Not A Fashion Show

Nottingham has been home to countless designers, models, tailors, and artists for centuries, yet sadly only a select few actually get the recognition and praise they much deserve…until now. Thursday afternoon, creative minds from all over Nottingham and beyond came together to support, enjoy and inspire the talent that this city has to offer. Not a Fashion Show is a cleverly titled exhibition introducing the uniquely styled fashion of about 100 willing individuals that volunteered to take part. The man behind this exciting local project was Daniel Hanson, a Nottingham based designer of lavish night gowns. He has supplied to the likes of Brad Pitt, Hilary Clinton and Victoria Beckham to name a few and regardless of his A star clientele, Hanson remains a humble pioneer of the arts by promoting the idea’s and designs of budding new-comers and eager amateurs and encouraging the citizens of Nottingham to get more involved.

 

The event scheduled to take place from 5 – 7 at the Exchange Arcade in the City Centre got off to a fairly late start. However, by 5.30 models and designers had arrived, photographers were incessantly fiddling with their SLR’s and I was gearing up for a long and eventful evening of impulsive interviews, fast-paced photography and witty backstage banter.

models rocking their own style, that’s some serious home-made style…

Fellow college companion, looking fresh  and individual as per usual…

Loving the hat, I believe I saw something like this in River Island

When the show did finally begin I was intrigued at the level of effort each person clearly put into styling not just their outfit, but their overall look. There were no boundaries or limits on this fashion on show, from cirque de soleil inspired stilt walkers to risky black leather and skyscraper heels reminiscent of typically gothic trends. There were also quite a few dated looks that caught my eye, pinstriped suits, black trilby’s, one woman, clearly inspired by 1940’s pinup sported a white and blue sailor’s outfit which I have to say I was quite fond of.

Beautiful gowns created and tailored by a Nottingham based tailor, surprise surprise. On the back of the gown on the left was a specially crafted canvas image of Nottingham’s Market Squre in greyscale, truly inspiring. Check out Eternal Spirits…


 Callecia Brown an amazing designer and tailor who took part in Not a Fashion Show, her designs were based on history as that was what she was most interested in growing up. Her outfit is both creative and fashion forward I am loving the broach, me thinks vintage…either way it’s a personal favorite accesory of that night. Callecia showed off amazing designs such asthe ones showcased below, they were eye-catching and right on trend if I do say so myself.

 

  

  

  

Becky rocking one of Callecia’s designs, lace is one of the biggest trends for AW10′ so we can safely say she’s got this one right! Really loving the shoes, works well with the mini and is it me or does this girl pose like she’s worked a camera since the beginning of time???

 

Another model glammed up in Callecia’s designs. Looking at the jet black lycra, 4 inch heels and overall edginess of this particular outfit I’m thinking Callecia had gothic history in mind. Really loving the attention to detail on this one too, you can see the effort that went into it.

No two outfits were alike, which made for a more visually entertaining experience for everybody. As if that wasn’t enough, around about half-way through I was pleasantly surprised to see members of the church making their way down the catwalk toward me! Regardless of the fact that all three of those poor individuals couldn’t have looked any more uncomfortable if they tried, it was nice to know that when Hanson said it was a show for everybody, he wasn’t messing around. Although I was slightly disappointed not to have even glimpsed a single member of the cast of This Is England or the infamous Ross Hancock as I was promised, their absence took nothing away from the whole experience.

Amber was a dancer that I met. She was wearing the most beautiful dress made by a designer who couldn’t make it that afternoon. I have embarrassingly forgotten his name but I was given his card so will scout it out and let you all know who created this amazing dress.

Here is a video of Amber and her other dancer companions taking to the catwalk with style, grace and rhythm.

  

This young dancer turned designer has aspirations to revive the lace market to its former glory and more power to him. I think a lot of people overlook Nottingham’s creative industries, one of which is the lace market. It’s nice to meet people who have a genuine interest in Nottingham’s heritage, it’s a very warming notion to be totally honest.

