Get ready for a week of fashion in Norwich

Style lovers take note, the week that celebrates Norfolk fashion is back in less than two weeks and this year the programme is bigger and better than before. EMMA HARROWING takes a look at some of the must-see shows and events at the third Norwich Fashion Week.

There is always something new to discover at Norwich Fashion Week.

Last September up and coming fashion designers Chloe Kent and Leah Leveridge broke on to the fashion scene with Chloe's gold sequin and black feather corset and Leah's intricate tailoring, the high bun was the hairstyle of choice and tartan was a big trend on the catwalks.

Norwich Fashion Week 2012 takes place from Thursday, March 8 until Thursday, March 15 and with more independent retailers, local designers and a resurgence of young up and coming designers on board, the week is shaping up to be the ultimate celebration of local fashion.

Norwich Fashion Week is the brainchild of Norwich stylist Louise Lace, with the support of Anita Vadhir from the independent retailer Vanilla, Jayne Raffles from Raffles Restaurants and your Norwich Evening News.

The event launched in February 2011 with a week's worth of fashion, beauty and shopping events.

Fast forward to 2012 and Norwich Fashion Week has become an organisation with a board that includes VisitNorwich, Jarrold, Norwich Lanes and City College Norwich as well as the four founding partners.

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'Norwich Fashion Week aims to provide a platform for everyone involved in fashion, business, education, arts and culture in Norfolk to showcase their collections and businesses,' says Louise.

'It's our aim to grow Norwich Fashion Week each year for it to become a date in the Norwich calendar.

'For the third Norwich Fashion Week more retailers are joining us and local designers are showing their collections. In fact there are events every day that you can go to.'

Last year Norwich Fashion Week was held over two separate weeks – one in February and one in September.

The idea was to set out its stall with a small snippet of what Norwich fashion retailers and designers can offer.

This year is the start of a big week of fashion which will be held once a year in March.

Peter Mitchell, managing director of independent department store Jarrold and Norwich Fashion Week board member, believes that the week will become a major event for Norwich.

Says Peter: 'We've set the target of making NFW'13 three times as large as NFW'12.

'There is a huge momentum behind the Norwich Fashion Week this year, and the organisers have had to turn down many requests to stage events.

'By March 2013 we are going to have a programme of events bursting out of the main week, and NFW will be one of the really big events in Norwich's calendar.

'Then we will start to see NFW attracting many more visitors to Norwich from across the region and the reputation of the city for its fashion scene getting national recognition.'

Whether you like mainstream fashion, vintage, men's fashion, film, beauty or shopping, there is something for everyone at this year's Norwich Fashion Week.

The Independent Retailers Show will kick off Norwich Fashion Week 2012 at The Forum on Thursday March 8. Norwich Lanes will be holding a Fashion Night Out on Friday March 9 where you can shop the latest fashions and see live art and entertainment. Jarrolds will be having a fashion day on Saturday March 10 and on Sunday March 11 Norwich will go retro with the Dress Like a Queen Vintage Day.

You can then start the week with a new look at The Gallery Haircutters Focus on Colour Day on Monday March 11, before rocking down to the latest designs from some of Norfolk's top fashion designers at The Designer Show at Project Nightclub on Tuesday March 13.

Lovers of vintage and old movies will love Cinema City and Vintage Norwich's screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as there is also vintage fun in the bar.

The finale of Norwich Fashion Week sees a show in House of Fraser by fashion degree students from the Norwich University of the Arts and the Vanilla fashion show at Vanilla on Ipswich Road.

If that's not enough there are many other events taking place throughout the week including free wash and blow dries at The Hairdresser on Wensum Street, styling days at Jarrold and Vanilla, and make your own fashion accessories at John Lewis.

For a full programme of all the events taking place during Norwich Fashion Week click on the programme link at the top right of this page.

A printed programme of events will be in your Evening News on Thursday March 8.