STRIKE a pose!
Renowned drag queen performer Jamie Campbell took to the stage to thank fashion students for their hard work creating his alter ego Fifi la True’s costumes.
Jamie (22) visited the college to put on a fabulous catwalk showcase and outfit reveal for students and staff at Rotherham College last Friday.
The stage star has been working with them to create a variety of outfits for new UK drag tour Why Isn’t Everybody Talking About Fifi?
The show’s name is inspired by recent hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which was based on a 2011 BBC show about him.
The documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 followed the teenage Jamie as he discovered his alter-ego and eventually unveiled her at his school prom.
Jamie’s first ever drag tour follows Fifi’s journey after the documentary. The fun show combines choreography, dancers and quick costume changes.
Jamie said: “I’m fortunate enough to have been given a platform to work with college and university students. It was through a mutual friend and a chance conversation with the fashion tutor at Rotherham College that we had the opportunity to work together.
“The idea was to create a real-life industry brief for a number in my tour that has six different costume changes in it. I wanted to keep the direction quite vague, because I wanted the students to develop their own interpretation.
“They did a fantastic job by creating mood boards and worked so hard to get the pieces finished to a tight deadline.
“I think the design of each costume is so clever, for example by being able to fit my big blue poufy dress into the first top layer purple dress. The purple dress is shaped so well that it makes my body look so amazing, even though I’ve got so many other dresses underneath!”
Jamie, who defied bullies to wear a dress to his school prom, has worn the designs throughout his tour and invited the students to see the garments in action at his recent Sheffield show.
Student Lauren Jeffers (22), of Rotherham, said: “We first got the brief from Jamie, including measurements and style, which we then worked into our pattern cutting and repeating the process with alterations until we achieved the final piece.
“Some of the outfits, including the fishtail dress, needed a lot of fabric and at times could be a challenge to work with. However, seeing the outfits in action at Fifi’s performance in
Sheffield, I felt so proud to see them on stage and then get compliments from people about your creations. It’s worth all the hard work.”
Fellow fashion student Jessica Crompton (22), of Swallownest, added: “After finishing my course I want to start a career in costume design, and this project with Jamie has helped me develop the skills I need to start working towards my career goals.”
County Durham-born Jamie, who came out as gay aged 14, also plans to collaborate with media students on a new radio station, Rockingham Radio, which will be broadcast at the college and focus on topics such as mental health and the LGBT community.
The coming-of-age musical about Jamie’s courageous and outrageous school years is now being made into a film by Warp Films, who made This Is England.
Jamie will return as Fifi la True on the second tour leg in June. To find out more visit www.jamieandfifi.co.uk.