London may have had Alexa Chung gracing the frows and Paris may have been a sea of Chanel dresses and glittering diamonds, but this week’s seven days of dedicated fashion is all about that little city known as Liverpool, and who needs glamour at a costly price tag when you can have elegance at no expense.
Liverpool Fashion Week, the biggest show in the north, is in its fourth year, and held in a city with a huge sense of style, individuality and uniqueness. Thursday’s show, in the middle of a whole week of catwalk strutting, was no exception, devoting the theme of the evening to recycling – the winner of the most unlikely cool topic of 2012.
The phrase, ‘You’d even look good in a plastic bag…!’ was not actually too far from the truth as one of the first models strode down the runway in a dress made entirely from said items, accessorized I might add, with a very stunning pair of Louboutin’s. Obvs. This was just the beginning of a showcase from students at Liverpool Community College, which also featured dresses made from bottle tops, newspapers and even latex gloves. Suddenly the merciless teasing I have endured from friends for my habit of recycling everything possible is not quite so laughable – although I probably could put that kitchen drawer to better uses than Asda bags…
Next to feature was an amazing array of beautifully styled vintage outfits from Rachel Olivia Owen Design, embracing all of the most popular eras of imitation. Vintage is exceptionally popular in Liverpool and this show emphasized an absolute denial of the negative press surrounding this city’s fashion week and the false notion that Liverpool is all about one particular ‘look’. From 1980s peplums, bouffant tea dresses from the 40s and a nod to the brightly clashing colours teamed with fur from the disco dancing 70s – it was all covered, as well as a parade of beautiful vintage wedding gowns, definitely a reason to consider tying the metaphorical knot in my ongoing ‘I am never getting married’ principles.
As well as Rood, vintage outfits were flaunted by local branches of Scope and The British Red Cross, and with each outfit priced at less than ten pounds, there is unquestionably no truth that style has to equal great cost.
Ethically sourced garments and an emphasis on fashion as a means to life improvement was also on the evening’s agenda, and no better to showcase this concept than Umoja – a striking range of clothing featuring vibrantly printed dresses and eye-catching trousers, all sourced and made in Africa, aiding in contributing to the effort to promote employment within disadvantaged communities.
The evening had a very apparent message that clothes are not just what we see in abundant amounts hanging on rails in busy and overbearing shops, and also not just for one size of woman. Fashion is about the people whose individual passions and creativity go into the designs, the time and endeavors that are put into the crafting of our outfits, and the people whose stories and choices in the past create how we chose to represent our own personas today.
As it has been known to do in the past, Liverpool is the humble city quietly inspiring trends and creating history that will endure. Liverpool Fashion Week 2012 has so far been imaginative and appealing whilst at the same time, proving once again that this is a city that ranks pretty high in the style stakes – and that includes show audience members!
Liverpool Fashion Week is yet to disappoint. The only problem now is to get to those vintage shops before it’s all gone…
Click images to enlarge…