Fashion designers join largest Aids memorial quilt display in Europe

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Volunteers at the Wandsworth Salvation Army sew together panels for a quilt in memory of friends and family who have died of Aids. Over 40 of the world's most prestigious fashion designers have also donated panels.

The panels will become part of the worldwide Aids Memorial Quilt.

More than 1,300 panels, covering an area of 250,000 sq ft, will be laid out in Hyde Park this weekend. It will be the largest quilt to go on display in Europe.

The exhibition is one of a number of events organised by CRUSAID to raise money for charities devoted to people with Aids. Events include the 'Walk for Life - an annual sponsored walk of 10 km.

Rifat Ozbek, twice voted Designer of the Year, came up with the idea of the designer quilt. He has called the project 'Quilts of Love.

Designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Giorgio Armani have been invited to prepare 3 by 6 ft panels. 'I want to raise awareness of the human story behind Aids-related death, Mr Ozbek said.

The panels, each with a name, perhaps a photograph, a poem or a favourite piece of clothing, document the 'tragic loss of life. So far the worldwide quilt has 24,000 panels (representing less than 2 per cent of those who have died). Over 5,500 of the dead were British.

Donations will be passed on to Food Chain, who deliver hot meals to those who are housebound; the Immune Development Trust, who provide holistic care; the UK Names Project, who raise awareness by exhibiting the quilt and CRUSAID, which provides hardship funds to those outide London.

Counsellors will also be on hand in Hyde Park if anyone requires emotional support or wishes to contribute a panel.

(Photograph omitted)

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