A unique experience is the only way to describe THE CREATION FASHION SHOW says Tony Cummings.
Surely the one "act" no one expected to cause enormous ripples of excitement at Cross Rhythms: Destiny Calling festival in July was The Creation Fashion Show. For many of us who have felt our sensibilities dulled by the catwalk-prancing vanities of The Clothes Show while in today's church many Christians as far as clothes are concerned seemingly believe "dowdy = spiritual", The Creation Fashion Show was truly a gob-smacking experience. For this event, conceived by Kerry Cole, who with husband Chris co-pastors the Cornerstone Fellowship in Plymouth, was a unique amalgamation of artistic disciplines - part fashion show, part drama part mime, part interpretive dance session and, thanks to the stunning music selection and mixing skills of Cross Rhythms radio producer Jonathan Bellamy, part a stunning presentation of some of the best ambient and dance music from the Christian music counter-culture.
The inspiration for the show was the first few chapters of Genesis. I asked Kerry Cole how the whole idea for the multi-media extravaganza came about. "In my past I'd been heavily into fashion. I did a bit of modelling. I worked at Top Shop. After my conversion Christ gradually began to reveal to me that it was the inner person rather than the external that he was most concerned with. Then after years I got what I can only describe as a vision. Those first few chapters of Genesis came alive to me. And I saw how glorious God's creation is and how futile the creations of man can become once they leave the Lord out. I saw things on The Clothes Show which were so sad and wonky and strange -bottomless trousers for instance - and then ideas and concepts began to come to me where the creation story could be portrayed through clothes, dance, music..."
Stunningly, Kerry pursued her vision with NO budget. "I simply asked folk from around the churches if they had any old curtains, bits of fabric, sheets, net curtains..." As a team of friends from inside and outside the Cornerstone Church began to get busy with sewing machines, Kerry began to recruit her models/dancers. "We didn't just use young 'model types'. We brought in all shapes and sizes, all ages."
In fact, one of the most beautiful moments in the presentation is when a group of children dance to Amy Grant's "Consider The Lillies Of The Fields". Another breathtaking image was the Adam And Eve sequence where the couple are dressed as bride and groom. Then, after Satan tempts the bride with an apple on a leather cord, she is enticed away and Satan replaces her white veil for a black one. The sight of the bespoiled bride is disturbingly memorable.
In response to numerous requests, future performances of The Creation Fashion Show (and there could possibly be several) will offer those streaming, probably stunned, from the show a chance to pick up a sheet detailing the music used. It ranges from Code Of Ethics to Rhythms Of Creation, Zero to Terl Bryant, Late Late Service to Mindbender. I asked Jon Bellamy how he and Kerry made their emotive music selections. 'To be honest, I had very, very little time and I honestly believe the Lord divinely inspired our choices."
I concluded by asking Kerry what she hoped those who have seen The Creation Fashion Show will take away from the event. "Well, it's certainly not the clothes, though they're not fancy dress and one or two are astonishing designs. But it's not the clothes. I think the Bible readings and the choreography and the music and the painted backdrop all point to one thing. We're not here by accident. We're all wonderfully created."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.