Fashion show has designs on top names

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TOP fashion designers including Stella McCartney and Nicole Farhi are being lined up to support this year's Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show.

Organisers say they are planning the biggest student fashion show ever held in the UK.

And they hope it will raise a mammoth 60,000 to be split between cancer care centres in Scotland and a new African orphanage.

Some of the biggest names in fashion - including Godiva and Ozwald Boateng - are helping out by loaning eye-catching garments which will be modelled by students on the catwalk at shows on consecutive nights from March 2 to 4 in the Royal Museum of Scotland.

And it is hoped Stella McCartney will also provide items for the shows, with tickets now on sale for the first two nights when 650 people will be able to attend each evening.

Burlesque dancers, flame throwers and African drummers will emblazon each of the evening's proceedings with excitement and glamour, while musical entertainment will be provided by up-and-coming bands and DJs.

The event will culminate in a VIP night extravaganza - attended by professionals including investment bankers - with a champagne reception, followed by a two-course dinner and a highly exclusive auction.

The 350 guests at the finale will have the chance to bid for prizes such as a week-long stay at The Sandy Lane, Barbados, for ten people and a dress made by Sue Bonham, dressmaker to the Queen.

Exciting sporting holidays and tickets to the Glyndbourne opera are also being auctioned.

Up for grabs in a raffle, for which tickets can be purchased at all three shows, are a limited edition box set of Harry Potter books signed by JK Rowling, signed brass cymbals belonging to the drummer in Kaiser Chiefs and a guitar from Snow Patrol.

The event is raising funds for two worthy causes. The Swaziland Charitable Trust, which is dedicated to helping orphaned children, or those whose lives have been made difficult by Aids in Africa, will benefit from the show. Cash will also be given to the Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres, as in previous years.

Stella McCartney is the daughter of ex-Beatle Paul and Linda McCartney who became chief designer of French couture house Chloe in 1997, while Ozwald Boateng is the first tailor to have staged a catwalk show in Paris. Nicole Farhi is an Algerian designer and sculptor based in London.

Organisers have approached Stella McCartney and are confident she will loan clothes for the event.

One of the organisers, Leonora Lonsdale, 19, a history and Spanish student at Edinburgh University, said: "We are so pleased that so many great designers are lending garments and we are hopeful that Stella McCartney will also be able to help out. It is now in its third consecutive year and every year it has escalated and escalated and this year we have really stepped up our game.

"What we are trying to do is make it the biggest student fashion show to date in the UK. The third night will hopefully draw all the movers and shakers in Edinburgh."

And she revealed: "JK Rowling just happened to be in a department store at the same time as our chairman, Joshua Scales, who asked her if she could help out - and we were delighted to get a signed Harry Potter box set."

A spokeswoman for Maggie's, which has a centre at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital, said: "We are delighted that once again the Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show is sponsoring Maggie's. I know it's going to be another fantastic show because of all the hard work that has been put into it."

Tickets for the event can be bought online from its website, at