Thursday, 25 March 2010

Bristol Fashion Week pt. 1

What a day! I've just come back from an afternoon at Bristol Fashion Week at Cribbs Causeway, which started today amid the heavy rain and wind. In case you were wondering, BFW is the bi-annual fashion event that showcases what all us Bristolians should be wearing over the coming months, that takes place at The Mall at Cribbs, running from today until Sunday 28th March.

Expecting just another Spring/Summer fashion show my partner in crime and I were delighted to fit in a whole day of activities including a free foundation consultation, info on what colours suit us and a goodie bag packed full of discounts to use in the Mall.

The nibbles and bucks fizz, courtesy of Marks & Spencer, soon made up for my soaking wet hair and damp clothes and we soon found ourselves in the hands of GMTV's Mark Heyes and Andrew Barton who hosted the show. Matching monochrome suits and self-promotion aside, these dandy gents provided the entertainment between scenes and even attempted to master the underwear as outwear look - with humorous results.

John Lewis kicked off the event and, along with fellow BFW sponsor Marks & Spencer showed strong collections that could compete with some of the younger brands. Acid pink tights, bright prints and rather exciting scallop edged coat from Jersie were on the agenda in the first half while the department store giant later showed off with a Sex And The City inspired take on florals and tailoring.

Marks & Spencer attempted a literal take on the underwear as outerwear look with mixed results but their nautical and ladylike dresses (think navy, sailor red and lots of polka dots) were a hit in the second half of the show.

Menswear and childrenswear were also catered for, with the likes of Bank, River Island and USC representing military and double denim trends.

The late Alexander McQueen received a tribute from the presenters and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga pumped out from the speakers as digital prints from Next strutted down the runway. The bright colours, figure hugging silhouettes and stylized head-gear made an impact as the models danced in a jerky, robot style, faces covered by yards of black netting that Gareth Pugh would be proud of. I was surprised by how moving the scene was and the late British designer's essence was clear to see in the futuristic, graphic prints, bold colours and use of trip-inducing accessories.

Dorothy Perkins were also a surprise hit, bringing back not only culottes but navy and white polka dot culottes! The outfits were nautical, quirky and terribly girly, and have succeeded in making me covet a pair of navy blue culottes, oh, and maybe a floral pair too... but I digress. Fashions from Karen Millen were graphic blocks of monochrome with hints of electric blue, with tailoring inspired by the infamous Herve Leger bandage dresses.

The black lace and powder pink collection from Jane Norman had myself and my fashionable friend divided - mini pink trench coats and black lace 'bodies' were Parisian chic in one corner and more French maid in the other.

Before we knew it the show was over but we managed to entertain ourselves for the rest of the afternoon, armed with our goodie bags and a renewed sense of anticipation for Spring/Summer 2010 collections. We even had a colour consultancy and make up tutorials but more on that later. I won't divulge too much only to write that apparently my must-have colour is, shudder, coral...

There are a few photos below but I'll post some more once my memory card reader has stopped conspiring against me.

Tickets can be yours for less than a tenner so if you would like more information about tickets and show times, please see The Mall website. Shows run throughout the weekend and the event end on 28th March.

Andrew and Mark introduce the show

Marks & Spencer with a literal take on the underwear as outerwear trend

More Marks & Spencer, working ladylike tailoring and nautical polka dots

Competition winner Barbra after her M&S makeover

Body con corsets and leather from Marks & Spencer

Next pays homage to Alexander McQueen with digital prints

Menswear goes military at River Island

La Senza teamed up with USC for the double denim trend

GMTV's Ness works polka dots on the catwalk

John Lewis come over all Sex And The City in the second half of the show