A showcase for the next generation

City College Norwich textile students, who have set up their own fashion label, Cocoon. Greta Bimbai

City College Norwich textile students, who have set up their own fashion label, Cocoon. Greta Bimbaiti with her design.Photo: Steve Adams

Up-and-coming designers from all over Norwich and Norfolk have a platform to showcase their work at Norwich Fashion Week – welcome to the next generation. By EMMA HARROWING.

Norwich has a wealth of up-and-coming fashion designers and makers. In fact this year the first fashion graduates from the Norwich University of the Arts will be honoured and the first fashion students from City College Norwich will leave to take up university posts.

So it's good to know that there is a growing platform for the new generation of fashion designer to get their work noticed in Norwich – and perhaps discovered by buyers who might want to stock locally-made clothing and accessories in their store.

The Designers Show sponsored by City College Norwich aims to show up-and-coming work alongside Norfolk designers. Last year the show launched the first collection by fashion students from City College Norwich under the name Cocoon. This year the second Cocoon collection will be launched at the show, this time with a collaboration of first and second year fashion students and textile students.

The show, which takes place next month, will also be the launch pad for the second Bridal NEXT competition set up by Rebecca Hoh Hale and Gemma Goodwin as part of their A Most Curious Wedding Fair event.

Bridal NEXT 2013 takes five up-and-coming bridal wear or accessories designers to not only launch their designs into the spotlight, but to also show how creative and stylish fashion being made right here in Norwich is. The designs will have a set on the catwalk and then designs will be judged by industry experts at A Most Curious Wedding Fair on March 23.

The designs will also be joined by a fashion set by fashion students from Great Yarmouth College.

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Here's your guide to the next generation designers that will be on show at The Designers Show at Norwich Fashion Week 2013:


The second collection from City College Norwich fashion and textile students is inspired by pushing the boundaries of machines and mechanics or insects and nature to bring an eclectic mix of designs to the catwalk. Designs such as second year fashion student Greta Bimbaiti's spider digital print maxi skirt worn with strapless pep-hem top takes elements from this year's fashion trends to make them more wearable, whereas second year textile student Amorn Chiapalem's rabbit hat design is more exaggerated for the catwalk as a nod towards rabbit print motifs.

Great Yarmouth College

Second year foundation fashion degree students from Great Yarmouth College will be showcasing selected pieces from their final year work which makes for a collective collaboration. Expect to see pieces inspired by The Swinging Sixties, the 18th century, Hippie San Francisco and Country Manor.

Bridal NEXT

The next generation bridal fashion competition launches five designers at the show:

Annelli Clarke

Hats are tipped to be big news at fashion week as The Designers Show is already showcasing collections from two Norwich milliners. Annelli Clarke from Norwich makes three, her vintage inspired designs are made using traditional millinery techniques. The inspiration for her current collection is from the 1920s-1970s.

Best of Youth

Florals and lace are expected to take to the catwalk, as Best of Youth makes traditionally inspired clothing made from vintage lace, organic and naturally hand-dyed fabrics. Pieces are also hand-embroidered for a slightly kitsch look.

Sarah Day/Anne Barclay

Patchwork, feathers and 1920s and 1930s inspired evening wear make up couture designer Sarah Day's collections so it will be interesting to see what this collaboration with Anne Barclay will deliver on the Norwich Fashion Week catwalk.

Boom Boom Baby

Fashion and costume design graduate Kirsteen Ross set up costume company Boom Boom Baby in 2004, but is now starting to branch out into the wedding industry with her handmade corsets. Her designs have been featured on stage and screen from Channel 4 comedy VIP to stage productions of the musical Annie. This is the first time that Boom Boom Baby will be showcasing a collection of bridal wear.

Bohemian Love Story

The opulent headwear and accessories from Bohemian Love Story created a stir when they were stocked in Antidote Vintage in Norwich. The fairy-like head wear takes inspiration from nature as butterflies and feathers are a common theme, as is taking personalised items and mixing them with flowers to create bespoke head pieces and corsages that are individual to the wearer.

The Designers Show takes place on Tuesday, March 12 with 2pm and 7pm shows. Tickets cost £10 (£8 concessions) which are available from the Evening News or from Epic on Magdalen Street.