Anyone interested in fashion or transformed lives has less than two weeks to visit the Inspiration exhibition at The Salvation Army's International Headquarters (IHQ) in central London. The exhibition, featuring clothes designed and created by residents from the Salvation Army Housing Association (SAHA), in coordination with the IHQ Communications team, ends its run on Saturday 14 November.
Taking as its inspiration that 2015 marks The Salvation Army’s 150th anniversary, clients were asked to provide designs that were inspired by the work that SAHA and The Salvation Army undertake in helping people. Some took up the challenge to create an alternative or even futuristic version of the iconic Salvation Army uniform.
Residents worked with designers and tailors to create their own outfits. Some even modelled their own designs in front of an appreciative audience when the public cafe at IHQ was – for one night only – transformed into a fashion show venue, complete with models, catwalk, lighting and music. Special guests included General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women’s Ministries), the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner William Roberts), Commissioner Nancy Roberts (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries) and Commissioner Marianne Adams (Territorial President of Women’s Ministries, United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland).
For many of the residents involved in the exhibition and show – most of whom have dealt with difficult situations in their lives and are getting back on their feet through help from SAHA – the project is an opportunity to develop new skills and self-confidence. The Inspiration show and exhibition celebrate their creativity but also celebrate them as human beings.
This point was emphasised by the General when he presented an award at the event. He told the audience and participants: ‘This evening and this exhibition are reminders that each life counts and that each life can be an inspiration.’
SAHA is a registered provider and charity which began developing housing and services in 1959. A wholly-controlled subsidiary of The Salvation Army in the UK, it has grown into a specialist provider of support and accommodation, with approximately 3,500 housing units located across 64 local authority areas in England.
The Inspiration exhibition in Gallery 101 is open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, with a special Saturday opening on 14 November to coincide with the large number of people in central London for the 800th Lord Mayor's Show.