Show time for Norfolk designers

For the first time you can see the work of Norfolk Fashion Designers in their very own catwalk show at Norwich Fashion Week. Emma Harrowing takes a look at what the designers have in store.

It was only a matter of time before Norfolk's fashion designers would make a big splash at Norwich Fashion Week.

After guest starring at the launch show in February 2011 and opening up their studios at Norwich Fashion Week last September, it was clear that the high calibre of workmanship and creativity would make a spectacular show.

So for Norwich Fashion Week 2012 a new catwalk show is born. The Designers Show brings together talented fashion designers from Norfolk with up- and-coming fashion designers from City College Norwich in one of the biggest shows of this year's fashion week.

Organised and choreographed by City College Norwich and fashion show guru Stephen Knights, the show takes place at Project Nightclub on Tuesday March 13.

Head of the creative and business industries school at City College Norwich, Jo Pretty believes that The Designers Show offers invaluable experience for students. Says Jo: 'It's really important for the students to showcase their first collection at Norwich Fashion Week as it is seen as a prestigious event in the fashion calendar. Our students are working alongside other new and established designers. They are the designers of the future.

'The Designers Show offers Norwich Fashion Week an extra special dimension and enriches the programme of events for the week.' The Designers Show takes place on Tuesday, March 13, at Project Nightclub in Riverside. A preview show is at 2pm and the main show is at 7pm. Tickets cost �10 for adults and �5 for under 18s.

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Tickets are available from Poppy Valentine in the Royal Arcade, call 01603 928802.

Meet the designers

Cocoon: As reported in yesterday's Evening News, Cocoon is the new fashion label from fashion and textile students from City College Norwich. Cocoon will be launched at The Designers Show at Norwich Fashion Week and the first collection from the label is based around the theme of machinery and mechanics. Expect fresh, original designs that play with spring and summer's main fashion trends.

Poppy Valentine: When designer Claire Read brought her Poppy Valentine label to Norwich a few years ago she developed a cult following for her retro dresses and clothing made from vintage fabric. Recently, Claire has launched a new children's range of clothing at her Royal Arcade boutique, but it will be her growing women's collection of clothes that she will be showing at The Designers Show at Norwich Fashion Week. This will be Poppy Valentine's third appearance at Norwich Fashion Week and Claire, who also works as a fashion lecturer at City College Norwich, is helping the students co-ordinate the show.

Peggy's Collection: New to Norwich Fashion Week is Dereham knitwear designer Diana Clark of Peggy's Collection. The collection of vintage inspired designs and accessories rose to prominence when footballer Wayne Rooney's sister Natalie wore one of Diana's designs on BBC Three television show Snog, Marry, Avoid. Peggy's Collection has also won Dragon's Den star Theo Paphitis' Small Business Sunday award. Peggy's Collection will be bringing women and men's fashion to the catwalk at The Designers Show.

Marilyn Thomas: Known for her colourful Fair Isle knits, Norwich designer Marilyn Thomas proved that Norfolk fashion designers have their finger on the fashion pulse when she showcased her brightly coloured knitwear at Norwich Fashion Week 2011. For this year's show Marilyn is back with her new collection of hand-knitted jackets, cardigans and accessories.

Monkey Mash: Eclectic designs inspired by the 40s and 50s sum up Norwich designer Emma Jackson's Monkey Mash label. Her retro designs are made from rare or discontinued fabrics from designers such as Alexander Henry and Michael Miller, making each piece original and unique. Rumour has it that one of her designs at Norwich Fashion Week will be made from fabric with the London Underground map printed on it to celebrate the Olympics coming to London this year.

Jane Kenning: If you read the Jane Kenning interview in your Evening News last Friday you will know that the Drayton designer is making the corset the must-have item for spring and summer. Jane's intricate collection of corsets will be on the catwalk at The Designers Show. If you missed the interview read it online at

Alice Bodgener: Her frilly knickers caused a stir at last year's fashion week, but the East Harling designer used Norwich Fashion Week 2011 to launch her first evening dress in her womenswear collection. For Norwich Fashion Week 2012, Alice plans to bring new designs to the catwalk at The Designers Show. Fingers crossed that her collection will include her original knicker designs.

Marian Eve Williams: She wowed 2011 audiences with her shimmery ivory dress made from the dye of a silver birch tree in February and then returned in September with a turquoise and green tie-dye effect dress. Expect easy-to-wear eco-friendly designs at The Designers Show.

Take a look at the Norwich Fashion Week programme of events by clicking on the link at the top right of this page.