Art Couture Painswick 2016 a Sunny Success

Art Couture stage and the church

The 6th Art Couture Painswick festival took place on Sunday 17th July in the Gloucestershire village of Painswick. The festival celebrates the large amount of art and couture excellence in the region, as well as arts and crafts and music.

The event kicked off with a vintage car drive past and music with Ragged Edge on Saturday 16th July on the main stage in the grounds of St. Mary's church Painswick.
The main stage and catwalk was erected in the churchyard of St. Mary's church, with the kind agreement of the PCC of the church, with space for the judges sofas to the side.

On the Sunday morning, while the competitors were arriving, registering and started to get ready, there was an outdoor morning service at St. Mary's , which took place on the main stage led by Mike Campbell, which was well attended. The church is in the Beacon Benefice of churches, based around Painswick.

At 11am the site was open to the public who flocked in the main area around the stage and then explored the windy streets of Painswick viewing the art and craft stalls and the food and drink stalls.

The models had been encouraged to walk around the churchyard and village in the designers creations, after the event had opened, which allowed members of the public to see the wide variety of styles and topics that had been used as a base for the creations.

                                   Anne Roberts in a Susan Wyatt Creation

The themes that ACP had agreed on for the 2016 festival were:

  • Wearable Art - Moving Parts, Underwater, Flight
  • Creative Headwear - Graffiti
  • Body Art - Food for Thought

On the main stage in the churchyard, the event kicked off with The PANTastics, a group of young people playing caribbean styles drums to great applause. This was followed by the first couture event on the catwalk  for under 12s, Creative heads, 18+, and students.

After all the designers models had paraded down the catwalk, and the judges had inspected closely, they all then went on a parade around the churchyard and through the village for all the spectators to see. The judges for Wearable Art and Headwear were: Peter Pullon,  Anthony Lewis Churchill, Selina Blow, Alta Thorne and Mary Wing To

The Model Folk

While this was taking place singer & guitarist Nella (who had recently appeared at Glastonbury) entertained in her impassioned style.
In the village street buskers entertained in 4 separate locations including singer/guitarist Nina Condron and theatre entertainer (publicising their next show) Bernard and Beatrice.

Then the awards were given out for the Under 12s & Creative Heads along with the special 'Moving Parts' entries. After these awards, the North Somerset (Clevedon) group The Model Folk entertained with their rumbustious balkan-inspired original folk sound, and got the crowd involved with the dog barking song 'Snout'.

Then next up was the catwalk presentation for 12 - 17s and Independent designers with their range of eye-catching designs based on the agreed themes.

Then while the contestants again paraded around the churchyard and village Datbrass entertained on the main stage with their New Orleans-inspired hip-hop brass sound.

Then the event that a lot of spectators had been waiting for was the parade of the Body Art. The designers had been preparing their art on their chosen models during the day and there was a spike of interest as they paraded through the village before going onto the catwalk to be judged, as well as viewed by the large audience. The judges were Matt Charman, Jo Peters, and  Jennie Roberts

Then after the Body Art judging the 12-17s, Independents, and Body Art sections awards were given by the panels of judges.

The organisers thanked everyone who came to the event, the contestants and their models, the sponsors, and in particular Painswick Parish Council.  The five original trustees are now looking for more people to get involved with the organisation of the event and planning for 2017/18 and beyond.

Then to finish off the event Ragged Edge band took to the stage.
The winners were:

Best in Show/ Simply the Best! - Vikki Lafford Garside

Under 12’s - 1st Evie Urquart Gordon /  2nd Jemima Falshaw / 3rd Annabelle Warfield 

12-17 - 1st Saffron Patterson /  2nd Robin Watkins Davis / 3rd Eloise Mei 

Student- 1st Jen Moorby /  2nd Manni Flemming / 3rd Bethany Gray Witney 

18+ -  1st Lois Edmunds / 2nd Sammy Adams / 3rd Becky Llewelyn 

Independent Designers - 1st Vikki Lafford Garside / 2nd Sophie Withers / 3rd Jack Everret 

Creative Headwear - Arlene Barcley - Creative Heads / Lilah Bessant - Creative Heads Student 


Art Couture Painswick 2016 a Sunny Success
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 22 July 2016
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