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The North West Fashion Festival took over Liverpool this weekend; it was exciting, interesting and just a little bit curious.
Across the past two days, itineraries were set up to showcase local designers, famous faces and underestimated talent across the industry, including: X Factor superstar, Kiera Weathers and Celebrity MUA, Katie Hayes.
The grand doors of St George’s Hall opened for the event at 3pm on Saturday, giving guests a chance to stroll around the various stalls, pamper rooms and bars before taking their seats to enjoy an array of performances, catwalks and master-classes.
There was a mixture of regional designers such as Mode Mwah, as well as national designers such as John Lewis’s Loved&Found along with London newbies NuNude. Liverpool-based freelancers from Beverley May Designs stood out as a favourite with a beautiful collection modelled by stunning ladies and mini-models.
The mother and daughter set-up really pulled at some heart-strings as the audience applauded and the little girls blew kisses and twirled. Well done Bev May! The girls from NuNude impressed with their bold and lively catwalk, mirroring their fresh and fun-loving attitude to the industry. They spoke of natural beauty and racial equality inspiring their clothing line which began in London– 10 points to NuNude, honorary northerners.
Among the fashionistas queuing for a glimpse of the glamour of the North West, were famous faces from The Real Housewives of Cheshire, the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. Rubbing elbows with Tanya Bardsley and Dawn Ward was more than inspiring as they promoted their new and current ventures: Tanya’s Dreams to Reality jewellery line and Dawn’s Skulpt non-surgical cosmetic company.
Performances throughout the weekend were impressive and understated. Singer Keira Weathers opened the festival with a stunning vocal performance closely followed by MD Production who danced in Halloween-style costume in a soul destructive and energetic choreography. Joe Hynd and Ellie Phillips, The Guide Liverpool, attempted to hype the audiences with applauses, cheers and laughter throughout the shows but unfortunately, their witty banter couldn’t keep many of us seated for too long as, not only did the crowds want to mooch the stalls but, it was absolutely freezing.
As I cradled my heart-warmer (Sauvignon Blanc) and we wiggled our toes to keep our blood moving, I thanked the fashion gods (Topshop) that I had put a jumper over my much-to-thought-out jumpsuit.
The stalls, starting at the entrance and ending at the stage, gave the crowds a chance to chat with founders of the businesses showcasing the event, take selfies with the glamorous celebs and spend recklessly whilst sipping on their ‘champers’.
Among these stalls, was Worn By Us, an amazing organisation which encourages celebrities and businesses to donate brand new and pre-loved designer clothing to the website so that they can sell them on to the public and donate their profits to charity in order to raise funds for breast cancer awareness. Worn By Us and the fabulous founder Nicola were obviously a firm favourite by the end of the weekend; her story is truly inspiring.
After all of the excitement and glorious chin-wagging, I couldn’t help but stop to notice the empty seats surrounding me during performances and the lack of shoulder barging which made me wonder… where were all the fashionistas!?
With current and significant designers showcasing collections, I kept thinking, ‘You’re missing out! Why is no one here!?’.
However, those in attendance created a fantastic atmosphere and encouraged an amazing weekend. With this years NWFF being so much bigger and better than last year, I can only hope that the people of the North West will come to their senses and grab tickets for next year!