24.3.14

NFW14 - The Vintage Show #nwchfw

I mentioned my involvement in Norwich Fashion Week in a previous post and Sunday 9th March was the turn of The Vintage Show which I coordinated, making it by far the biggest event I've organised yet! Karen of Fabulous Miss K kindly offered Norwich Fashion Week her vintage consultancy skills for the 2014 show meaning Karen and I held many many meetings and yes a few of those meetings involved wine, but pens and paper were always present and action points were made, so therefore they definitely count as meetings, yes? 

Photography by Kirsty Smith
 Lots of elements went in to the show, planning for Norwich Fashion Week starts as soon as the last one ends (the first meeting to start thinking about the 2015 week happened today!) 

The first task really for this year's show was location. Norwich is a wonderful city, but not much happens on a Sunday evening, so I wanted to make it an event which allowed everyone to get dressed up and make a night of it. So an after party along with fun things like a pop up photobooth and a lipstick bar were on my wishlist. Things that make a night interactive, essentially the kind of night I'd want to go to!

Photography by Kirsty Smith
We have some amazing venues in Norwich, one of which is The Puppet Theatre, a grade 1 listed building that is full of quirks and charm, I was so pleased when it was available on the date we needed, because it ticked so many boxes on the wishlist!

To me, vintage is essentially fashion and history so fashion in a medieval building felt perfect! Now I like victory rolls but they have been done, done and done again. Karen and I both have a habit of procrastinating spending valuable time watching fashion shows on You Tube, the big production ones like Galliano,Westwood etc where anything can happen from trains appearing to big cats on leads.....

Obviously scaling back somewhat........ but The Puppet Theatre definitely sparked some great ideas and so the show plans began with an idea of vintage going avant garde.....

Models for fashion week all applied before Christmas and anyone aged sixteen or over could apply. Teams were then chosen by Sandra Reynold's modelling agency who were one of the weeks sponsors. Karen used her fashion show expertise to put the army of models in to their sets and got them booked in for fittings and I used my styling skills to work on hair and makeup ideas. Several weeks before the show I briefed the hair and makeup team and Jackie Hamilton School of Beauty who'd be putting the hair and makeup plan in to action on the day.

Photography by Kirsty Smith
It was a funny feeling talking to the styling team and pulling ideas together with them. The school is aimed at offering flexible learning for beauty industry skills, so attracts a cross section of ages. Having retrained to do hair and makeup as an adult myself, I felt really pleased that we could involve past and present students from the school and give them the chance to be part of it. 

I felt like I should be the one in the chair taking notes and not the one standing at the front doing the talking. I never would have predicted that a few years ago when I was training as a hairdresser in the evenings and working in an office during the day and it's things like this that reinforce my love for adult ed!

The show actually sold out about six days before hand and tickets became highly sought after which was fab but a bit scary as well as we knew we had a full house all expecting a good night out! The day finally arrived and it came together brilliantly. We were there from 10am to prepare for doors to open at 7pm!! Even my husband was roped into help and as he is the most logical/organised person I have ever met in my entire life he was a gem (and an excellent goody bag filler) 

We knew all along that we wanted the stage to be dressed but due to a hitch a few weeks before the show we had to re-work the original ideas, fortunately we had the wonders of Milda Kapaciunaite's creative eye she worked her magic creating a swing out of flowers and a wooden bench and suspending other items (from my house!) to create a set that looked like it was floating (I'm sure you could give her a box of teabags and she'd still manage to create something visually wonderful!) Big thanks to Bo Nanafana for lending us all these gorgeous floral creations too.

Photography by Joe Black
Also adding a splash of colour and drama to the set were two paintings by local artist Simon Pritchard. We wanted the stage to have a quirky/slightly mad house kind of feel and these worked brilliantly. I've actually bought the one in the picture, but a second image is still for sale at the moment of typing....

Photography by Kirsty Smith
On with the show.....
Photography by Kirsty Smith
Photography by Joe Black
Photography by Joe Black
Photography by Joe Black
Photography by Julia Holland
Photography by Joe Black
Photography by Joe Black
The headwear designers took their inspiration from Marie Antoinette and  18th century fashions and hairstyles. I just loved how they each interpreted the brief with their own individual styles. I was so pleased how it all worked out, as this element was yet again something new for Norwich Fashion Week. With sets including beautifully constructed bespoke head pieces and decorations, the audience were treated to a vintage show with a really couture element. 
Photography by Joe Black
We also had prizes for our two best dressed male and female guests and a big salute to Devon who managed to run down the theatre stairs from her seat in the very back row without taking even the slightest stumble and to Ian who wonderfully rocked up to collect his goody bag without putting his pint down! HUGE thanks to everyone who donated items for the goody bags, they were full of vintage loot so well worth winning.

Photography by Joe Black
Closing the show and bringing burlesque to Norwich Fashion Week (something that's NEVER been done before) was the charmingly beautiful Natalya Umanska
Photography by Joe Black
After the show we had an after party with music by vintage DJ Three Bits of Rhythm allowing people to see out Sunday in style with cocktails from Norwich Cocktail Club, chocolates from Madame Deroubaix, plus a lipstick bar by Sarah Swain and a photobooth by Michael Lyons Photography

Photography by Stephen Plumb
Me getting a cheeky touch up with Sarah Swain Photography by Stephen Plumb
A big thank you to our hostesses on the evening who ensured people knew where to get their cocktails and helped showcase the retailers and designers during the show. They looked amazing with the help of Corsets UK who very very kindly dressed our girls in these gorgeous corsets that looked fabulous and really added a cheeky fun element to our Westwood meets Antoinette theme. 

Michael Lyons Photography
You can see more pictures over on the Norwich Facebook page

A massive thanks to everyone who helped/came to the show, I'm looking forward to 2015 already! 

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