Preview: The North West Fashion Festival
A look at what's on the cards for this inaugural event in Liverpool's beautiful Palm House
On Sunday 14 September, Liverpool's Sefton Park will play host to the first ever North West Fashion Festival (NWFF), which should assert the city's (and indeed the Northwest's) growing reputation as a centre for style as it welcomes more than 1500 guests for a day of all things fashion. The festival and networking event aims to bring together those involved in various areas of the industry in the Northwest and further afield, from influential fashion figures to designers and style lovers, to celebrate and experience the wealth of fashion talent and expertise the region has to offer. It will showcase some of the biggest and most exciting brands and designers based in the Northwest; there will be beauty tips and makeovers from celebrity makeup artists and hair stylists, as well as a range of runway shows and fashion exhibitions. Additionally, there will be the chance to do some serious shopping.
While the organisers, Chic Networking, run multiple fashion and lifestyle shows – with the emphasis on providing attendees with insight into the industry as well as allowing the opportunity of connecting with a wide array of people from all backgrounds – this is the first festival which focuses solely on fashion. With it, they hope to help guests expand their individual and business connections through networking – a vital component in the success and expansion of any business and is particularly important for people involved in fashion.
The event will include 30 fashion exhibitions as well as pop-up shops, 'live mannequins' and the work of 25 specially selected regional designers, being showcased in runway shows throughout the day. These 25 will include some of the most popular independent and high street brands in the Northwest, such as: KU Spendlove, a glamorous Liverpool favourite label; Lola Loves, which has recently become a permanent concession brand at Topshop Liverpool; the In the Style brand; Miss Francesca Couture, a Liverpool John Moores fashion design graduate; The Dressing Room Boutique, and Ben Mak, who has dressed television presenters and girl bands. The collections – including those of some celebrities who will be in attendance at the event – will be presented alongside exhibitions and live music in one of the event's two areas, the 'Inner Circle,' which will be based in the Palm House of Sefton Park.
Outside of the Palm House, the 'Chic Garden' will play host to 15 marquees continuing to cover all areas of the fashion world with beauty stations offering treatments and samples, as well as a marquee dedicated to masterclasses with top celebrity makeup artists and hair stylists giving short seminars throughout the day. Guests will have the chance to put their look and style to the test with Chic Networking and Events' modelling competition, which, with a selection of prizes including a year long modelling contract with a top UK agency as part of a package worth £50,000, should be a hotly contested event.
Alongside all this will be local food and drink at various marquees, as well as DJs and dancers giving a feel of Liverpool clubs and bars.
All in all, it sounds like the North West Fashion Festival will offer a pretty good excuse to indulge, while also meeting new people and making connections. Here's hoping it helps cement Liverpool and the Northwest's spot on the map as a top UK destination for fashion.