Drag queen performer Jamie Campbell has been working with Rotherham College Fashion students to create a variety of outfits for his new UK drag tour, ‘Why Isn’t Everybody Talking About Fifi?’
Jamie was inspiration for musical, ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ after theatre director Jonathan Butterell caught BBC documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16. The documentary followed Campbell as he discovered his alter-ego Fifi la True and eventually unveiled her at his end of school prom.
Through this exposure Jamie has created his first ever UK drag tour called ‘Why Isn’t Everybody Talking About Fifi?’. The show is loose narrative following Fifi’s journey after the documentary. It is a fun drag show with choreography, dancers and quick-change costumes, with fashion pieces created by Rotherham College Fashion students.
Jamie has worn these fashion pieces throughout his tour of the UK, and the students involved recently had the chance to see the garments in action at the Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield.
Lauren Jeffers, a Rotherham College fashion student who has worked on some of the garments said, “We first got the brief from Jamie, including measurements and style, which we then worked into our pattern cutting and repeating the process with alterations until we achieved the final piece.
“Some of the outfits including the fishtail dress needed a lot of fabric and at times could be a challenge to work with. However, seeing the outfits in action at Fifi’s performance in Sheffield, I felt so proud to see them on stage and then get compliments from people about your creations; it’s worth all the hard work.”
Jamie has also recently visited the College to do a catwalk showcase and outfit reveal for both students and staff, showing the amount of detail in each dress style and the student’s clear dedication to the project.
Jessica Crompton, also a fashion student added, “After finishing my course I want to start a career in costume design, and this project with Jamie has helped me develop the skills I need to start working towards my career goals.”
Jamie aka Fifi la True commented, “I’m fortunate enough to have been given a platform to work college and university students, and it was through a mutual friend and a chance conversation with the Fashion tutor at Rotherham College that we had the opportunity to work together.
“The idea was to create a real-life industry brief for a number in my tour that has six different costume changes in it. I wanted to keep the direction quite vague, because I wanted the students to develop their own interpretation, but they did a fantastic job by creating mood boards and worked so hard to get the pieces finished to a tight deadline.”
“I think the design of each costume is so clever, for example by being able to fit my big blue poufy dress into the first top layer purple dress. The purple dress is shaped so well that it makes my body look so amazing, even though I’ve got so many other dresses underneath!”
Jamie will return as Fifi la True on her second leg of her UK tour in June. To find out more about the tour and booking tickets, visit https://www.jamieandfifi.co.uk/