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Former Home and Away actress films West Hampstead 'flash mob' of 150 women modelling her skirts

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:41 09 May 2013

Women modelling their skirts in West Hampstead. PIC: Dieter Perry

Women modelling their skirts in West Hampstead. PIC: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

A 'flash mob' of 100 women modelling skirts flooded West Hampstead on Monday.

Fashion designer Nicola Quilter in front of the 'flash mob'Fashion designer Nicola Quilter in front of the 'flash mob'

For one afternoon only, West Hampstead Mews was transformed into a catwalk as women wearing skirts by designer and former Home and Away actress Nicola Quilter strutted their stuff up and down the street for a video for her fashion label.

Ms Quilter, who has market stalls in Camden, Spitalfields and Greenwich, contacted clients asking them to be in the video, which she hopes will go viral. She was overwhelmed by the response.

“Originally I thought only ten or so women would respond,” said the designer, who lives in Mill Lane, West Hampstead. “But we got 100. Logistically it was hard work but they were all really lovely ladies.

“I got the giggles during the shoot because I have never seen 100 women of all different shapes and sizes wearing my skirts, and some of the skirts were really old ones I had designed that I hadn’t seen in years.”

Women from as far away as Germany, Geneva and Glasgow came to London especially for the shoot, and each model who took part left with a free skirt – all custom-made by Ms Quilter, who was also shooting the video.

As the women twirled and swirled in their hand-embroidered skirts, passers-by stopped in their tracks to take in the fashion show.

“The funny thing was, some people wanted to be in it, and then other people didn’t quite know where the width of the camera was, so they just stood there staring and they’re right in shot,” said Ms Quilter.

“I decided to shoot in West Hampstead because I live here, so it made sense to use my flat as a base.”

She also used local cafes and friends’ front doors as locations for short scenes in the fashion video.

“We are all neighbours here and everyone knows each other so that made it easier for me.”

Ms Quilter, Donna Bishop in Aussie soap Home and Away in the 90s, has appeared in other stage and screen roles and has spent ten years as a fashion designer following her acting career.

Her skirts come in sizes tiny, trim, normal, healthy, extra healthy and voluptuous rather than the usual small, medium and large. She works on each one herself.

The film, called Skirt Fever, will be ready this summer when it will be shown on YouTube and the Nicola Quilter website.

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