Rachel Stevens' bra supports cancer charity

By Jennifer Lipman, February 17, 2011
Avsh Alom Gur

Avsh Alom Gur

A fashion designer has revealed how his sister's battle with cancer inspired him to make a creative contribution to a charity bra auction.

Avsh Alom Gur is one of more than 40 designers, writers and celebrities who have donated their time and varying artistic skills to the Jewish Community Centre's Big Bra Auction, also supporting breast cancer charity Cancerkin.

For example, the Rachel Stevens bra is adorned with baby's bottle teets in celebration of the birth of her daughter last year. Author Naomi Alderman managed to fit a short story on hers. Actress and comedian Helen Lederer opted for a school uniform motif.

Mr Gur, the former design director for Ossie Clarke, said the news of his sister's full recovery prompted him to decorate the bra in a "lively and colourful" way.

"I started by going down a heavier route, but I wanted to celeb-rate the positivity of getting healed," he said. "The result is a thing of beauty, something you can appreciate, not something daunting, like cancer is for so many."

Nerida Fraiman’s decorated bra

Nerida Fraiman’s decorated bra

His design features a wide array of precious stones, beads and other materials. It was made in collaboration with colleagues because "each one of us has our own story - cancer affects people from all walks of life."

Having seen the importance of art in helping his sister through a difficult time, he was moved by the idea of using his talents to raise money for cancer support.

Milliner Nerida Fraiman said her hand-stitched contribution, using peacock feathers and diamante pieces, would retail for £1,000 if sold commercially. She had wanted "to make the humble bra beautiful. It's been great fun and a good way of highlighting a fantastic cause."

Other Jewish contributors included Baroness Neuberger, Maureen Lipman, Esther Rantzen and newsreader Emily Maitlis, whose design was giraffe-inspired. She had wanted to support the project because of the beneficiaries - even though it meant showing "the world what a truly appalling artist I really am".

JCC creative director Juliet Simmons had "loved seeing how imaginative everyone's been and we hope to raise lots of money through the online auction."

Last updated: 10:49am, February 21 2011