils from her former schools, Highwoods Primary and Mexborough Academy, to London to become models of their own ‘upcycled’ creations.
As part of their day in the limelight, the 30 Academy pupils and three from Highwoods had their hair and make-up done by professionals before they sashayed down the catwalk in their finery.
During fashion workshops run by Debbie in school last November, students created garments from old items of clothing or curtain fabric.
Art teacher Bev Blaylock said: “The students have had an unforgettable experience. The trip was an opportunity to model their creations in a real catwalk show, a kind of junior version of London Fashion Week running alongside the main event. We’re so grateful to Debbie for giving our students this wonderful opportunity.”
Mum-of-three Debbie has lived in Hollywood and made it to the dizzy heights of her profession despite suffering from dyslexia.
She has been involved in fashion for more than 15 years and is responsible for the famous ‘Black Diamond Dress’ worth £3.5m and the ‘Red Diamond Abaya’, at £11.7m. Her work regularly graces the pages of Vanity Fair, Vogue and Elle, and she has numerous A-list clients such as Kate Winslet, Emma Stone and Dita Von Teese.
Debbie was also a judge on Britain’s Next Top Model.
Mexborough Academy headteacher Richard Wood described the students’ project as ‘inspiring’.
He added: “We want Mexborough students to aim high and believe in themselves. That’s what Debbie did and she’s now an influential figure in the global fashion industry.
“She’s a fantastic role model for our students and I, too, would like to thank her for the time she has spent at the academy and for organising a very special day in London.
“It’s given our students a taste of what working in the fashion industry might be like.”