 

Just for the record, his beautiful lace bow tie is all him, so impressive!

 Thinking back it all felt slightly surreal, hoards of onlookers clapping and screaming, Cannons flashing in every direction, energetic models working the runway like they were born to do it and me, thriving amidst the commotion taking photographs at the end of the runway and tracking down designers for a few precious minutes of their time, all happening as if I was paid to do so.  Everything felt so… legit, it was an amazing atmosphere. I could have been front row at London Fashion Week and not felt the energy I felt that day.

Backstage Pass Anyone?

 

Busy people, blurred faces and unknown names…

  

You don’t see style like this everyday and I can tell you now it’s a damn shame. With everybody trying to be individual this girl mastered the art of stylish individuality. Not only do I love the contrasting metallics but I also have those tights so I would say this outfit was both well put together and well thought out. Considering all the different types of fashion at play here you’d think it wouldn’t work, but as you can see that is not the case at all!

  

 Holey fish-nets, doc martins, cute short dresses with lace draped in pearls and fur coats come together to create the perfect vision of Grunge Glamour.

Joy emulates the concept of casual chic. I love the colours, it evokes ideas of autumn and are prominent on the AW’10 catwalk this year. I also really love the cut off trousers, they taper in nicely at the calf and create a really nice shape, I have seen some such as these in Dorothy Perkins in green, black and cream.

These three truly thrill the senses with their vivid bold colours, dramatic makeup and uniquely designed costumes. I could think of no better way to reflect the true exciting hidden culture of Nottingham than to come out with a bang. The certainly gave the crowds a memorable night!

  

  

Arwhyran looks just as creatively beautiful as his name. Dressed one of the most iconic get ups of the evening. The whole overall design of his outfit is visually appealing and on top of everything different. Who knew that Nottingham harboured such unique artistic talents?

  

  

This group was a favourite of mine that afternoon. They spruced up the red carpet by rocking the coolest hats EVER, I’ve seen a few in River Island and another couple also had them on earlier…jelous as I am I still couldn’t help but to catch them before they took off after their 5 minutes of fame for a photo farewell. Looking at the photograph I am so glad I did. Maybe London Fashion Week should think about using more interesting equipment such as bikes to give the shows a bit more upmh, not that I’d say they particularly need anymore, juuust a suggestion…

  

Holly looking stylish and quirky in this creatively inspired outfit. The red carpet would have been nothing without her, she walked strong and confident and on top of that her outfit rivalled the best of the best. I’m already a  massive fan of patterned tights so when I saw these bad-boys I fell in love, playful love hearts and frayed short shorts will always go well together and not to mention the eternally stylish bowler that will never go out of fashion!

  

Evie from fashionstring.blogspot.com takes part in the event as a model not a blogger,  wearing a well put together outfit styled by herself, and where are her shorts from you wonder ? Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Zara, actually…no, she made them herself, I know crazy but she did. So much talent in Nottingham it’s practically bursting at the seams. (classic play on words)

  



Harriet, Evie’s blogger in crime also participated in the event as a model. Draped in a dynamic midnight blue dress, high neck and pulled in at the waist by a thin black and gold belt. Coupled with sheer black tights and vintage buckled brogues this is another favorite of mine. I love colour of the dress, really pretty and contrasts nicely with her skin tone!

 

Tonight was definitely a theatrical affair, everybody put their own spin on what they believed fashion to be and proudly demonstrated what it meant to them. Every designer I interviewed described their collections to be a revival of Nottingham history and a way to illustrate the creativity that is so easily overlooked in busy cities like ours. I felt that Not a Fashion Show was ironically one of the best fashion show’s I’ve been to yet. The idea was original, the designs were quirky and refreshingly different and more than anything the people involved in the show were genuine. These people live, eat and breathe the arts which is the kind of passion we should all aspire to achieve. The raw talent and self motivation I saw tonight was truly inspiring and was undoubtedly the most imaginative way to kick-start Creative October, a month devoted to the development of the creative arts.

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