As Norwich Fashion Week announces its provisional show and event programme, it’s all set to be a festival of fashion in Norwich this March.

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Organisers of Norwich Fashion Week are gearing up for another week of fashion, fun and frolics after revealing the provisional programme of shows and events for March.

The week kicks of with The Launch Show at The Forum on March 7 and follows with shows and events from Norwich Lanes, the city’s vintage and independent quarter, high street retailers and local and up and coming fashion designers.

New this year is an alternative fashion event at Norwich Castle. Skin II: On the Street showcases street style, unique fashion exhibits and live fashion made in Norwich.

Vintage Norwich run by nationally renowned fashion blogger Retro Chick is also bringing the glitzy side of fashion to Norwich at an vintage awards night at the Norwich Puppet Theatre.

One of the headline events will be the return of The Vintage Show. This year the show is being held at Norwich Cathedral and fuses a daytime vintage market featuring some of Norfolk’s increasingly popular vintage shops and designers with an evening vintage catwalk show.

Another highlight is The Designers Show, which showcases the work from some of Norfolk’s established and up and coming fashion designers. Held at Epic on Magdalen Street, the catwalk show will feature sets by Norwich eco fashion designer Marian Eve Williams, who has showcased at previous Norwich Fashion Weeks, alongside Norwich designers showing for the first time. The show will also see the launch of the second collection from Norwich label Cocoon, set up by fashion students at City College Norwich.

Enterprise events and projects coordinator at City College Norwich and organiser of the Norwich Fashion Week Designers Show, Fiona Muller, said: “The show aims to highlight the wealth of talent we have in Norwich and Norfolk and is a platform for up and coming designers to get their work noticed. It’s a chance to take a look at original fashion made in Norwich.”

Primarily, Norwich Fashion Week celebrates the diversity of fashion in our fine city. From mainstream brands to independent boutiques to the vibrancy of Norwich Lanes, fashion retailers, cafés, restaurants, bars and clubs are being encouraged to prove that Norwich has what it takes in the style stakes.

Now in its fourth term, the week creates a positive focus for retailers who have had a tough few years, with recession, high rent and rates, and a lack of consumer spending cited as some of the reasons for many shop closures.

The week is expected to bring in shoppers and fashion lovers from outside Norwich. Shona Richards from Visit Norwich and a representative for Norwich Lanes at Norwich Fashion Week, believes that the variety of shows and events has a positive impact on businesses in Norwich.

“Norwich Fashion Week is a great way to help celebrate Norwich as a top ten place to shop and as a centre of creativity,” said Ms Richards. “We have a variety of fashion on offer, so it is no wonder that people travel from all over the East of England to shop in Norwich. Events such as Norwich Fashion Week raise the profile of the city centre even further, attracting new businesses and visitors and cementing Norwich’s top ten shopping destination position.”

The week also aims to raise the profile of Norwich’s growing fashion design industry. Integral to this is the increasing number of up and coming fashion designers currently studying fashion and textiles at City College Norwich and the fashion degree at Norwich University of the Arts. The latter will produce Norwich’s first fashion graduates in May this year.

Founder of Norwich Fashion Week, Louise Lace, believes that the diversity of fashion in Norwich and Norfolk is the reason why fashion week is such a success.

Ms Lace said: “Norwich Fashion Week offers an eclectic mix of fashion, arts, culture, business and learning that really gets to the heart of what fashion in Norwich is all about.

“Norwich used to have a thriving shoe and textile industry and now it has a growing fashion design quarter with independent designers and makers, and fashion courses at both City College Norwich and the Norwich University of the Arts. Norwich also offers a unique independent shopping experience. All these elements are showcased in shows and events at various locations across the city at the beginning of March.”

More announcements will be made in the run-up to Norwich Fashion Week, which takes place from March 7 to 15.

For more information and to see the full provisional programme of events go to the Norwich Fashion Week page on Facebook www. facebook.com/Norwich Fashion Week

Your Evening News will be bringing you all the news from on and off the catwalk from now until the end of March.

As part of the Norwich Fashion Week celebrations, retailers are being urged to decorate their shop windows with a fashion edge. Any shop, café or restaurant, large or small can get involved and all entries will form part of a competition run by the Norwich Retail Skills Academy in conjunction with Norwich Fashion Week. For more information or to take part contact Alex Hill on 01603 667668 or email alex.hill@ccn.ac.uk

Tickets will be available for the above shows in February. You can see the full list of shows and events at www.facebook.com/NorwichFashionWeek

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