On Sunday, December 1st, the Liverpool Hilton played host to the first ever Liverpool Fashion & Lifestyle Event. The project was put together by Chic Networking and Tiger PR to showcase the best of Liverpool’s boutique fashions and to allow local independent businesses to promote themselves and network with other businesses also in the fashion and beauty sector.
Kicking off at 2pm, the event was held in a spacious upstairs room at the Hilton Hotel which is ideally located on the waterfront of the Albert Dock – a prime and prestigious location in the city. Upon entering, a silver wristband was tied around my wrist and a sleek black paper bag was handed to me. Inside were a number of discount vouchers and promotional offers that could be used with the vendors at the event and also in their stores. There’s nothing I love more than discounted fashion! The bar was the first port of call. The venue was stunning, and the bar was slick, shiny and filled with beautiful champagnes and wines. I went for a cheeky glass of white and sipped that whilst checking out my goodie bag vouchers.
I moved away from the bar and the excitedly chatting fellow attendees to take a lap of the various stalls and all that they had to offer. There were fewer stands than I had anticipated, but each was expertly laid out, showing off their products beautifully. Each stand was flanked by smiling business owners handing out business cards and promotional fliers. Amongst the businesses represented were Patty Fashions with ultra-chic outfits incorporating faux fur, bright whites, dark lace and bold metallic detailing, Lipstick Rocks jewellery boutique which has a unique collection of antique and vintage pieces, Rachel’s Russian Hair offering luxury hair extensions, and Oh My Goodness juice cleanse juices which are fresh and made up of 100% natural raw ingredients. The event showcased a very broad range of beauty, health and fashion products helping the customers to feel great both inside and out. Also on show was Glamorous hair, beauty and make up salon, the LMP make over studio, Happiness Hot Yoga, Hair By Ashley, Angelic Facial Treatments and Celebrity Sun. Even though I initially thought there were a small number of stalls, in reality, a vast number wasn’t needed – it was obvious that each company had been carefully selected for its high quality.
The main part of the afternoon was the fashion show. It showcased six of Liverpool’s best designers who have found success both in the city and are expanding across the country, and in some cases have world-wide celebrity followings. The six designers showcased were (in order of appearance) Samantha Chong, Mode Mwah, Lola Loves, Mark Melia, The Dressing Room and Miss Francesca Couture.
Though each designer is distinct from the others, this season’s hottest trends could be seen in each collection. Each designer interpreted the autumn/winter staples into their collections without losing sight of their signature looks. Dark red and green tartans, lace, metallics and hard metal detailing was used by each designer to contrast with the feminine tailoring.
Samantha Chong’s winter collection consisted of vampish magentas and dark greens. She showcased an impressive array of apparel, including dramatic floor length dresses, tartan slouch jackets and her own take on the LBD. She is not afraid to experiment with bold prints, metallics and leopard print. She is a dab hand at using fashion staples to a new effect, often contrasting lace and tartans, metallics and bold prints.
Mode Mwah describe their latest designs as a ‘take on red carpet glamour’ and this really comes through in their pieces. Bright pinks, classic black, long sleek ballgown-esque dresses, shimmering golds and daring plunge necklines, sheer panels and intricate beading, Mode Mwah’s collection would not look amiss on any celebrity on a red carpet at the moment.
Lola Loves is a staple much loved by Liverpool fashionistas. And it is easy to see why. Lola Loves uses a lot of pinks and bright bold colours. Ultra feminine yet daring, this boutique pulled out all the stops with their cuffs, collars and tailored waists. Each dress was perfectly structured, with lace and glittering sequins used on many of the pieces. Puff ball sleeves, tulip shaped skirts, sheer panels and cut outs meant it was both evocative of retro fashion and bang-on trend.
Mark Melia is the designer that is by far my favourite in the show. Understated and painfully chic, Mark Melia’s dresses left every woman in the room speechless. No doubt many at the event would have given their left leg for a piece by Mark Melia. Each dress was a simple single colour, mostly in blacks and whites, but some dresses were a little brighter, with such colours as pink and khaki. Both floor length dresses and skater-skirt dresses featured as well as structured shoulders and halter-neck styles. Each dress has its own stunning metallic embroidery, brocade or beaded design, accentuating the waist and neckline.
The Dressing Room don’t actually design their own clothes, rather they collect one-off pieces from across the world. Vintage, designer and up and coming designers and labels are snapped up by The Dressing Room, giving them quite the celebrity following. The collection shown was very ecclectic, with high-necked pieces, velveteen materials, floor length gowns and short flirty numbers.
Miss Francesca Couture was the last designer to show and definitely ended the show with a bang. The collection took inspiration from naughty schoolgirls and their bright social lives. Their were many silvers, golds, hot pinks and sequins. The tutu style skirt is a staple in the collection, as is the halter neck one shoulder and frilled edging. Though most of the collection was made up of flirty ultra-feminine dresses, there were a couple of pieces incorporating this year’s hot trends of tartan and leather, though of course with a very girly twist.
Overall, the first ever Liverpool Fashion & Lifestyle Event was a resounding success. Everyone went home happy, some great new fashions were shown and local businesses got the recognition they deserved.