February is a fashionable month. With the major industry weeks happening in New York, London, Milan and Paris most of us can only watch from the wings as the great and the glamorous congregate on these international stages.
To mark the occasion in London Toby Rose has written "Fashion Victim The Musical". Directed by the Landor Theatre's Robert McWhir, it's an opportunity for all of us to get a taste of the cut-throat ways of the fashion world. Adding even more sparkle is the acclaimed performance artist, Jonny Woo, who joins the cast as Jack Spangle.
We caught up with Rose to get a sense of what's in store in his outlandish lyrical event.
Where did you get the idea for the show?
My background is as a cinema journalist and I've noticed that 'la mode' is taking over much of that industry. The idea was to marry up the world of music and mode. So "Fashion Victim The Musical" evolved from working alongside the fashion world over more years than I care to mention.
Why does the musical genre appeal to you so much?
Musicals are a truly fun form of theatre. Dialogue followed by song speeds along a story. My first staged show was "Discotivity" which was full of pumping disco beats. When it hits the groove then you really feel the ambience! This show is more ambitious as these are all original songs, except for a couple, including I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred.
How have you found working with Jonny Woo?
Mr Woo has been rather wonderful. His persona is so large I confess I was a little aquiver at the thought of him taking on the role of Jake Spangle, the MC who leads us along this catwalk on the wild side. But the experience has been successful. Having Jonny jump into character with so much gusto has inevitably seen the role grow and all I can say is that you will not want to miss Mr Woo as he struts our stage in full song with barbs that bite!
Do you personally follow fashion?
I have been to more fashion shows than I care to mention and like the rest of the world feel the irresistible pull of that world. The cut of the cloth, the colours - it's all a very subtle science and is forever in a state of evolution which makes compulsive viewing. At the same time not too many strong fashion statements leave my wardrobe. I know that the wrong look in the wrong place can be pretty damaging. There is no way back from a fashion faux pas.
Do you think that the fashion world can be too insular?
Fashion might be on every street corner but it is a pretty closed shop. You have to be on the inside track to get into the race. This leaves it open to all sorts of hustlers and hucksters. Behind the smiles and the kisses this is a pretty ruthless world. So you need to have a tough streak to make a mark.
Catch Fashion Victim The Musical at The Roxy Bar and Screen on 15th and 16th February .
Text by Angelica Pursley for Crane.tv