© Clair CollinsonA stunning poppy dress to raise money for the Royal British Legion modelled by reality TV star Tanya Bardsley
The Real Housewives of Cheshire star Tanya Bardsley has modelled a stunning poppy dress donated to raise money for the Royal British Legion.
Dress designer Leigh Hetherington and three of her design team spent more than 250 hours of their own time creating a dress to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.
The dress is made from black taffeta and black tulle. Each of the poppies has been individually handmade from red silk tulle with black Swarovski crystal beaded centres. The design wraps poppies around the body to give the effect of a poppy wreath.
Tanya, who is one of the glam ladies featured on the hit ITVBe reality series Real Housewives, said: "Two years ago my dad, Steve Robinson, received an MBE for services to injured soldiers, so helping our armed forces community is very close to my heart. © Credits: Clair Collinson
"My dad joined the army when he was just 16 years old and rose to the rank of major.
"When I heard that Leigh was designing a poppy dress, I was delighted to get involved and help to raise money for this year's Poppy Appeal. From supporting veterans and their families in debt or emergency situations, to providing breaks for service families, the Legion provides vital support for our armed forces."
The stunning outfit is now on display at the intu Metro Centre in Gateshead.
Rachel Hardwick, the Royal British Legion's Community fundraiser for Northumberland and Tyneside, said: "This is a wonderful gesture from Leigh and we're also grateful to Tanya for modelling the dress. © Credits: Clair Collinson
"It will be displayed in the intu Metro Centre for the next couple of weeks and we are running an online auction to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.
We are expecting interest in the dress to be really high, because it is a unique and stunning creation. Leigh and her team have done an incredible job."
Rachel added: "We had no idea that this was winging its way to us - Leigh has completely surprised us, it's a fantastic gesture." © Credits: Clair Collinson
Leigh, who runs a wedding boutique in Newcastle, said: "We design and create wedding dresses but we also have a couture service for clients requiring evening dresses or occasion wear, so we hit on the idea of creating something special and unique for the Poppy Appeal.
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"This year is particularly poignant, of course, as we mark 100 years since the end of World War One. I hope it can raise lots of money to help our armed forces community."