Meet the middle aged models of Suffolk Fashion Show who prove age is just a number
PUBLISHED: 18:59 27 August 2019
Diversity is at the core of everything Suffolk Fashion Show is about - and these two models who are walking for their third consecutive year prove exactly that.
Brendon Hardwicke Dale and Geri Crouch are two of the local models who have been taken on by Fashion Candy Style to walk in its seventh annual fashion show.
They have 'normal' day jobs and have gotten into modelling later in life, after both reaching different 'milestones' in their lives.
The show, which promises to bring a stylish evening of fun-filled fashion, will return to Trinity Park on Thursday, October 3, with an electric mix of retailers and independents from across Suffolk.
Brendon Hardwicke Dale
After going through a divorce and coming out gay, 41-year-old Brendon from Ipswich turned to fashion to help him get through the low time in his life.
He said: "I was finding it hard to find my confidence again and was struggling to make new friends, so when I came across the advert I signed up."
This will be Brendon's third year as a model with Fashion Candy Style, which was set up by Pam Davis three years ago to recruit a diverse range of models for client projects across Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.
Brendon, who works for an established paint company in the area, added: "The family of friends I have made has been wicked.
"Suffolk Fashion Show is a diverse event and the models show this as we are of all ages. It caters for the everyday person, someone you see on the street - whether that person is male or female, big, small, tall, short, straight, gay, blonde, ginger, black or white.
"Fashion isn't made for a set person and Pam knows this - and that is why SFS does so well."
When SFS returns on October 3, it will be Brendon's third time modelling for the prestigious event.
He said: "The clothes we get to wear from the retailers are amazing and then being pampered by the hair and makeup team is great. I know I may be bald but even I was in the hair dressing chair!"
51-year-old Geri became involved with Suffolk Fashion Show back in 2017, just after celebrating her 49th birthday.
"Approaching 50 was a bit of a turning point for me," said the executive assistant to the chief fire officer in Suffolk, who lives in Kesgrave. "I was keen to prove to myself, and others, that age is no barrier to wanting to look good or be interested in fashion. Who says that women or men can't be fashionable after a certain age?"
Modelling was always something that Geri had wanted to do in her younger days. But she says that back then she never had the confidence or opportunity to do so.
So when she saw an advert on Facebook she jumped at the chance, initially not thinking much of it, but now two years on and she has experienced some amazing things - from starring in local campaigns and even appearing on TV.
She said: "Being involved with SFS has improved my self-confidence no end. Having someone like Pam and Fashion Candy Style believe in me and who want me to model for them has been amazing."
With Geri's new-found confidence she applied to be a 'real woman' model on ITV's This Morning and has now appeared on the popular daytime show four times.
She was also successfully cast as one of Trinny Woodall's models for her makeup range 'Trinny London' and appears as one of the 'Trinny Tribe' on her website.
This year's SFS will also be Geri's third show, alongside her co-model Brendon who starred alongside her in a shoot for Isaacs on the Quay's wedding venue.
Speaking of the event, Geri added: "Being involved in the Show is such an fantastic experience. Having the opportunity to model such lovely clothes and getting my hair and makeup done by professionals is wonderful.
"Trinity Park is such a perfect venue - I think we're all really looking forward to seeing what this year will bring, what the catwalk will look like, which retailers will be involved, what we'll be wearing and what the routines will be.
"Pam and her team are fantastic at helping us learn the routines and making sure we're all in the right place at the right time on the night."