Free gin and tonic in hand, canapé in the other I am ready to experience Norwich Fashion Week. After being very unfashionably early I wondered into Norwich OPEN and the ego boosting VIP area to begin the first show of the week featuring Norwich retailers like John Lewis, Jarrolds, Robert Oliver and Gallyons. Further chaos ensued as I tried to find my seat and was amazingly presented with a front row seat with my name on it. There was a definite feeling of ‘won’t all these fashion people realise I’m like twelve anytime soon?’ but apparently they didn’t and I had a VIP seat the rest of the week! Not to mention the continuing free gin and champagne. Don’t even get me started on the goodie bags. OK, back to the fashion. The retailers show was a mirage of structured trousers and flowing blouses. It seems the bodycon is well and truly a thing of the past and what we are seeing this summer is light weight fabrics creating length and shape through contrast. Jarrolds showing how to balance culottes with a bold yellow blouse or a flowing white tunic and straight leg trousers. An uplifting collection of oranges, muted pinks and blues were signalling that spring is well and truly upon us. As athleisure is a thing of the past for womenswear it has made its way to menswear with a collection of block coloured shorts and polos from Elements.
A special mention is needed for the incredible hair and make-up at the Dipple and Conway show, the third show of the week it was a rollercoaster of tasteful plaits, coloured eyeliner, full body paint and opera singing. If you are ever thinking of going to any of these shows the hair and make-up one would be a must see. Paintopia featured some jaw dropping full body paint not to mention the robot and silver man (seriously). The whole show felt like a performance and kept you interested as it flitted between its four themes of Shakespeare, burlesque, contemporary and Sci-Fi (hence the robot).
The Norwich Designers show featured some unreal statement jewellery from Stoned and Hammered which shows that the statement earring trend is here to stay. I was very impressed by the ethically charged local brand AK Threads which featured some incredible bib dresses that will brighten up any summer wardrobe. As a brand that supports and empowers disadvantaged communities in India you can wear their lightweight summer cami dresses without any guilt. AK Thread’s ombre indigo shirt is the first on my shopping list at the end of this week and I would recommend checking out their website (did I mention there was a sale on?).
All in all it is a week full of talent and beauty, from body paint to culottes, opera to ball gowns. It reminds you what a hub of creativity Norwich really is, as they say, a fine city.