Thursday saw the great and good of the Midlands, footballers, models, bloggers and celebrities descend on the luxurious Harvey Nichols store in the Mailbox, Birmingham to celebrate Vogue‘s Fashion’s Night Out, and the launch of the fabulous Autumn/Winter designer collections.
The store was packed with a host of well dressed guests who were able to enjoy a pre-show champagne reception and a sneak preview of the new Land Rover Evoque, which was parked majestically on the Mailbox steps. Land Rover were the sponsors of the event, and there was a special Land Rover treat included in the special goodie bags placed under each seat. A sparkling atmosphere was in the air, as guests took their seats and awaited the fabulous outfits. They were in for a feast of mouth-watering fashion that shows that Harvey Nichols will again be the destination of choice for Birmingham fashionista’s this season.
As usual, the looks were organised by themes. Here are some of my personal highlights for each theme.
This collection was a fusion of vintage themes, from Boardwalk empire style flapper dresses by ‘Lucy in Disguise’ and ‘Hoss Intropia’, to the most beautiful 1940s style, fur collared coat that could’ve graced Rita Hayworth in the 1940s, by the ever fabulous Michael Kors. My favourite piece was an exquisite, bias cut. silk evening gown by Amanda Wakeley. In champagne, this dress, by one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite designers, was a showstopper, a 1930s gown with a modern twist.
Next up was the boys with a collection of laid back sophistication. and Paul Smith jackets, chunky cardigans by Dolce and Gabbana, preppy college scarves and flashes of Alexander McQueen made this the a set of perfect smart, casual looks.
To celebrate in with National Wool week, this collection was full of checks, plaids, kilts and capes. From puffball dresses, that showed a touch of the 1980s, but in an oh-so-good way, to fun and flirty plaid kilts from Burberry Brit, this was a chunky, funky collection that had more than a touch of grunge chic about it. I particularly loved the yeti style , and the daytime sexiness of the Dolce and Gabbana fringed cardigan.
Outfits inspired by the age of protest, Old Guard was a superb collection of parka’s,bomber jackets, 1980s style jeans and blazers and World War two style t-shirts, complete with medal design. The whole collection seemed to be inspired by the smart dressed student protestors who loved The Smiths. Particularly loved the World War Two style J Lindberg blazer and D&G Sport t-shirt that was playfully accessorised with a kit bag. The re-emergence of the Alexander McQueen Skull scarf also bought a smile to many faces.
Coat of Armour
An amazing array of Belstaff, Barbour and McQ jackets that would bring style to any winter wardrobe. The styling evoked images of Kate Moss in iconic Belstaff ad campaigns, and showed that jackets this year will be quilted, leather, flying style and belted, but never boring!
Steve McQueen, Cassius Clay and Brando, all emblazoned on a series of sweatshirts, t-shirts and hoodies by Dolce and Gabbana. Styled as sportswear by Dolce Gym with jogging bottoms and kit bags.
Rock chick looks comprising t-shirts adorned with the icons of music teamed with coloured skinnies. The t-shirts, from cult brands Wildfox and House of the Gods, were festooned with John Lennon, Deborah Harry and the Jean Genie himself, David Bowie.
Modern snowboarding thrill seekers are well served by this collection which was filled with puffa style jackets by the likes of Moncler and Gucci. Teamed with Markus Lupfer t-shirts, this collection was perfect for the outdoorsey, sporty types, for whom the weather is no obstacle.
Girls on Fire
A collection of red-hot looks from the likes of Paul Smith, Malene Birger and DKNY. Standout pieces included a Halston style seventies jumpsuit from Lily Allen’s recently launched ‘Lucy in Disguise’ label. This collection featured a beautiful Kate Middleton-esque red coat from Paul Smith that my wardrobe is just crying out for.
Boys in Blue
More stylish day wear for chillier days, this collection included a fascinating Dolce and Gabbana coat which seemed to be a half denim, half leather hybrid, and the first sighting this year of an alpine Christmas jumper, courtesy of Moncler. There were also parkas to give some pieces a modish vibe, and a very distressed pair of Galliano jeans for those who walk on the wide side!
This was a seductive collection of underwear worn as outerwear. From slinky lace bustiers, to the most amazing Alexander McQueen heels adorned with skulls, this was a dark, decadent collection for those who like their coffee black, and their clothes blacker. The beautiful Myla basques were far too pretty to cover up, whilst the MSGM furry coat and Myla slip made me think back to Christina Aguilara in the Lady Marmalade video. Stunning, glamorous, and made to wear when carrying a whip…
Dark, Twisted fantasy
A suave, sophisticated collection of menswear with elements of velvet and silk. My favourite look was a swoonsome D&G tuxedo style suit that could’ve been made for Bryan Ferry. The draping of a silk scarf around the shoulders gives this look a sophisticated, Lounge lizard feel. Oh so sexy.
One of the boys
Janelle Monae, Lady Gaga, doing it like a dude and the ghost of Marlene Dietrich was immortalised in the final collection. This celebrated androgyny in all its glory. From the flowing white blouse from DKNY that Tilda Swinton should definitely buy, to the perfect PJ Harvey style sharp suit(also by DKNY..having a moment I think) this was a collection of sharp, neat and crisp lines that could take you from the boardroom to the bar just by adding a touch of lippy!
So, some amazing fashion moments from a vast array of designers. Special mention must also go to the girls and boys of MAC and Royston Blythe, who made sure that the make-up and hair was fashion forward and fashion fabulous all night long. Harvey Nichols made sure that Birmingham celebrated Fashion’s night out in supreme style.
A note about the photographs
You will have noticed that the photographs that illustrate this article are of a supremely high quality. My camera refused to work halfway through the evening, but I have been rescued by an amazing photographer who was in attendance on the evening. Grimmy West is a very talented Midlands photographer who was able to capture the Harvey Nichols show in such glory that I could never frankly aspire to in five million years. He kindly allowed me to reproduce his work so Fashion-Mommy readers could enjoy the shots of a wonderful fashion evening. I am eternally grateful for this!
To find out more about Grimmy West, check out his webpage http://grimmywest.co.uk/
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