A night when shopping became a big spectacle in Norwich
The first Norwich Lanes Fashion Night Out promised to be a late night shopping and entertainment extravaganza. It certainly lived up to its expectations, says Emma Harrowing.
Fashion Night Out is a global phenomenon. New York, London and Paris have all embraced the excuse to celebrate fashion with late night shopping events intertwined with art, entertainment, music and off the wall spectacles.
If anyone was to bring the Fashion Night Out to Norwich it had to be the eclectic folk in Norwich Lanes.
And last night it happened. Independent fashion, beauty and hair boutiques in Norwich Lanes worked with local fashion designers, musicians, DJs and entertainers to bring the fashion party to Norwich as part of Norwich Fashion Week.
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There were many events taking place throughout the evening, turning this historical part of the city into a showcase of the best of local fashion talent.
Starting at Lower Goat Lane for a quick hair fix at The Egg's blow dry bar, we (me and a friend) headed to Imelda's shoe boutique on Guildhall Hill which was turned into a vintage inspired boudoir for the evening with retro hair and make-up tutorials.
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Hair and make-up sorted, the sounds of the Hotbox DJs lured us down the road into Philip Browne where true to form the boys had captured fashion week goers with live body art by acclaimed Norwich tattoo artist Wink.
Rumours pre-Fashion Night Out had suggested that a certain Mr Browne would have his buttocks tattooed as part of the show.
With the retailer's past behaviour (did you see that man going to the toilet in the window during the winter sales? It made national news) we were surprised that this rumour went unfounded (or it did while we were there!)
In need of a bit of refined entertainment we headed to see the new Vivienne Westwood collection at Catfish and stumbled upon Conor from Flint doing hair in men's fashion boutique Sevenwolves.
Then popping into Catfish we discovered vintage hairstylist Flamingo Amy creating stylish hair designs in her pop-up salon in the middle of the boutique.
The eclecticism of the evening gave a stylish if somewhat theratrical buzz to the proceedings.
Then there were the other fashion launches.
Sevenwolves launched the new J Lindeburg collection of classically striped t-shirts and gingham checked shirts and down the road on Bedford Street the spring and summer collection from Norwich based fashion label SHhhh was launched at Dogfish accompanied by fruity cocktails from Finnies Juice Bar.
SHhhh, let's say that name again - SHhhh is the label that will be on your lips for 2012. Artist and founder Sam from Great Yarmouth set up the label and sold t-shirts to his friends. Now he is launching the next 11 Artists Project (a competition for up and coming artists to design t-shirts) and his spring and summer collection of logo t-shirts and sweaters are stocked in Dogfish.
After a quick bite to eat at Franks Bar it was time for a bit of retail therapy and with discounts in many of the stores it was easy to bag a bargain.
Goldfinches on St Gregory's Alley was awash with discounted vintage and retro fashion. And as we didn't have pudding at Franks the delightful little cupcakes (a fashion week ritual) by Cupcake Jess went down a treat.
Across the path in St Gregory's Church a fashion shindig showcased some of the more vintage and retro fashions Norwich has to offer.
All this vintage had got us in the mood for fashions from the past and what better way to shop vintage than at the VIP shopping event at Prim Vintage on St Benedict's.
Here we sipped on bubbly and shopped vintage in a style worthy of fashion icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.
We ended our night listening to vintage tunes in The Birdcage before the Norwich Lanes Fashion Night Out after party got into full swing with the Hotbox Nights DJ's.
If this is what it is like to be part of the high fashion set – bring on the next Fashion Night Out.
You can see the pictures from the Norwich Lanes Fashion Night Out by clicking on the photo gallery link at the top right of this page.
Catch up with all the news from Norwich Fashion Week 2012 in the paper all this week.