Dame Prue Leith goes from cakestands to catwalk to make modelling debut at 84

Dame Prue poses in her Vin + Omi creation before the catwalk show on Tuesday night
Dame Prue poses in her Vin + Omi creation before the catwalk show on Tuesday night - GARETH CATTERMOLE/GETTY IMAGES

Dame Prue Leith has made her catwalk debut at the age of 84 – modelling garments created using waste from the King’s Sandringham estate.

“I always like to do something I’ve never done before, and I have never done this before,’ the Great British Bake Off judge told The Telegraph before her appearance on Tuesday evening. “I am a little bit nervous and if I have to do one of those twirl things I’ll probably fall over, I’m an old lady.’

But there was no such Naomi Campbell moment for Dame Prue, who expertly navigated the runway at The Other House in South Kensington wearing an ombre-effect maxi dress with a matching splatter-effect long coat by Vin and Omi, a design duo who specialise in avant-garde, environmentally friendly designs.

The look was completed with her signature colour-block glasses, a multi-coloured disc necklace and white trainers with rainbow-hued laces.

‘Mad and wonderful’

Fittings for the presenter and cookery writer’s modelling debut took place, rather appropriately, in her kitchen. “I didn’t select it, Vin and Omi turned up at my house and said, how about this, and showed me a toile,” she said. “I loved it and there is a sort of jacket to go on top of it.” She called Vin and Omi’s designs “mad and wonderful”.

Dame Prue used the opportunity to lend her support to the sustainable fashion movement.

“I think one of the most terrible things about modern life is the way we all just buy stuff, hardly wear it and throw it away,” she said.

“You can’t even give it to the charity shops because they got too much of it. And the answer is, have stuff that lasts longer and that you really love. I was wearing a jacket today that I’ve had for 45 years and it looks terrific.”

Vin and Omi call their latest collection, which begins a year of 20th anniversary celebrations for the brand, Sci-Fi Magpie.

The show included outfits made from materials created using waste wood chippings and recycled plastic. Some fabrics were also dyed using food waste.

Dames are in vogue

Some of the designs which Vin and Omi made using waste from the King’s gardens are currently on show at The Great Hall in Sandringham, until October 11.

Dame Prue joins a growing trend for fashion designers to cast older women – especially legendary British Dames – to showcase their designs. Last October, Dame Maggie Smith was chosen by Northern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson to model in a campaign for Loewe, the Spanish luxury house where he is creative director. Dame Mary Berry and Dame Joanna Lumley have been enlisted by Burberry as ambassadors.

But Dame Prue’s rose-tinted catwalk debut was by far the most powerful statement that we should have fun with fashion, no matter what our age.