Never has one piece of calico taken on so many meanings!

Initially the All Walks team had the idea of calico as being the blank canvas from which young and established creatives start their work. In essence this is the first piece of cloth that will take mold to the body.

Having an unconscious relationship between the designer and the dummy, to when the toile is made and it is time for fittings on a fit-model, making any adjustments needed before the final garment is made. In effect this makes a relationship between the designer and the model very important as this will be the stage when a fitting takes places and comfort may be achieved, or not. It is also a way for the designer to express themselvess without the waste of expensive fabric if the idea fails in reality.

A very good teaching tool for every level of designer.



Above: Caryn Franklin has taken one piece of calico to universities around the country, giving seminars on diversity to fashion students and allowing them to respond by writing their feelings and opinions on the calico.

After this series of seminars, All Walks used the calico at our big event, ‘SNAPPED’ at the National Portrait Gallery. The calico was draped on an historical vintage tailor’s dummy and displayed for one night only. Turning a collaboration between many into a form of art expressing young creatives views on diversity in a celebratory way.

Carefully looking at the drape of the fabric and being careful not to slash or cut in any way, we then recycled the calico in a whole new way, as All Walks loaned the calico to co-founder Erin O’Connor for the Model Sanctuary. Erin has now inspired models to be creative and do their own home furnishings commenting on how much they loved what she has done below….

Turning the Piece into a sofa throw! We all love this here at All Walks – how the calico has gone from inspiring designers, to taking the weight off tired model’s feet and allowing them to rest in a blanket of love from All Walks and the Sanctuary coming together as sisters.

Celebrating models, designers and creatives coming together for diversity!

From a piece of calico to the National Portrait Gallery to Erin’s Model Sanctuary – what will happen to this calico next?

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Post and images by M.W