Dedicated followers of fashion
London, Paris, New York…Norwich. Er, is that right? Norwich is listed as a fashion capital of the world? Well, not quite but they are certainly not going anywhere without a fight.
Norwich Fashion Week is big business in the city these days, with local businesses getting involved
– from The Birdcage’s Fash n Chips promotion (a tiny bottle of fizz adorning the Norwich Fashion Week logo sold with fish and chips from The Grosvenor Fish Bar opposite), to Jarrold’s specially- designed window display, the whole city goes fashion crazy for one week in March.
I was invited to The Designers Show, a catwalk spectacle based around the theme of the Circus and hosted at Open in the city centre.
So, grab yourself a drink at the bar, sit yourself down and let’s meet some of the promising new designers coming out of Norfolk.
Cocoon is the fashion label run by students at City College Norwich. Each student’s design is individual to them but, as a team of designers, they fulfil an overall brief, producing a distinctive collection. Showing their collection on a live catwalk alongside other local designers gives the students a fantastic insight into the world of a designer, building their confidence and teamworking skills.
After moving to the UK from Italy, Gloria Termini founded Secretgarden London. She combines fashion, art and nature into one concept, using garments as a canvas for paint experiments. Using only organic fabrics, she promotes sustainable fashion, intent on improving the environmental conditions of our planet and our health.
Designer Siofra Connor is a self-taught millner, who started making mid-century inspired hats in 2012 under the name Betsy Hatter. Four years and a name change later, Siofra Connor Millinery is presenting her third collection for The Designers Show. Drawing inspiration from the elegant hat shapes of the 1940s and 1950s, Siofra has started mixing traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques to create unique headpieces.
Hannah Smith works with what she loves and enjoys to work with, creating work that she believes to be inspiring and influential. Hannah Smith intends to make bold statements without repeating patterns, reflecting her personality within her personal fashion choices.
Heavily inspired by architectural forms, science, nature and art, Veronika Marshall creates ‘wearable art’ that explores innovative materials and techniques. The manipulation and transformation of the human body plays a big part in her work, focusing on the silhouette and unusual fabric choices. Veronika Marshall is a recent graduate of Norwich University of the Arts.
Break is delighted to be changing young lives, working alongside Fiona Muller to produce a Break label for Norwich Fashion Week 2016. This collection re-designs once-loved materials into amazing outfits, all donated to Break charity shops.
The theme for this collection is to capture ‘The Spirit of the Circus’, inspired by spirituality, nature, people, colour, shapes and forms. Experimenting with different materials, Joanne Randall challenges their boundaries, developing wearable, unique, one-off pieces of art. Her work is about expressing the joy and colourfulness of life and not being afraid to be individual.
[That’s all very well Joanna, but I’m not sure I’d leave the house dressed like this. Still, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, I guess].