Top models brought down to size

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The Independent Online
The best of Britain's fashion designers showed off their work at a charity auction last week with the help of supermodels Caprice, Jodie Kidd, Amber and Chrystelle. Buyers had the added bonus of being able to take home the models sporting the dresses they were bidding for.

However, the models they got to keep were 20-inch dolls designed by Robert Tonner, the celebrated American doll artist, complete with miniature couture outfit and original sketches by the designers, and not the rather larger supermodels.

The auction, in aid of Action for Addiction, which supports research into the underlying causes of addiction, was held at the Natural History Museum on Thursday. Alison Myners- Macleod, of Action for Addiction, said the evening was a tremendous success. "It's very important for us to be able to raise money for research into the whys and wherefores of addiction," she said. "It's important to look at prevention as well as cures."

Eighteen fashion designers were involved in the sale, including Bruce Oldfield, whose doll and dress raised the most money, sold for pounds 8,000, while John Galliano's creation raised pounds 4,500. Paul Smith, Bella Freud, John Richmond and Isabell Kristensen were among other designers displaying pieces from their autumn/winter collections.

Jon Moore, Design Director for Hardy Amies, said: "To produce a couture garment perfectly in every detail in such a small size was a real challenge."

The auction raised pounds 35,000 on the night, but organisers said the total amount coming in would probably exceed pounds 100,000.

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