On Thursday I was lucky enough to attend a full day of Manchester’s first ever Fashion Week, held at The Avenue in Spinningfields. With press passes, front row seats, plenty of bubbly and five fantastic fashion shows, it was an event to remember to say the least. Rather than unveiling the upcoming season’s trends (which were, of course, unveiled a while back at the big-name fashion weeks), labels presented what was essentially a live lookbook of their current in-store collections. And the best thing about Manchester’s take on the biggest events of the fashion world? At around £20 per show or £50 per day of shows, it is entirely accessible to the public.
J and I sprinted in just in time to get branded with PRESS stamps and slide smoothly into our “Reserved for Media” places in the front row of the Brooks Brothers show. Dominated by formal wear, Brooks Brothers presented a traditional, if slick, array of the reds, whites and blues of a British summer. The men’s wear was more impressive than the women’s, and this particular poolside look caught my eye for the on-trend mint green of the swimming shorts coolly combined with a shirt and bowtie for a quirky look of class.
The All Saints show was typical for the brand with its leathers and denims, and I was entirely sold on the perfectly cut men’s denim shirts, completed with polka dots or butterfly prints. I’m working on J to supply the oh-so-raidable boyfriend closet with one. My favourite look was this inside-out print button-down shirt tucked into a pair of laid-back jean shorts – sweet simplicity.
Ted Baker was definitely the highlight of the day, not only because I’m a sucker for charts music when it comes to getting pumped up (insert background protests by J whose taste in music is a billion and one times cooler than mine). Following a few fabulous pastel men’s suits, a few wedding wear couples’ combinations were sent down the runway, making me reconsider my severe distaste for the boyfriend / girlfriend coordination thing.
Flannels showed khaki greens and funky checks for men and some fabulous floor-lengthed floral dresses for women. This show was another favourite, although I did get slightly prissy about the clear lack of an iron back-stage – I’m pretty sure the creased I-just-fished-this-out-of-my-suitcase look was not the intended finish for the collection. But I forgave the store managers everything when this queen of the desert dress hit the runway with its bare shoulders and billowing waterfall of fabric.
Being the last and most coveted show of the day, I hate to say that Mulberry was an absolute disappointment. Not that the clothes and bags weren’t to die for, but with a dismal total of eight looks (some of which were directly lifted from the brand’s ad campaign), the show took five whole minutes and gave the impression of a distinct and distasteful feeling of superiority. So much more effort could have gone into that show, but I do still love Mulberry’s designs and this tan and neon yellow number certainly checked all my love-for-minimalism boxes.
All in all the day was an exciting string of events, and J and I met some of the most incredible people, including the event organisers Ruth Goulding and Jonathan Sassen who promise to make Manchester Fashion Week an annual event and hope to expand to two or three venues in 2013. You can find more information at www.mcrfashionweek.com - definitely keep an eye out if you live in or around Manchester because next year’s Fashion Week is bound to be even bigger and better.
I will be posting STREET STYLE and photos from INDIVIDUAL SHOWS and about the people we met soon (thank you JUSTINE for the mention on your lovely blog) so do stay posted=)