Hemel designer breaks the mould at London Fashion Week

April Banbury pictured with one of her models at London Fashion Week
April Banbury pictured with one of her models at London Fashion Week

An up-and-coming designer took London Fashion Week by storm when she showcased models of all shapes and sizes

April Banbury, from Kings Langley, wanted to encourage the industry to start using more models of diversity rather than the “perfect woman”.

One of April's models on the catwalk

One of April's models on the catwalk

And the former Longdean School student used one of fashion’s biggest stages to present a model with Down’s Syndrome, a plus-sized model, and women of different ethnic backgrounds from across the world.

The 30-year-old said: “We are surrounded by what the media portray as, ‘the perfect woman’ who we also find ourselves aspiring to look like and obsessing over – taking a toll on young woman’s mental health and self-esteem.

“Why should we be made to feel we need to look a certain way to succeed in fashion? We should be embracing diversity and celebrating who we are naturally. And this is exactly what I plan on doing.”

April, who has featured at London Fashion Week twice before, took to the stage at the Congress Centre with a collection of luxury bejewelled and fairy tale bridal gowns.

April showcased a collection of bejewelled bridal gowns

April showcased a collection of bejewelled bridal gowns

She was a finalist for Great Britain’s top designer and was invited to this season’s fashion week to work together with diverse models.

“The reaction to my collection was amazing, even better than what I ever could have imagined," April added.

“There were a lot more people who were on board about raising awareness of diversity in the fashion industry.”

April is currently a Miss Britain finalist and will be competing in Leicester next year for the 75th anniversary of the pageant.