Bristol Fashion Week: The Lowdown

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Last week high street brands took to the catwalk at Bristol Fashion Week. Obviously I strutted at the chance to take get my seat by the runway. I can’t wait to tell you all about the SS15 trends that premiered but first I want to tell you a little about the experience as a whole.

George is at Bristol uni so I invited myself to his for the Wednesday night and he, surprisingly enthusiastically, agreed to accompany me to Cribbs Causeway on Thursday. We planned to see a Q&A entitled So You Think you Want to Work in Fashion that afternoon. On the panel were fashion designer Jørgen Simonsen, Cosmopolitan’s Fashion and Style Director Shelly Vella, fashion entrepreneur Grazziella Pinto, buyer from Marks & Spencer Lauren Jolly and branch manager of John Lewis Lucy Ramseyer. The event was hosted by stylist Mark Heyes and MIC’s Lucy Watson (cue fangirl moment).

It was not only interesting to hear these experts answer questions on so many topics; from the involvement of technology in fashion to the importance of work experience, but truly motivating. I was particularly taken with Vella who can only be described as cool. She was effortless with a statement arms of bangles and leopard print styling her feet, I was hanging on to every word she said. I am obviously interested in fashion and am constantly exploring possible careers in the industry. Vella's role as style director is of new interest to me as I recently acted as creative director for my university’s arts and lifestyle magazine which I absolutely loved (self-promo: read my articles for Razz here). She admitted it's not all glamourous, sometimes you'll have to run around London in Converse, I know you're all cringing but at least it's not Ugg boots. Personally I think this gives the industry greater appeal. Nothing can be airbrushed everyday. This industry is real just like everything else and it's going to be tough on you at times and the panel were very honest about this. Vella is clearly very passionate about her job and confident in her ability. She also emphasised the pertinence of being confident with your personal style which boho-chic Vella definitely is. I think it is always inspirational to hear someone comment on their accomplishments, especially when your own aspirations are similar. It's important to know your dreams are achievable. What I took away from all panelists was that passion and experience are of utmost importance in the industry. I could write all day about the inspiring words I heard so don't hesitate to let me know if you would be interested in a full feature on this.

After the talk George and I were in need of a pasta dish and a glass of wine (or three) so headed to Carluccio’s. I love Italian food and Carluccio’s always gets it so right. I had spinach and ricotta ravioli and G opted for puttanesca, both of which were delicious. After refuelling, instagramming (what else is a girl to do?) and chatting for a couple of hours I left G with an espresso and headed to watch the fashion show.

The show revolved around summer holidays. Okay, so it's not exactly a ground breaking theme for an SS fashion show but it was well executed. The foyer was named ‘the departure lounge’ where the audience picked up in-flight refreshments. I wasn’t quite ‘frow’ but the pavilion was small enough to give most a good view. It also meant that it felt intimate but didn't lose that excitable atmosphere. The programme showed us the list of ‘arrivals’ to be seen over the course of the show. Monochrome was characterised by the French Riviera and the seventies took us to Ibiza. The show was again hosted by Heyes and Watson and whilst I was slightly more interested in Watson’s MIC tidbits than her presenting skills the duo worked well together and had the auditorium giggling over 'gap yahs'. The modelling was diverse with a range of ages showcased and some dancing incorporated into the walks which really helped to induce the fun vibe we want summer clothes to give us.

Overall, I thought the show was really well created. Everything down to the feel-good holiday music was styled to give us that holiday feeling. I’ll write a separate piece on the chosen trends and outfits so watch this space. I left the show with my goody bag and a reinvigorated sense of motivation to pursue my dream of working in the fashion industry. I don't think I could have asked for more.

Are any of you hoping to break into the fashion industry? Let me know below!


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