I was absolutely thrilled, delighted and excited to be invited to Manchester Fashion Week opening night by Amanda Moss of Amanda Moss PR. Amanda has been managing the successful Liverpool Fashion Week for sometime and took over the management (and re-ignition) of Manchester 2 years ago, so this was Fashion Show number 3 for the PR Company. Following the previous years success one designer went to showcase at New York Fashion Week, another at Paris and another was invited to London Fashion Week.
#ManchesterFW is clearly the place to be for emerging talent.
Amanda had worked tirelessly to create an inclusive catwalk event, something that Amanda is fiercely passionate about is that “fashion is for everybody” and she absolutely achieved that and more. All the models beautifully strutted, sauntered and sashayed down the runway in designs from the UK to Peru to South Africa with shout outs for the event promotion from a number of main stream media out lets including the infamous “Steve Wright in the afternoon”, I bet you are singing the tune now. You’re welcome.
This years venue was The Union at Manchester Metropolitan University. Upon arrival the music blared and the red carpet awaited (of course I tried my best pout as I glided down it), adjourned with the banners of the Designers attending – how exciting! The vibe was high and the scene was set for a spectacular show.
I took my seat with a wonderful friend and waited for the magic to begin.
There were 8 designers in all each bringing something different to the world of fashion. I enjoyed each one immensely, but ssssshhhhh I did have a couple of faves.
First to walk the runway was Flencirose Designs.
Instantly I was struck with the colours and patterns and sensed an African influence through her production. We were then introduced to Flencirose herself after her stage welcome by the compare for the evening. Having the designer intros gave a real insight into them and the inspiration for their range. Flencirose Basera is a Zimbabwean born fashion designer now based in Manchester, she credits her inspiration to her rich cultural and vibrant African background and heritage, with her Mother, Maggie, receiving the accolade of influencer. Paraphrasing now, the merging of tailoring, unique techniques and fabric application with culture and edgy, unique and fun trendsetters is what describes her designs. My absolute fave outfit was a couture gold yellow dress which struck a chord with me as instantly transcended me to my youth and Belle’s Ballgown in Beauty and The Beast.
We then poured over the luxe evening/event dressing by Donna Marina @ http://www.donnamarina.com/ As a Fashion designer and atelier brand Donna Marina specialises in tailored designs and stylish outfits. We were presented with a wonderful colourful selection of dresses, blazers and shorts in a multitude of fabrics, my favourite being a Blush Satin Dress/Overcoat combo. Elegant, classy and on point for this seasons must have colour.
CoCo LaLa – http://www.cocolala.co.uk/ paraded down the catwalk next. A visually sensuous couture underwear range was certainly a feast for our eyes. Beautifully designed and some really breathtaking occasion underwear, an angelic feathered leotard was stunning and there was one piece, a lace body suit that absolutely gave Bella Hadid a run for her Met Ball money! I would’ve preferred some black underwear, but who cares she looked out of this World incredible. Check out the range on their website.
Mama Manco – https://www.mamamanco.com I had met Victor and Mariana briefly before the runway as I stood with my Chai Tea Latte (I’m so fancy) pre runway show. I, of course, was very helpful providing directions to the Starbucks that was meters behind us. I was instantly struck by the pair, I couldn’t tell you why at the time but following an interview I did with Victor this week the Universe collided our caffeine fuelled paths for a reason, be sure to check out my Style Blog in the next week or two to find out why!! But, I digress, Mama Manco flew into Manchester all the way from Peru! Wow! That is commitment to fashion and your brand hey, another reason to love them. I loved every single one of their collection pieces, vibrant and fun with a little edge, you could easily imagine seeing some of their designs in Zara, Mango and River Island. There was a hint of a red and white stripe throughout the collection, and it was only after the show it struck me……the colours of the Peruvian flag. Clever. Ingenious and a fabulous way to empower your brand and connect to your audience. Can you tell these were one of my favourites? ha ha, okay, my favourites.
