Group members on a wig and a prayer

Members of the Northern Butterflies Group who have learning difficulties seen at Blyth's Buffalo Community Centre making the huge, flamboyant eighteenth century style wigs with the help of fashion designer Paul Shriek and staff.
Members of the Northern Butterflies Group who have learning difficulties seen at Blyth's Buffalo Community Centre making the huge, flamboyant eighteenth century style wigs with the help of fashion designer Paul Shriek and staff.

A FASHION designer has been working with a group of adults with learning difficulties to create flamboyant wigs.

Paul Shriek has been encouraging members of Blyth’s Northern Butterflies to wig out for a new fashion project.

The group, based at the Buffalo Community Centre in Regent Street, has been encouraged to let their imaginations run wild with creations inspired by the flamboyant Delavals, a notorious family of party-goers, pranksters and adulterers resident at nearby Seaton Delaval Hall during the 18th century.

The workshops are part of Delaval Lives, a Heritage Lottery Fund-backed project to recreate some of the spirit of the Delavals and help to bring the stately home back to life.

As well as wigs, costumes are being made by Paul in collaboration with groups at Seaton Delaval’s Astley High School, Newcastle College and the city’s Walbottle Campus.

The wigs and costumes will feature in a Georgian catwalk event at the hall on Saturday, August 18.

They will then be added to the dressing-up box at the National Trust-owned hall so that visitors can experience Georgian fashion for themselves.

Paul, born in Ashington but now based in Newcastle, added: “I have had a blast with this group, and their designs are terrific fun.”

Project co-ordinator Philippa Raper said: “Northern Butterflies provides a training service for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties particularly so that they develop artistic skills.

“Members are encouraged to volunteer these skills for local community projects.”