Students become record breakers on The Very Big Catwalk

Hugh Baird College students were amongst the thousands of people taking part in last weekend’s attempt to smash the Guinness World Record for the ‘Most Models on a Catwalk’.

The Very Big Catwalk, took place at Liverpool’s Pier Head and saw thousands of people from all walks of life strutting their stuff on the biggest catwalk the world has ever seen. The record to beat was 3,083 people, set by Mexico in 2013 and The Very Big Catwalk smashed the record by more than 550 people.

Hugh Baird College hairdressing and make up students were amongst the teams of hair and make up artists backstage. Hugh Baird University Centre undergraduates, Gemma Dever and Kayley Johnson, were working with three designers. Both are studying on the Foundation Degree in Creative Make Up Design and Practice, which is validated by the University of Central Lancashire, so the event provided exactly the type of work experience opportunities that would help them on their course.

Gemma said:

“We worked really hard but we had a ball! The first designers we worked with were Anita Thomas and Peter Gill from fancy dress and costume hire company Sour Frog in Liverpool. I was approached by them through a model I’ve worked with on photo shoots in the past. Kayley and I created various looks for Sour Frog models including David Bowie, Frozen’s Elsa, a pirate and a genie. We also worked with American designer Christine Edson of Christine Collections who was producing the Hollywood Glamour Section. They had advertised for make up artists for the event so, of course, we jumped at the chance. For their models, we recreated the looks of iconic females such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, as well as lots of bridal and prom make up designs."
“We were photographed throughout the day and even walked the catwalk with the Icon team! It really was an amazing experience. We found out later that the day was being used as a skills test and, as a result, we’ve been asked to join a make up agency. I’m so glad I got in touch and we participated.”

The record attempt was organised by The City of Liverpool, in partnership with, and transformed the waterfront into a public participation event where thousands of people from the cities fashion tribes and community groups joined together to strut down the catwalk and tell the story of the city’s communities, creativity and fashion throughout the 20th and 21st century, as well as the latest high fashion trends.

Under the shadow of the visiting Cunard cruise liner, Queen Mary 2, Liverpool’s runway took on a carnival atmosphere with friends and family of the models there to cheer them on in front of the iconic Three Graces.

Hugh Baird College Assistant Director, Vicky Edwards, said:

“Hugh Baird College and The Hugh Baird University Centre were proud to be a part of yet another spectacular event for the City. Giving our students this type of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity expands not only their knowledge of real working practices, but their life experience too.”

If you would like to find out more about any of our courses in hair, beauty or make up, from Level 1 to degree level, visit or You can see more photos from the event on our Facebook page.

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