Norwich Fashion Week gets underway

The Independent Retailers Show kicked off Norwich Fashion Week with a spectacular display.

The moment Norwich fashionistas have been waiting for finally arrived last night as the second Norwich Fashion Week launched to a spectacular show from the independent retailers.

Held at Fusion in The Forum, the show proved that your city has what it takes to bring you fashion at its best.

From the opening sequence from City College Norwich though to independent retailer Vanilla, to the original designs from local designers and retailers Poppy Valentine and Silk and Sawdust, up to the climax of the finale, the trends and styles for autumn and winter kept on coming.

Styles from the show included knitwear, sumptuous colours orange and berry reds, feminine dresses with biker boots and leather to give an edgy look and summer's 1970s style for women, and formal, casual and preppy looks for men.

Other trendsetting looks drew inspiration from London Fashion Week's autumn shows with the boy/girl style and colour blocking, plus a fashion forward look to the new revival for the 1960s mini shift dresses.

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Vanilla stylist and organiser of the launch show, Louise Lace says that the launch show marks the start of an exciting week of fashion:

'The autumn and winter trends seen at this show are inspiring, from the retro flashback from the early 1940s to the late 1980s, it's a season of shapes and having fun with your clothes.

'The show also displayed the hard work of the Norwich Fashion Week models that were picked for the catwalk after going though intensive auditions and training. All of the models are part of a competition run by Vanilla, The Gallery Haircutters and Powermodel Management to find the male and female face of Norwich Fashion Week 2011.'

Danielle Hull and Matthew Gadd were crowned the faces of Norwich Fashion Week at the end of the show. Both were awarded with modelling contracts with Powermodel Management, the opportunity to become the face of Vanilla and The Gallery and they will also model for the Life Matters fashion pages in the Evening News later in the year.

Bex Parramint from Powermodel Management says that it was a tough contest but that both were worthy winners: 'Danielle and Matthew stood out from the audition stages, both are very natural with interesting looks and their own unique style. During the rehearsal stage we couldn't keep our eyes off them.'

The evening proved to be a night for winners as the prize for the best shop window display was also announced. The winner is Nola on Timberhill whose window display was designed by City College Norwich and Retail Skills Academy student Lauren Loh.

Head of the Retail Skills Academy Sue Dougal said: 'The winning window showed a high level of originality, creativity and impact whilst highlighting Norwich Fashion Week and the products on offer from Nola.'

Pictures from the Independent Retailers Show will be on the Norwich Fashion Week website later today.

For a full review of the trends and styles at the launch see the Life Matters pages in tomorrow's (Saturday's) Norwich Evening News.

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