We then had a pause to catch our breaths, get a gin from the bar, unfortunately I was driving so it was a lime and soda for me, for a vocal performance from an up and coming Liverpudlian artist who is hitting up the London Scene and about to release her first single. WOW. We heard a pitch perfect performance of Little Mix along with a self penned track. Check out my Instagram story recording over at @victoriahamilton_lifestyle of Alexa Joyce.
Fruitbats and Screwballs https://www.fruitbatsandscrewballs.com/ What a show! I loved everything from start to finish, I could really relate to the range. Looking later at their website I discovered Deborah Wilkinson is an ethical fashion designer from Yorkshire who caught the attention of international fashion pundits after the launch of her debut collection last year in Liverpool. What I love most is that Deborah had no formal training but following photos of her collection appearing on Instagram she received comments from the daughter of Vera Wang!! Amazing. Dreams really do come true.
This was an incredible show. Vibrant, colourful with an effortless flow. It had an edge of the floralness of Temperley London and I loved that. Follow the link to my YouTube Channel to watch the Runway show. https://youtu.be/W28EFmQX8U0
Fabrikk – https://www.fabrikk.co.uk The creator of Fabrikk Kate Pearson says on her website she was inspired by the emerging world of smart materials and wearable tech (and quite possibly the Star Wars ‘Cantina’ scene!) Fabrikk was born back in 2013 to allow Kate to follow her passion for design using unique, ethical materials, and quality manufacturing. We were shown fashionable flat caps and bags – my fave design is their flagship Vela handbag. It’s the first bag to be made with LED lights illuminating the inside. Genius. Simply genius. Ladies, form an orderly queue. Check them out over on their website.
Nordik Light – https://www.nordik-light.com/ Nordik Light gets it’s name from the Aurora Borealis, which also is referred to as Northern Lights. Mari-Ann Pesula was born in Sweden, and spent her childhood and early adult years among the wild nature in the very north of the country. She moved to the UK bringing her Swedish heritage with her, which is duly reflected in the name of the company she founded all those years ago. We had the pleasure of being showcased with some spectacular jewellery, think chandelier earrings and you’re there. They were enchanting. Check them out over on their website.
Families Come First took the stage for the finale of the catwalk runway shows. This everyday wear inspired range is the creation of Amanda Moss herself. Amanda is a passionate advocate for families being granted permission to take their children out of school to experience quality holiday times with their nearest and dearest. I loved the slogans on the outfits and with slogan tees being a huge trend, showing no sign of leaving our adorned chests anytime soon, this was a great way to close the clothing.
A final musical interlude in the vision of Miss Alice Hollywood, a super sassy, mermaidial (is that a word? it is now!) soulful, beauty who gifted us a performance of Ed Sheeran, Iggy Azaela and the iconic Etta James. I had the pleasure of meeting Alice before the show and was struck by her instant like-ability (we were both trying to take selfies on the red carpet so of course we bonded), awesome attire and striking hair. This was channelled through her charismatic performance and you should seriously go check her out on social media, this is her Instagram https://www.instagram.com/alice_hollywood/. Epic. Seriously Epic.
I had the most wonderful of evenings, thank you Amanda, Designers, Models, Backstagers, Hair and Make up and everyone who attended to make it a great evening. I need to give a HUGE wow to the models hair designs, so much glittery adorned bejewelled heads and they shimmered and shined everywhere giving a nod perhaps to Coachella and the upcoming Festivals across the UK. Glittery Gorgeousness.
Remember, fashion is for everybody and Manchester Fashion Week you absolutely smashed that!
Be Forever You, Always.
It is with a heavy heart I credit Amanda for continuing with the second night at Manchester Fashion Week following the atrocity committed in the City. All proceeds from the second evening were donated by Amanda to those affected. A staggering amount has been raised so far, if you wish to donate there are a couple of Just Giving pages managed predominantly by The Red Cross;
We are Manchester xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
**Huge thank you to Ian Williams who allowed me to use his photographs from the event, all images are subject to copyright. Please visit Ian’s Facebook page to view the whole Manchester Fashion Week Collection https://www.facebook.com/IanWilliamsPhoto/ **