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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Manchester Spring Fashion Show

Last Wednesday night (8th February 2012) I was fortunate enough to attend the Manchester Spring Fashion show held at Pitcher and Piano at Deansgate Locks. With proceeds from tickets going to Oxfam, not only did the night provide fabulous fashion but gave back to a good cause. 

Designers across the UK flocked to Manchester to showcase their collections to a eagerly awaiting crowd. 

The night started off with an introduction by the event's host who declared: "This is celebrating emerging models and boutiques as well as designers - after all - who says London has exclusive rights to fashion?"

One designer of the night was Huxton - "a life-long dream of two friends to work together in the fashion industry, creating clothes in the laid-back luxurious style they both love."

"Huxton was created in the late Summer of 2011 and now present a collection for Spring/Summer 2012, with new additions being made every month - a signature of this trendy brand. The brand offers outfits that exude elegance and impact in a mix of mini dresses to full-length maxi dresses. Bell sleeve blouses and tight fitted pencil skirts."

Materials that shimmered, gleamed and screamed luxury. Flowing materials, rich, jewel-tone colours and a dash of pattern made this collection pop, whilst figure-fitting dresses and skirts created feminine hour-glass figures

Next up was Kelly Bull - a fashion and textiles designer and lecturer from Northamptonshire. She specialises in making holes and using a liquid form to form a latex fabric. This is then dyed, cut and constructed to make garments." The collection entitled: "You can't control me" originated "from the idea of people's experiences and childhood memories and the emotional impact we have on each other. This is a new unconventional material which emphasizes texture, shape and silhouette. Kelly Bull's style is unique and individual and suits those who dare to wear."

Textures that are temptingly touchable, shapes and lines that step outside of the box, whilst remaining simplistic in earthy neutral tones in creams, browns and whites

Cross Culture Fashion was the next designer to hit the catwalk. "A contemporary, unique and stylish brand, drawing inspiration from different cultures to create something new and trendy. They collaborate with young creative people from different countries, including Japan, Cyprus, India, The Philippines and the UK to name but a few. This diversity adds various flavours to their core recipe of style, authenticity and fun. This is a fashion-forward concept that sets the trend before it's even seen anywhere else. The current collection is based on a mix of African, Japanese inspired themes to create an eclectic mix of styles. Cross Culture Fashion believes fashion is a reflection of the mood and character of an individual. Their pieces resonate with the personality of fashion conscious consumers and enable them to lead a bold and confident lifestyle. Cross Culture Fashion creates fashion you cannot afford to miss."

A staple of neutral hues juxtaposed against bright prints and graffiti-style patterns. Vintage cuts of fabrics whilst keeping modern classics like the t-shirt and hoody. 

Lauren Wroe, a recent graduate from Northumbria university took inspiration form the 50s and 60s for her collection, "focusing on the challenging concept of zero-waste pattern cutting."  

"The pattern for each garment fits the entire width of the piece of fabric meaning no scraps leftover creating this beautiful eco-friendly image. Her motivation for this came from discovering that 15-20% of fabric is wasted during cut and production. Lauren believes it's important to consider environmental issues as a designer, although aesthetics should be the design direction."

Bold blocks of colour contrasted against each other. Panel detail and ruffles teamed with matching tights and accessories. 

Pretty Disturbia is for the "confident consumer who has a love for commodity and uniqueness." 

"The Spring/Summer 2012 designer collection features off-beat decadence, 50s lady-like charm, a sinister Gothic twist with sultry burlesque styling and kitsch glamour to create unique and directional style - to be disturbing, but oh-so pretty."

"Leesa Bertram, the founder of Pretty Disturbia has also launched a menswear label 'Bang bang and scribble' which has already been well received in sales and has an underground Manchester following" which we saw a sample of on the night. 

A split of personalities in feminine fabrics, puffball skirts, floral patterns and detailed bows, whilst Gothic accessories and a black undertone palette keep the two clashing.

The next designer saw the event organiser, Victoria Rosso, take to the stage with her collection. "Her influences are very electric and loosely based on a taste and love of travel and the 60s. Her 2012 collection has been created using wonderful colourful prints, both vintage and from around the world - prepare for vibrancy."

Prints, prints and more prints. Every hemline, pattern, shape and style you could think of, the powerful prints banish the saying 'less is more.' 

Crystal Padmore, who took home the title of 'Best emerging designer' presented her beauty and nature inspired Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. The collection takes you through a journey of "eco-friendly fashion" and nature. "Coincide is ultimately about self-expression and creativity. It's about re-discovering who you are and where you come from. It's about re-connecting with nature, with the planet we live on but with a contemporary twist. Each piece in the Coincide collection is unique and a one-off. No two pieces are the same, creating a distinctive identity. The innovative designs and high-quality after care service resulted in a sustainable yet personal experience and close relationships with the brand." 

A flow of mix-and-match pieces and earth tones with clinched in waists. Layering and textures from knits and leggings teamed with low-key accessories and bags that mirror the fabric of the clothes

UK based designer and brand Thom Neal presented his menswear collection with "heritage and skill at the fore-front supported by the fact that the majority of fabrics used are sourced from UK manufacturers."

"The brand has been born to inject some modernisation into the heritage label UK brands have been given and to continue British crafts and quality for future generations. Influences include our current surroundings, along with music past and present."

Checks, patterns and a theme of red, navy and yellow hues sifted through with luxurious textures in coats and jackets making a bold statement. Crisp, white blouses contrasted against the informal but trendy slouched shapes of the fabric. 

The final designer of the night was Rianna Phillips. Her brand has grown since graduating from Manchester School of Art studying textile design and fashion last year. "Her designs focus on 3D and texturalized-looking digital prints where embellishment is photographed to mimmick landscapes and then printed cleverly and clearly as a placement print, working with the exact shapes of pattern pieces."

Sticking with a palette of lovely lilacs, bold blacks and hints of grey and white. Light, floaty and feminine materials mixed with textured ruffles, scarves and bags. Cuts to flatter every figure and frame

A complete contrast of looks which is thanks to not only the creative minds of this country but to organiser Victoria Rosso for including such a diverse range of designers. My favourite two designers and collections were Lauren Wroe for her 50s/60s inspired pieces and of course, the zero-waste ethos stuck firmly in mind - and Rianna Phillips for colours and fabrics so feminine and pretty that make me want it to be spring already! 

The night didn't end there - there were stalls a plenty selling jewellery, clothes and more. 

For all of the photos (full-size), visit my Facebook page here. Thanks again to Victoria Russo for putting on such a fantastic event, most importantly in Manchester, and thanks to Fashion Pony and Urban Coco for sponsoring. The North doesn't get half as many great opportunities for fashion events like this so hopefully this will be the start of many! 

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