The ‘alternative’ fashion show

The 200-year-old Flax Mill in Derrylane, outside Dungiven, will be buzzing with brand-new creations in Irish Linen and other natural fibres later this month when it hosts its popular fashion show.

On Saturday, March 19, from 1pm, four models will hit the catwalk to showcase FLAX MILL TEXTILES’ trend-setting new garments.

Marion Baur, owner of and chief-weaver at county Derry’s only linen- weaving-mill, is excited about this year’s gathering.

“After last year’s outstanding event, we’ve put even more energy and effort into producing exclusive pieces of clothing. With Kenneth Mc Clure, up- and coming textile designer from Downpatrick, we have brought a first –class addition in the design end on board. Kenneth, who specialises in ladies garments, will be designing and making several dresses which are certain to turn heads – here at the first showing and wherever they’ll be sold afterwards,” she said.

As last year, Marion Baur, who has just been invited to showcase Irish linen produce at the prestigious “linen days” in August 2011 at Castle Rammenau in Germany, could not be convinced to let the first-time-showing of her new creations happen anywhere else but at the mill in Derrylane.

“It’s very honouring to be invited to the famous baroque castle – we will certainly take a stall there and probably bring a model or two from here along. It has also been pleasant to see that again, event-organisers from both London and Berlin wanted our fashion-show to be held there, it shows the big interest in our stuff. But I won’t have the initial showing of our new creations done anywhere else but here in the Roe Valley, where the sweat and the energy have been flowing to produce the garments.”

The “hand-picked” crowd of textile-makers, -designers and –lovers will include people from far away – guests from the United States, France, England and Germany have announced their coming.

The models but will be – for the second time – all from Northern Ireland.

Marion Baur said; “Last year we tried to work with local models only for the first time – they were so beautiful and well received by our guests that we decided to do another show with all models from N. Ireland. We are particularly delighted that last year’s star beyond doubt, Lorraine Hartin from Dungiven, is going to take to the cat-walk once again. Lorraine gave us a yes, despite many other commitments, four children amongst them. We feel very honoured about that.”

Marion Baur wouldn’t give away too many details about her new designs:

“As always, all fabric has been woven here and the knitted pieces – all my own designs – have been locally made by the best knitters in this part of the world, Linda and Ian Gillespie and, as always, we are very proud to have used no raw-materials which had child - or sweat-shop-labour involved in their making.The unique tradition and good taste of people here requires the best only – I think we can deliver that.”

Guests at the fashion show will be spoiled with the known Flax-Mill-goodies

Such as home-baked cake, locally roasted coffee and of course there will be a few surprises.

“There has been a spectacular piece of clothing, made by local people every year and we’ll try and stick to this good tradition.”

Marion Baur urges people who want to go to get in touch.

She said: “Though Linen over Gold is our private event, we will try and make lovers of good textiles feel welcome at the mill. But space is very limited and we have ended up with people not been able to get in. Therefore it is a must to contact us before the event.”

Flax Mill can be contacted by phone: 028 77742655 or email: flaxmill@gmx.net