Corrie’s Bhavna Limbachia and her wedding dress designer Zeynep Kartal join forces for MCR Fashion Festival


Coronation Street star Bhavna Limbachia is teaming up with the fashion designer who created her spectacular wedding dress for a night of all-out-glamour at MCR Fashion Festival.

Bhavna, who plays Corrie‘s Rana Habeeb, will be wearing a stunning ballgown by Zeynep Kartal ahead of her catwalk show at the huge fashion extravaganza on Saturday night (October 13th) at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, which is inspired by New York’s flamboyant Met Ball.

And Bhavna and Zeynep have become good friends over their shared passion for fashion, with Bhavna wearing a number of her designs at major TV awards and red carpet events.

So when Bhavna was planning her wedding to Darren Kuppan in the summer, she knew Zeynep would create the perfect fairytale gown for the occasion.

She created a bespoke white fit and flair lace-embellished gown – one of two dresses Bhavna wore to reflect her British and Indian heritage – at the ceremony at Thornton Manor in Cheshire in July.

Bhavna says: “Every time Zeynep has made me something she has made me feel like a million dollars, so I knew she would make me the perfect wedding dress.

“She knows my style and she always tells me the truth.  Once you find a designer you trust, you never want to let them go!”

Designer Zeynep has had an incredible rise to prominence in the fashion world, and has dressed some of the world’s most famous women including Lady Gaga, Cheryl Cole, Tess Daly and royalty.

But she proudly remains based on Manchester’s King Street, and says the city will always be home to her now.

Zeynep said: “Manchester is a big city with an amazing history in fashion, and together we are all helping each other to grow which is why it is so great to have Manchester Fashion Festival here.”

Corrie star Bhavna Limbachia and designer Zeynep Kartal arrive at the launch for MCR Fashion Festival (Photo: Stephen Farrell)

Bhavna has a background in fashion design, and would love to one day launch her own fashion label which she will call by her surname Limbachia.  But Corrie fans will be pleased to hear there is lots more to come from her character Rana and her love Kate Connor (played by Faye Brookes) in the months ahead.

Fans of “Kana” as the couple have become known, have been incredibly supportive of the duo on and off screen.

Bhavna says: “Faye and I didn’t realise how big the storyline would be, and how big the fandom would grow.  We are just grateful that we’re able to use this platform to raise important issues for the LGBTQ+ community, especially in the Asian community.

“This storyline has changed my life to be honest.  I feel honoured to be able to shed light on something still so relevant in 2018.”

Bhavna Limbachia plays Rana Habeeb on Coronation Street (Photo: ITV)

MCR Fashion Festival will be hosted by Bhavna’s former Corrie co-star Catherine Tyldesley, on a starry night that will celebrate the cream of Manchester’s independent design talent with a glittering VIP guest list.

It will showcase some of the finest designers to come out of Manchester as well as the city’s rising stars at the black tie event, which will showcase a number of collections straight off the London Fashion Week Catwalk.

The fashion extravaganza will  take place in front of 300 guests with an evening of catwalk shows, live entertainment from star performers Blue’s Simon Webbe and Coronation Street and musicals star Victoria Ekanoye, and a dinner dance.

Catwalk shows will come from Zeynep Kartal, Boda Skins, Nadine Merabi, Junq Couture, Monokain and graduates from Manchester universities.

MCR Fashion Festival is organised by Real PR entrepreneurs Laura Stubbs and Lisa Forshaw, who are building on the successful launch of their event in February at Manchester Hall, and held a launch with sponsors at Hotel Gotham last week.

Sponsors and ambassadors of MCR Fashion Festival (photo: Stephen Farrell)

Their aim is to celebrate how the textile industry in Manchester has evolved from the cotton mills of the Industrial Revolution to producing global fashion designers like Matthew Williamson, Boda Skins, Private White VC, Native Youth, Vivienne Westwood and many more.

Laura and Lisa say: “We were inspired to organise the fashion festival as we wanted to provide a platform for the various successful fashion houses that have come out of Manchester to celebrate and showcase their brands and collections in their home city.”

We Love MCR Charity and Forever Manchester have been chosen as the charity partners for the event, to continue the theme of championing the city.

Tickets, priced from £100, are available now.



Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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