Norwich is set for another fabulous week of fashion
Norwich Fashion Week returns for its second run this month and it's an event not to be missed if you have a passion for fashion. Emma Harrowing finds out what the week has in store.
Listen carefully and you might hear the slur of a sewing machine, the snip of a pair of scissors or the squeak of a shiny new clothes rail as Norfolk fashion designers and retailers get ready for the second Norwich Fashion Week.
The stylish week begins on September 22 and runs until September 29, launching with a fashion show featuring new collections from some of the independent fashion retailers in Norwich at Fusion in The Forum and finishing with a late night high street shopping extravaganza.
Launched in February, Norwich Fashion Week unites independent retail, high street stores and the county's fashion designers in an event that celebrates the diversity of fashion in Norwich.
The catwalk show which launched the event back in February brought the city's many fashion designers and independent fashions into the spotlight and September's event aims to put Norwich fashion firmly on the style map.
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Jayne Raffles launched Norwich Fashion Week with Anita Vadhir from independent fashion retailer Vanilla. Jayne owns Raffles Restaurants which includes The Library restaurant on Guildhall Hill, one of the main venues for Norwich Fashion Week.
Says Jayne: 'The first Norwich Fashion Week caused a big buzz in the city and really caught people's imagination. So much so that this time there are more events taking place throughout the city.
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'The week is about raising the profile of the many amazing designers we have in Norfolk and celebrating and supporting the independent businesses that make Norwich so special.'
The week showcases the collections of Norfolk's fashion and accessory designers as well as the work of up-and-coming designers from City College Norwich and the Norwich University College of the Arts. All aim to prove that Norwich is a rising contender in setting the style for future fashion.
Nick Bond, head of tourism at VisitNorwich believes that Norwich Fashion Week will propel the city even further up to shopping charts:
'Norwich Fashion Week is an expression of the city's superb retail offer which encompasses independent boutiques, high street brands and the current interest in vintage, as well as the city's creativity and sense of style,' says Nick. 'It's no surprise that Norwich is one of the country's top ten shopping destinations and the centre for shopping in the East of England.
'Norwich Fashion Week is key to positioning Norwich as a fantastic shopping destination.'
According to Norwich Fashion Week founder Jayne, the success of the event is down to support from the Norwich Evening News, City College Norwich and the numerous local retailers and businesses who have organised events and shows for September.
Says Jayne: 'So many people who got involved shared our attitude and excitement.
'In the future I think it will become part of the Norwich calendar.'
There are many events taking place during Norwich Fashion Week; here is just a taster of some of the highlights:
The Independent Fashion Show, September 22
Fusion Digital Gallery at The Forum will host a catwalk event with a difference. Rather than a stage, models will be wearing clothing from independent retailers and walking around the seated area for this exclusive event.
Results from the window display competition, in which City College students paired up with shops to design window displays, will also be announced.
The Norwich Lanes Fashion Show, September 23
This show at St Gregory's Church will feature fashions from Norwich Lanes' wealth of independent boutiques with a big dollop of vintage thrown in too. Visitors can also join in the after-party at the art deco Birdcage pub next door.
The Vintage Day at The Library, September 25
In conjunction with A Most Curious Party and Blue Sky Vintage Events, The Library restaurant will be transformed into a vintage wonderland with A Mad Hatter's Tea Party theme outside, live music, stalls to browse and vintage high teas to enjoy, as well as vintage fashions, make-up, hair and styling demonstrations.
The Open Store Event, September 27
Like an Open Studios for up-and-coming local fashion designers, this event will showcase breakthrough work at Ethika on Timberhill, Verandah on Upper St Giles and at designers' own studios and boutiques across Norwich.
Fashion on Film, September 28
Join the Cinema City team for a memorable evening of fashion, film and cocktails at the special screening of Breakfast at Tiffany's. There is also a competition to win a joint membership to Cinema City for the best dressed couple – so dress to impress!
High Street Shopping Extravaganza, September 29
Shop till you drop at the late night shopping event that will see some of your favourite high street stores open until late. Discounts, nibbles, drinks, fashion shows and beauty demonstrations will be on offer at selected shops in the city such as the launch of the Biba makeup collection and new fashion collection at House of Fraser.
For full details on these and all the events taking place throughout Norwich Fashion Week click on the link to the Norwich Fashion Week website at the top right of this page. Follow @NorwichFashion on Twitter or Facebook Norwich Fashion Week.