Manchester Fashion Week 2015

Last week was the big comeback of Manchester Fashion Week ("About time!" everyone cried), after a previous failed attempt by an organisation which we're told is in no way affiliated with this year's. Nada. Zilch. OK? This 2015 event was organised by Amanda Moss, founder of Lifestyle Monthly magazine and organiser of Liverpool Fashion Week. Some have decried the lack of homegrown designers in the show but hey, it has to start somewhere and nobody else was coming along to give our (famously fashion-fond) city its very own fashion event. If critics think it didn't work this time then maybe they can at least concede that it serves as a source of inspiration for how it can be done better. As long as we aren't just left with nothing which, for the UK's second capital and a place so renowned for its distinctive style, seems crazy to me. So I think there's been too much negativity and not enough celebration of the fact that this was even happening at all.

Anyway, I happened to enjoy the whole event thoroughly, it was a great experience getting to be a part of the glamour and bright lights of a fashion-focused event without having to get a train down to London. I was there for the full three nights and saw some beautiful clothes. Some weren't to my taste and were admittedly probably a little better suited to a Liverpool aesthetic, so it would be great if next year, as some of the critics point out, some local designers could step up and put a local stamp on it. But overall, I see no reason why designers from up and down the country (and even one all the way from California!) shouldn't be allowed to showcase their collections here too. It would hardly be an eye-opener or feel as eclectic and exciting if we were looking at a full selection of looks which could easily be found upon those perusing Affleck's Palace or lounging around the Northern Quarter on any given day, would it?

Check out my selection of key looks from the show and the diverse music acts keeping everyone in high spirits in-between.

A fun performance from Liverpool pop-R&B girl group Ego

My outfit on night 3 - vintage polka dot shirt, ASOS stripe dungarees, Adidas Stan Smiths (and my trusty Nikon!)

Geordie Shore's Lillie Gregg showcased her brand-new Lily-Beau London line, with its easily accessible and trend-led line with a very feminine feel for those of the fast-fashion persuasion.

A lovely acoustic set by Tom Jarvis

Pixified Boutique and Quyntessential Couture displayed their covetable hand-made designs, custom-made for a loyal fanbase of customers looking for that something special.

I was particularly impressed with the only-seventeen Chanel Joan Elkayam, with her grown-up aesthetic which nevertheless appealed to young tastes with its slender silhouettes, alluring cuts and sensual fabrics.

Susie in the Sky and its proudly British couture handbags; these luxury it-bags would no doubt be popular with the Cheshire set.

High-octane glamour from the Liverpool-based Chio Couture, which drew some of the most audible gasps from the audience with its handmade boutique dresses.

My outfit for night 2! Glamorous fringed suedette jacket, ASOS suede backless fringed vest, Topshop satin flares, ASOS stretch thigh-high platform boots

House of CDM UK was founded by fashion, design, art and textile graduates in a bid to support and develop local talent.

Opening night was rounded off by Manchester's prominent fashionista and rising soul singer JSky, with his soon-to-be-released cover of My Prerogative

I absolutely loved the Diamonds are Forever show, its all-out vintage stylings and accompanying 40s soundtrack was right up my street and you could just tell everyone had so much fun watching it, as did the models who really seemed to get their swagger on for this. It says a lot for the clothes and how pieces with such character can immediately make you come alive and just make you feel that much taller.

Wirral-based premium men's and women's fashion designer Nancie Henry, featuring some of Britain's biggest brands.

HSJ was another of the Manchester brands; their Saddleworth boutique focuses on trend-led pieces at affordable prices, so there was a good mix of high and low throughout the shows.

Gorgeous Eastern-inspired gowns and party pieces from the (thankfully Manchester-born) Maliha; definitely seemed to be most popular with the audience and justified its show finale scheduling

Organiser Amanda giving her final bow

Amanda with the sponsors Childplay Clothing and Golden Egg finance

The final entertainer Rio, closing the show

Until next year...stay stylish Manchester!


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