Cardiff rocks. So does this t-shirt.

Fashion Showcase Wales

I Loves The 'Diff co-sponsors massive annual charity event in Cardiff Bay

Buzzing with hundreds of excited young people, many of whom tottered and towered far above me, the Coal Exchange was a vibrant hub of the 'Diff's more precocious talent on Sunday 6 December when Fashion Showcase Wales 2009 took place at the Coal Exchange.

By far the biggest and most diverse fashion show in Wales, it features more than 200 models, as well as dancers, DJs, bands, artists, stalls, and 60 backstage crew, stylists and staff who wore exclusive pink-heart I Loves The 'Diff t-shirts.

Created and organised by Kate Handley, the event - which boasts main sponsors Orange and Loreal - is now in its fourth year and has become one of the biggest independent fashion events of its kind in Europe. Did we mention that we co-sponsored this thing?

The evening was hosted by S4C presenter Erin Richards, who should fire her joke writer, and featured young designers, Loreal's hair stylists, dancing, live music from bands, and - weirdly enough - lots of modelling.

While it the event strives to be a platform for fashion, hairdressing, dance, arts and music in Wales, a party atmosphere prevails. There's nothing arch or snobby about FSCW - it's just a lot of fun.

The event also works with, and raises money for, Llamau, a Welsh charity helping to rehouse homeless young people in Cardiff.

"We are working directly with young people in Llamau programmes, offering design placements, artistic opportunities and bringing out their creative talents," says Kate. "Providing positive experiences for these kids can help them turn their lives around."

It may be fun on the runway but it clearly took a huge amount of planning and preparation to make this mammoth three-hour show work. With themes as diverse as rock chic, avant garde hairdressing, youth culture, a homage to the 1940s era, and street art, there was something for everyone, especially as at various stages there were female models wearing little but bright body paint, guys wearing just their jeans. Quite where the fashion was I wasn't sure but strangely enough the ladies didn't seem to mind.

One particular highlight for us was when a gaggle of models became intent upon ripping their I Loves The 'Diff tees off one another on the catwalk. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry....or get a closer look.

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fashion showcase wales

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