Our AW19 collection, Adelaide House takes its name from a women’s shelter based in Liverpool, one of only five such facilities in the country, which provides a safe place for women leaving prison or dealing with issues such as domestic violence and homelessness. This collection is produced in collaboration with Adelaide House.
Inspired by the city of Liverpool – the first city in the UK to have social housing and by the prominent socially engaged female politicians that have helped support their local communities.
Our AW19 collection was showcased at London Fashion Week (LFW), where Bethany was awarded the QEII Award for Design, 2019.
For the LFW show, we suspended recycled tent material above the catwalk, giving a nod to the importance of shelter. This tent material was then also used for the production of the collection as not to waste any material. In line with all of Bethany’s previous collections, ‘Adelaide House’ was produced using recycled and organic materials. Bethany has worked alongside Liverpool’s The Echo Newspaper, utilizing their waste products and book waste from San Patrignano in Italy – a community that welcomes those suffering from drug addiction and marginalization and helps them to once again find their way. Our relationships with social manufacturing projects – Making for Change, San Patrignano and The Manx Disability Workshop, represent our long-term commitment to providing skills and meaningful employment for those in the production process.
AW19’s knitwear has been created in collaboration with Wool and the Gang’s wool fibre, a range of renewable, biodegradable and deadstock yarns. Our sample garments are hand knitted by Bethany’s Mum Karen Kewley, Cecile Tulkins and Alice Morell Evans. The denim within the collection is sourced from Chris Carney Collections, a recycling and sorting facility and is unpicked and washed before being reconstituted and hand printed into new garments.
The soundtrack for AW19, was mixed by Benji B and featured the voices of women from London College of Fashion, UAL’s ‘Making for Change’ programme. A unit which provides support and training in specialist machines skills for women at HMP Downview. The unit constructed the jersey pieces for this collection.
As with every Bethany Williams collection, 20% of the proceeds from the collection will go to the charity it was made in collaboration with.
Creative Direction: Bethany Williams
Art Direction: Giorgia Chiarion, Akinola Davies
Stylist: Tallulah Harlech
Casting: 11 Casting
Hair: Efi Davis using Toni & Guy
Set Design: Lydia Chan
Make Up: Kristina Vidic using Code8
Knitwear: Karen Kewley, Cecile Tulkins, Alice Morell Evans
Footwear: Adidas and Helen Kirkum
Communication: The Lobby London
Music: Benji B featuring the voices of to the women from London College of Fashion, UAL’s ‘Making for Change’ programme
Shownotes: Frances Corner
Special Thanks – The British Fashion Council, Caroline Rush, Adelaide House, San Patrignano, Giorgia Chiarion, London College of Fashion, Making for Change, Wool and the Gang, TIH Models, The Liverpool Echo, The Lobby London, Frances Corner, Stacey James, Clare Farrel, Helen Kirkum, Adidas, Orsola DeCastro, Eric Williams, Karen Kewley, Harry Glaisher, Adwoa Aboah, Alfie Kungu, Amadou, Alex Morton, Cedric Mizero, Emman Debattista, Helene Selam, James Massiah, Jeffrey Obed, Kris Mcallister, Mopesola, Saffiyah Khan, Sonny Hall, William Soames.
In the words of Professor Frances Corner OBE, (previous) Head of London College of Fashion, UAL and Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of the Arts London...
When Bethany said she wanted to change the system many doubted it was possible; but three collections in and she’s proving that fashion does not have to come at the expense of people and planet. Ever since Bethany graduated from MA Menswear at London College of Fashion, UAL in 2016, she has been unwavering in her desire to create a business based on her values – with social and environmental awareness at its heart. It’s a brave stance from a young designer about to enter one of the most competitive industries in the world. But Bethany has always been different. Before her graduation show her Mum could be found backstage, busy knitting socks and adding the final touches to her collection. For Bethany everything is personal – her beautifully original pieces, rich with hand-crafted detail translate into collections that her customers treasure. Fashion that is meaningful that connects us with humanity; to the people that made the garment, weaved the fabric and carved the buttons. Fashion that encourages social enterprise and gives a percentage of profits back to good causes. This way of working is not easy; to create a business that places sustainability and social responsibility at its core is not without challenges, but the QEII Award for Design, which she receives today, should demonstrate that it is possible to embrace and face head on the challenges that threaten our industry, from resource depletion to climate change.
Bethany’s work brings into sharp focus some of the country’s most difficult problems, from homelessness to domestic abuse, but her work is much more than social commentary. Her ethos is one of collaboration – where social and environmental concerns go hand in hand; she embeds herself within communities from charities to prisons, to provide meaningful employment and create engaging and empowering opportunities to create positive change…
Today’s show is characteristically personal, featuring models who are friends and activists who champion and support the issues which Bethany cares deeply about. In the audience will be colleagues and students from London College of Fashion, UAL and those from the charities and organisations who she continues to work closely with her. The showcase slows fashion right down and represents the antithesis of disposable culture...
Bethany has created an alternative system for fashion production, she is proving that fashion can be extraordinary, individual and beautiful AND take into account the people and the resources in the system. She exemplifies an ethos which is capable of changing the way we view and consume fashion. A true fashion activist challenging the status quo and for this Bethany, we salute you.