Zahra’s Column

Medway Fashion Week

Zahra Barri

10 Apr 2022

Our columnist Zahra Barri fancies herself ME1’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw and reports fresh from her strut down the Rochester Runway during Medway Fashion Week.

I’ve always loved expressing myself through fashion. I wear my sparkles when I’m feeling sparkly, my combat trousers when I’m ready for combat, my boyfriend jeans when I have a boyfriend, my eighties power suit (complete with angular shoulder pads) when I’m feeling powerful and my thermal underwear when I’m feeling cold (and angry about energy prices soaring).

So, when Meek at Meek Model Management approached me to ask if I wanted to take part in Medway Fashion Week as a model I was delighted. I’ve never been scouted by a model agent before. I mean, I’ve come close, obviously. When I lived in London, I would regularly walk by Select Model Management on my way into work each day but because I was always wearing my corona mask my model credentials were sadly undetectable to them.

I said yes immediately to Meek. I mean New York Fashion Week is cool, Paris is chic, London is classy…. but Medway Fashion Week is the cultural cornerstone of the fashion industry. There was no way in hell I wasn’t going to get exclusive insider access to Medway’s finest designers. And besides when it comes to buying clothes, I’ve always preferred the high street (and by that, I mean Rochester High Street) over Victoria Beckham et al.

Being part of Medway Fashion Show during Medway Fashion Week was the perfect chance to, as someone who is new to the Rochester area, ingratiate myself into the local community whilst also emulate my favourite fashion idol: Carrie Bradshaw. After all I see myself as Rochester’s answer to the iconic fashionista made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker. I mean, like, hello- I’m a single writer with a local column who has a passion for fashion. So taking part in Rochester Fashion Show was an excuse to recreate the iconic episode where Carrie models at New York Fashion Week. Except I’d go one better and do it in Medway (I also wouldn’t fall flat on my face wearing Manola Blahnik six-inch heels like she did). In fact, I did the very opposite I strutted down the catwalk to Elton John’s I’m Still Standing which I can only assume the organisers requested on purpose to ensure that I wasn’t emulating too much of my fashion icon.

Oh, what a night!

The Corn Exchange is a stunning building and so the perfect setting for the very hottest designers in the ME1 vicinity to show case what can only be described, as absolute works of art that I and a handful of other lucky models got to adorn. The night was electric and the clothes eclectic ranging from casual and understated to cutting edge and statement, bold and bright to demure and refined. There really was something for everyone for men and women alike.

The whole night was organised by Meek at Meek Model Management and Eddy at Eddybond International Fashion House who were basically Medway’s equivalent of Lady Gaga and Adam Driver in House of Gucci but without the fake Italian accents and over heated arguments. They stayed cool under the spotlight and gave me a low down of all the ME1 Designers on the Rochester Runway.


I came out thinking: “Who needs Versace when you have Fey Vee? Vogue when you have Royal Vogue? ZARA when you have Zee?  Hugo Boss when you have Boss Dreams? McQueen when you have Ethnic Royals? Diamonds when can you have Addey Sapphire? Chanel when you have Kiannera? Lacoste when you have Lasste? Marc Jacobs when you have err, Medway Youth Services (project by Timi).”

 In short who needs Milan when you have Medway?

Cannot wait till next year.