Question: What do you do with 85 car parts, a wind tunnel, one model, one photographer, a charity, a car designer and one internationally-renowned dress designer?
Answer: Grab the headlines with the latest fashion accessory to hit the Ka-twalk. Ford's designers and Bruce Oldfield have created a vision of beauty in the shape of a stunning Streetka dress.
Made from 85 parts from a special pink Ford Streetka, the dress, valued at £15,000, will be auctioned during London Fashion Week to raise money for Barnados.
The corset was formed out of pink fibreglass - the material of the Streetka's hardtop. The choker is the car's gem-like clock: the hat was made from parcel shelf material and cable-ties, and the see-through skirt from mesh used on the front grille, decorated with colourful electrical cables normally found under the Streetka's dashboard.
The pink Streetka is a star in its own right. It was especially created as a weekend run-around for Lady Penelope, one of the leading movie characters in this summer's box-office smash hit, Thunderbirds.
Bruce Oldfield, who has for many years designed outfits for celebrities and royalty alike, such as Jerry Hall, Catherine Zeta Jones and the late Diana Princess of Wales, agreed to work with Ford on this unique fundraising project. "It really was a case of two designers from two very different disciplines collaborating on the Streetka dress and coming up with something fabulous and pioneering," he explained.
"I didn't want the dress to look too mechanical," he added," even though it really is made from car parts. Although we used actual wiring as embroidery we did have to concede to a few couture bows to soften it up a bit."
"This was one of the most bizarre projects I have ever worked on," said Paul Wraith, senior designer at Ford. "We used technologies normally reserved for future Ford products to develop the bodice. Having a pink corset emerging in our workshops has certainly raised a few eyebrows around the studio.
"Who but Bruce would have imagined that cable ties, parcel shelf fabric and mesh could make such a stunning outfit,’’ he added.
The dress will feature as part of Bruce's charity fashion show at Claridges on Wednesday 22 September where his new autobiography, Rootless, will also be launched. A six-month loan of the pink Streetka will also be auctioned. Proceeds will go to Barnados.Published 18 September 2004