Fashion Programme – “Style”
In April 1984, we were due to go to MIP in Cannes once again. For some years, the company had gone to MIP, taken a display stand, but offered no additional product. All their customers already received the news service. I had persuaded UPITN’S President, Kenneth Coyte, that we should go with something to sell. I had pondered the problem for some time after the previous MIP. I came to the conclusion that the missing programme should be concerned with fashions. At that time, there was no regular programme concerning fashions among the major broadcasters in the world. There were also few specialist women’s programmes that might include fashions.
I got permission to film in the Victoria and Albert Museum, where they have an enormous collection of historic fashions.
We made up a pilot of fashion stories that could be used as an entire programme or as individual items in the same way as Roving Report had done.
I called the programme “Style”. We completed a good quality pilot and I took it off to the 1984 MIP in Cannes. There, we booked a projection theatre and publicised the fact that we would be showing the pilot on each day of the market.
Apart from the fashions in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the programme included a fashion show from Rome, shot by Guiliano Nocco, the production of waterproof fashion material in China, shot by our crew from Hong Kong and a story of the village in Northern Thailand that specialised in the making and repairing of colourful umbrellas. This was an industry that started after a traveller came to the village looking for someone to mend his umbrella.
We had good audiences who seemed to appreciate the project, a series that could provide up to date fashion news from around the world.
After each screening, there was considerable discussion. Potential buyers seemed to be interested in the production and how it was made.
We did not get one offer to buy.
Incredibly (or maybe not), within a few months, fashion programmes came on the air all over the world. The BBC started such a programme, it was called The Clothes Show and it started in 1986. That show made famous Jeff Banks, who was awarded British Designer of the Year in 1981. He hosted the show with Selina Scott. Several other people became famous with it and it went on for years. I have always believed that it was my pilot programme that provided the impetus for all those programmes.
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