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Local designer takes to the skies

Update: October, 08/2013 - 10:05
Cloud nine: A photo of Jessica in a sparkling dress on the catwalk is the show's official image. — VNS Photo John Oakley
NEW YORK (VNS)  — Against the backdrop of the US's Grand Canyon, Jessica Minh Anh walks with a vigorous, confident stride in a couture design by Spanish designer Diego Cortizas from Chula.

Though she is at a height of 1,219m, she makes it look effortless as she strides back and fourth during her photo shoot over the UNESCO Heritage Site.

‘The Skywalk', also known as the "best new bridge", is made out of crystal clear glass and will be the official runway of Anh's J Autumn Fashion Show on November 1.

"I was extremely excited. To me, the higher, the better. I felt on top of the world," said the director of the London-based J Model Management, a global fashion event organiser.

As a big fan of unusual set-ups and productions, Anh said she has always been fascinated with architectural wonders and the natural beauty in various cities.

After doing four shows at great heights and on water, the young entrepreneur wanted to do something in the sky, so when she saw the Grand Canyon she knew this was it.

"This was what was going to make my vision a reality. The majesty of the Colorado River and the silhouette of an eagle in the Grand Canyon wall will be fully captured alongside the stunning catwalk," the Vietnamese-born entrepreneur revealed.

"Guests will be seated opposite the bridge and will watch the models walking past them as if they were walking on a cloud."

The show will feature both Haute Couture and high end ready-to-wear collections from 10 different countries.

"I love diversity, and breaking boundaries. Combining creations from various cultures and styles bring many interesting elements to the grand catwalks," said Anh.

"The long drop down! The models are very brave to be walking so high in high heels! But really, I'm looking forward to seeing the couture designs against the views of the grand canyon. It will look and feel breathtaking," said an expecting guest at the autumn show, Rhea Kheen from the UK, who previously attended Anh's shows in the UK and France.

Designer Joana Montez from Portugal is excited to take part in Anh's new event. "The infinitive dimension of the Grand Canyon will mix with the ephemeral existence of fashion styles, which is an interesting concept. The glass catwalk is the perfect place for a fashion show because it highlights dresses, models and jewellery."

She also shared her experience attending catwalk on Coasta Atlantica in Dubai early this year.

"It was a most gratifying experience. It gave our brand the chance to explore new markets, such as the Middle East."

With a vision to go beyond imagination, Anh has continuously redefined modern fashion show standards. Earlier this year, she tested her creativity by hosting shows featuring a 90m floating catwalk on the Seine River in Paris and the world's first sundeck catwalk on Costa Atlantica in Dubai.

"I've always taken every challenge positively as it gives you more experience and confidence once you've overcome them," said Anh, who completed her master's degree in marketing at the University of Birmingham and established J Model Management immediately after in 2009.

"I don't believe in luck, but in working hard and smart to achieve my goals."

Anh said the Skywalk is probably the most ideal catwalk on earth at the moment, therefore, she will do something different and incorporate technology and the senses rather than focusing on heights for her next shows.

She said she also looks forward to Viet Nam as a destination, as "Viet Nam has much breath-taking scenery that inspires me. I'd be very proud to host a show in my country." — VNS


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