Western Marble Arch synagogue strikes a pose with Fashion kiddush

Congregants at Western Marble Arch synagogue were joined by an especially fashionable crowd for its Shabbat service on Saturday. 

Sitting amongst regular shul-goers, was a group of more than 100 figures working in the fashion and beauty industry who had come together for a special ‘Fashion Kiddush’.

Top journalists, designers, stylists and influencers attended the gathering, which was coordinated by the Fashion Against Antisemitism & Beauty group, set up in response to the outpouring of hate after the October 7 atrocities.

Leading authority Suzy Menkes, the former editor of Vogue International, businessman Harold Tillman, former chair of the British Fashion Council, Browns Bride founder Caroline Burnstein and fashion photographer Richard Young, were joined by notable designers including Dame Zandra Rhodes and David Sassoon. Joining the service was socialite Philip Sallon – famed for being at the forefront of the punk and clubbing movement in London – who wore a tallit over his archive Vivienne Westwood red suit and matching kippah, while hair stylist to the stars Colin Gold also wore a tallit over his crystal embellished black jacket.

After the service, guests gathered to hear actress Tracy Ann-Oberman speak about her family’s history in the fashion industry, before going on to call out the rise of antisemitism across the country since the Hamas-terror attack against Israel.

Deborah Lyons

Attendees then enjoyed a traditional heimishe kiddush, complete with chopped herring, liver, egg and onion rolls, as well servings of hot cholent and latkes.

The event – which was attended by British Fashion Council chief executive Caroline Rush – was co-ordinated by brand consultant Mandi Lennard and designer Deborah Lyons, who set up the Fashion & Beauty Against Antisemitism group after the October 7 atrocities in Israel.

Lyons, who set up the group, has openly called for more to be done to educate and combat Jew-hate in the sector.

Speaking after the event, Lyons, who owns sustainability brand Maison Lyons, said: “It has been an incredibly tough few months, contrasted by a tremendous sense of togetherness. We hope this Kiddush will be an opportunity to amplify that sense of solidarity and bring some much-needed light to all of us.”

Lennard, who has coordinated projects for fashion houses Burberry, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, added: “This was undoubtedly a lifeline to many and very emotional, the past five months having taken its toll. This inclusive gathering offered nothing but love. It was actually a buzzy frenzy of a Kiddush, everyone asking when the next will take place.”

Fashion commentator and influencer Benji Park said: “Coming [together] as a proud community is a radical act when we know so many outside these walls would hate this.

“Jewish resistance comes in many forms; it exists simply in our beating hearts. They will never erase us.”

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