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Get ready for jaw-dropping local design as Northern Fashion Week hits Manchester!

Get ready to be swept away by the dazzling world of fashion as Northern Fashion Week returns to Manchester, showcasing the remarkable talents of designers, artisans, and creators from across the region.

Northern Fashion Week opened this Friday morning in a glamorous affair at Manchester Central.

Guests were welcome to walk around and explore the hall, samplings drinks and beauty products before the main events kicked off.

Building upon the resounding success of its inaugural event, this year’s fashion extravaganza promises even more excitement, innovation, and artistic prowess.

House of Suarez

House of Suarez

Kicking off the fashion festivities with an enchanting display, the renowned Northern Contemporary Folkhouse, House of Suarez, took to the stage, mesmerising the audience with their captivating performance.

The Graduate Show

Gradually, the spotlight shifted to the emerging talents of Manchester and the Northwest, as the Graduate Show unfolded with an awe-inspiring showcase of innovation and skill.

Some of the outfits on display were astounding, intricately made or eco-friendly produced. 

First up was Jessica Rimmer, an exceptionally talented hand-made crochet swimwear designer.

Jessica Rimmer’s work

Her delicate creations, meticulously crafted, left the audience in awe of her skill and creativity.

These were beautiful and delicate creations that must have taken an immense about of skill to produce. 

Following her was Hannah Hitchens, whose designs inspired by festival culture brought a burst of neo-futuristic energy to the runway.

Hannah Hitchens festival inspired work

Think bold colours and avant-garde aesthetics made for a fabulous display.

The magic continued as Sara Ghafoor from Bradford stepped onto the stage, drawing inspiration from Victorian streetlights.

Work of Sara Ghafoor

Her collection featured intricately tailored garments that exuded an elegant yet nostalgic charm.

The ethereal designs of Vienna Rachelle, paying homage to the years her grandparents were born, were next in line.

Vienna Rachelle

Silk and gossamer fabrics swayed gracefully, showcasing the beauty of bespoke her craftsmanship, with some outstanding tailoring on display. 

last up, but by no means least were the designs of Amy Matthews. 

One couldn’t help but marvel at the incredible diversity of tailoring, colours, prints, and textures on display.

The Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Award

Amy Matthews, the recipient of the Vivienne Westwood ethical fashion award, breathed new life into recycled fashion with her collection “Mend it, Fix it, Make Do.”

Utilising materials like crochet tops, repurposed trousers, and recycled army jackets, Matthews created a wonderous melange of texture and taste, proving that sustainability and style can go hand in hand.

We spoke to some of the designers at the event about their work. 

Sam from Splash Clothes

Sam (lying down) from Splash Clothes

Sam, from Splash Clothes, has set out to repurpose older clothes and breathe some new life into them. 

Sam’s vintage and upcycled clothing line breathed new life into garments through bleaching, tie-dying, and inventive alterations.

In their quest to combat fast fashion, she skillfully transformed decades-old pieces into contemporary fashion statements, giving them a fresh lease of life.

Speaking to I Love MCR, he said: “I got into it during Covid, I lost my job and wasn’t making any money so I set up a clothing shop. 

“I wanted to go into fast fashion and produce something from stuff people have used, combatting the throwaway nature of modern clothes. 

“The clothes that are a bit older are so much better made than anything we have nowadays, it’s useful for me to reuse them. 

“All these clothes are 20+ years old, but I wanted to bring them into the 21st century and give them a new lease of life.”

Jen, owner of Rommy

Taking a moment to speak with Manchester fashion designer Jen, owner of Rommy, we discovered her unique approach to fashion.

Jen’s workshop serves as the birthplace of her exquisite hair scrunchies and handbags, most of which are crafted from dead stock and end rolls.

Her innovative use of materials, including repurposed wedding gowns, adds a fascinating narrative to each piece.

Within the tight-knit community of small makers in Manchester, Jen finds strength and support, emphasising the spirit of collaboration and encouragement among local creators.

Speaking to I Love MCR, she said: “My work is a mixture of hair scrunchies and Handbags all made by me in my workshop. 

“I predominately use dead stock and end rolls, very limited edition stuff. Some handbags are made from Old wedding gowns that never made it down the aisle.

“I like they all have a story behind them. 

We asked Jen what she thought of the fashion scene in Manchester.

She said: “The fashion community is great in Manchester.

“We’re a tight-knit community of small makers.

“We’re working in our little studios where we live, but it’s so great to have a group buzz who can recommend other small creators, photographers, models, and everything. We all help each other out. 

“One problem we face as small businesses is that sometimes we’re not big enough, so big companies don’t often take us on but we’ve got each other to fall back on and help each other out.”

Northern Fashion Week is from 14-16th July 2023 at Manchester Central. 

You can get your tickets by clicking here.

You can check out their Instagram here.

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