Creative collaboration tailor-made for a good cause

Molly Ollys, fashion show, Gemma Grao, Clements and Church

Molly Ollys, fashion show, Gemma Grao, Clements and Church
Sky Sports presenter and volunteer model Kate Tracey sports one of the bespoke pieces pictured with Hattie and Gemma.

A special creative collaboration is set to raise thousands of pounds for a local children’s charity later this month.

Local people will have the opportunity to bid on pieces in a limited-edition womenswear collection designed by Leamington artist Gemma Grao Art and tailors Clements and Church, in aid of Molly Ollys.

Tickets for the exclusive fashion show, at The Terrace Restaurant and Bar in Leamington, include a welcome cocktail and goodie bag as well as access to a live auction where one-of-a-kind outfits – trench coat, jacket and trouser – will each go to the highest bidder. A silent auction will also be taking place throughout the evening, with prizes donated from local businesses across Leamington.

Gemma, a talented artist from a young age, decided to turn her hand to painting full time after a period of furlough from her job as a golf club sales manager during the pandemic. Today she enjoys most success as a commercial muralist and her work can be seen in businesses such as restaurants and cafes across the area.

She said: “I started doing mainly small portraits and commissions for people and then got into doing more commercial work, like Christmas windows, which helped get my name out there.

“The inspiration for this show largely came about after my design painted onto a Burberry trench coat proved a popular addition to London Fashion Week in February.”

It’s the first such collaboration for Clements & Church, which creates custom-made clothing for men, and more recently, women across its four boutiques in Leamington, Birmingham, Beaconsfield and Oxford.

Co-ordinating the fashion show is Clements & Church tailor in Leamington, Hattie Hawksworth who was a proud finalist in this year’s Golden Shears competition, promoting the very best young creative and technical talent in tailoring.

She said: “When Gemma and I met, we realised we had the opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done before in the area; combining luxury custom-made clothing with bespoke art, whilst raising money for an amazing cause.”

Molly Ollys, fashion show, Gemma Grao, Clements and Church
Gemma Grao. Photo by Floss and Bea

“Thank you to everyone that is involved in making this event happen, especially to local salon Nash White for providing hair on the day.”

Molly Ollys was established following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer and marked its tenth anniversary last year.

The charity supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It helps with emotional support and donates wishes, therapeutic toys and books to children directly and through hospitals across the UK.

Since Molly Ollys started more than £3 million has been raised to emotionally support children across the UK. Anyone wishing to donate can do so here

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Thank you to both Hattie and Gemma for choosing to support Molly Ollys with the upcoming fashion show and to everyone else involved who are all contributing to make it a great evening.

“Gemma is clearly hugely talented and it will be really interesting to see her work with Clements & Church on the catwalk. Molly Ollys would not be able to help so many children without the kindness and support of companies and individuals who give their time and expertise.”

The event, on September 19th, starts at 6pm and the catwalk begins at 7.30pm. Tickets cost from £5 upwards with additional food options also available, all profits going to Molly Ollys. One hundred per cent of the auction proceeds are also being donated. Tickets can be purchased here

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