The penultimate catwalk show, The Designers Show, took place on the evening of Tuesday 11 March. Sponsored by Mercedes Benz and hosted in Epic Studios, the catwalk was streamed live online as models cascaded in eleven collections by from City College Norwich students and local designers.
The evening began with a short film involving a glamorously dressed woman running through the streets of Norwich to escape the paparazzi. The film introduced the idea that stardom is amongst the Norfolk streets, but not in the conventional sense of a movie-star celebrity. Instead you’ll find it in the skilled fingertips of the regional designers, milliners and tailors, and their aesthetically prominent designs.
Madara Rozensteina was first to showcase wearable dresses and skirts of differing lengths. The ensembles incorporated bold prints, arrow-like shapes and a tripartite colour scheme of black, white and yellow. No doubt it was an elegant and cool collection.
Next up was Sophie Allen with exaggerated and oversized shapes and various texture. Venue loved the silver toned sleeveless jumpsuit with multi-coloured graphic print on the legs. Betsy Hatter then turned our attention to beautifully crafted origami-inspired hats. Think bright nature-inspired constructions, delicately positioned to accentuate height. Simply beautiful craftsmanship.
Having watched three collections exhibited by the lovely female models, it was with renewed interest that the audience (particularly the women) regarded Aaart and Lola’s designs and the dashing men who modelled the neckwear. The diverse patterns and shades of the ties were sophisticated and chic. Aart and Lola neckwear is certainly a worthy investment for any gentleman with an appreciation for unique fashion.
We returned back to feminine fashion with halter necks, corset-like tops and floral embroidery in HART’s upcycled collection. A stand-out piece included an orange-yellow patterned short-sleeved midi dress with an exaggerated white necklace collar. We also adored the beautifully romantic strapless and frilled lilac gown in Hannah Smith’s collection. The touch of rose petals and the dark red belt were gorgeous additions, and the gown as a whole was one of the best pieces of the night.
Marian Eve Williams did brilliantly in showing how fashion can be subtle yet effective as was shown by figure-flattering purple dyed wrap dresses and textured tops and cardigans. We received a second helping of Norwich’s fine millinery skills via Mandy Wright. Her predominately black and white collection played with fringe-like, mask and crown imagery combining the classic, contemporary and chic.
Following a brief interval and some insightful information about a young adult charity, the Wallflower Project, the show continued with eccentric upcycled designs. We were impressed by the rainbow of colours, textures and cuts in Cocoon had to offer. From mushroom and leaf designs, to shift dresses, a metallic jumpsuit, a green collar dress with cut out shapes in the back, and more, there was much to appreciate in this creative collection.
Venue commended Y1 Art and Design’s continuation of the upcycle theme as models strutted in recycled fashion creations to Beyoncé’s “Upgrade You” – the most appropriate and fun soundtrack of the show! The piece that had everyone talking and applauding was the jacket embellished with what appeared to be wires and technology – a fine example of how graphic design can be taken to the next level, literally.
To finish, Cocoon showcased their second collection. Fairy-tale and children story inspired ensembles were evident via a stunning Red Riding Hood style velvet cape, Woodcutter-like green and white jacket with flared and frilled sleeves, and an Alice in the Wonderland type outfit with a blown-up card dress and top hat. A dress with what appeared to be pages of handwriting was another visually striking and innovative design.
The Designers Show indicated just how much imagination and care goes into the creation of such aesthetically pleasing fashion. It was excellent work, and Venue praises all the designers involved. Bravo!