It’s no secret that Manchester is the online fashion hub in the UK, with fast fashion brands including Boohoo, Missguided, Pretty Little Thing, The Couture Club and Good For Nothing all headquartered in the city.
Given our specialism of working with fashion brands, we were keen to get front row seats at the Manchester Fashion Week launch night, to suss out the latest brands and trends to come out of the city we call home.
The event, which is part of Liverpool Fashion Week and is the most influential fashion event in the North of the UK, took place in the spacious student union of Manchester Metropolitan University. Organised by Amanda Moss PR, the event is in its fourth year and featured designers from all over the world.
Manchester Fashion Week was hosted by Antonella the Uncensored Reviewer, who has her own fashion blog. Antonella is a passionate supporter of body confidence, which was in itself a strong message throughout the show. The whole event was a celebration of people from all walks of life, of all shapes, sizes and ages, with the statement that everybody can enjoy the latest trends, regardless of size or gender.
Another important message that was prominent throughout the event was one of solidarity. Before the models took to the catwalk to showcase the talented designers’ collections, a one minute silence was held to remember those who tragically lost their lives during the Manchester Arena attack, which happened ago.
The event featured the stunning handiwork of thirteen talented, up-and-coming designers, showcasing a variety of statement pieces including accessories by Haze, swimwear by Phoenix Del Barrio and womenswear from the likes of Kita May Designs, Kiki Riki and Perfect 4U.
The incredibly striking hair and make-up was by Emma Lampkin and Laura Taylor. They created a variety of grunge meets glam looks, with Bjork-style buns and braid rings, with dramatic eyes and enhanced cheekbones.
Tactile materials dominated the show - silks, fur, velvet, leather and PVC. This was counter-balanced by vivid patterns, florals and bright colours (that has us all dreaming on summer).
Detail, detail, detail was the key takeaway with this year's swimwear, particularly from Phoenix de Barrio. From cutouts to multiple straps, its clear that a simple two-piece no longer cuts it. Cover-ups are now more stylish than ever with tropical patterns floating down to the floor,
When looking at the upcoming fashion brands, we noticed several clear links to some of our clients. For example Kiki Riki highly related to the e-commerce fast-fashion brand Oh Polly, with the use of faux leather two-pieces, block colours and tightly fitted garments. The collection was definitely bringing sexy back with some fearless and edgy looks.
We also found similarities between the street style brands Apparel 32 and Haze with our clients athleisure clients (including The Couture Club). Athleisure meets streetwear has been a massive trend since 2016, and there are no signs of it going out of style anytime soon.
Products varied from over-sized tees, to edgy backpacks all featuring a logo or graphic design to define their brand. With the contemporary and urban and with athleisure constantly evolving, it is clear as to why it's forecast to grow to a $350bn trend by 2020.
What the designers said:
“It’s all about embracing the wild side, every lady has one so why don’t we show it?”
- Kiki Riki
“The designs were a fusion of east meets west and ancient meets modern. I have been really influenced by Daoism and the modern world. All products are made vegan friendly as well.”
Why should designers have to travel to London to launch their designs? Manchester is the hub for fashion and lifestyle brands to make their name, and Return is proud to be working with some of most exciting brands in the sector.
Are you an up and coming designer wanting to build your brand? If so contact us to find out how we can help your business flourish.