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Creativity on the Catwalk – Fashion,Embroidery and stitch at the NEC

I had a fantastic time on Friday at the Fashion, embroidery and Stitch show at Birmingham NEC. This was a show dedicated to all things fashion and design, and without doubt the high point was an inspiring fashion show entitled ‘Creativity on the Catwalk’. Here are some of the highlights of that show.

Butterick/McCall’s/Vogue Patterns

Using the best designs from sewing patterns in a range of beautiful metallic tinged colours, this collection featured an array of flirty Prom style dresses in many different styles. There were silhouettes that referenced the 1950s and 1960s, with both full skirts and shift dress styles. Loved the use of raw silk and Vivienne Westwood style strapless bodices.


Gill Arnold – deconstructing Chanel

Gill Arnold is a dress-maker extraordinaire, offering training in all aspects of clothes construction. Her collection was a celebration of glamour, in eye-popping reds. There were Chanel style jackets, jersey dresses and a Halston style red dress that was just stunning. Gill also gave a talk at her stand that showed how the classic Chanel boxy tweed jacket is constructed, complete with a little bit of Chanel design history for interested fashionista’s.

Fabrics Galore – Royal wedding fever.

Fabrics galore showcased their Kitsch range of new fabrics that are a celebration of the nuptials of Kate Middleton and Prince William. These cotton fabrics include a range of Royal insignia and crowns. The models also came on stage bedecked in cute bunting, perfect for a street party.

Coats Crafts Amy Butler – Soul Blossoms

US designer Amy Butler’s fantastic new range of prints and patterns from her Soul Blossoms collection was a highlight for me. Showcased to the sounds of ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ by The Beatles, this was a psychedelic collection that reflected the inspiration of travelling through India. The waterproof jackets and tunic style dresses were perfect for Summer festivals.

Lizzie Henderson – The Creative Textile Route

Fresh from success at the Clothes Show Live 2010, Lizzie Henderson had decided to take the creative textile route. This collection was reminiscent of Westwood, Galliano and McQueen,with checked and plaid fabrics, bustles, English tweeds and flat caps. There were Westwood style crowns adorning capes modelled by a Kate Middleton lookalike. There was also a touch of the  New Romantics in the hooped skirt.

Warwickshire College Production Theatre – Romance and Turrets.

Another team fresh from Clothes Show Live were the students of Warwickshire college Production Theatre under the auspices of tutor Tracy Bridger. There collection was based on the twin themes of Romeo and Juliet and the majestic Warwick Castle. There were Black Swanesque tulle dresses and Gaultier style corsets. There was a beautiful blue/green strapless dress that was just beautiful.

University of Wolverhampton – a 1001 inspirations!

The flamboyant collection produced by the students of Wolverhampton University drew on many inspirations from Russian Dolls, wildlife and Urban chaos.There were glorious orange prints, Lady Gaga style skirts and Avant Garde designs. This was a collection full of clashing colours and styles.

University of Cumbria – distressed denim and corsetry

This collection had lots of distressed denim with patchwork and industrial style customisation.  Artists Julie Tristam, famous for the pink bra dress on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, and Ashley Smith were involved in this collection, which also included Isabella Blow style puff-ball dresses and floppy hats.

Grange Academy – A Midsummer Night’s dream

Working with an Artist in Residence, Heather Kubachick, the students from Grange Academy created costumes with a dreamy woodland theme.  Using leaves and petals in net and voile fabric, they have created a floaty, colourful collection that was very pretty.

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Welcome to the world of fashion-mommy, a world of fashion, lifestyle, theatre and fun. Enjoy the ride.

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