The Clothes Show landed in Liverpool for the launch of its newly branded, reinvented, citywide festival: British Style Collective in association with Alcatel. The vibrant three-day celebration (7-9 July) swept across the city with four main venues playing home to fashion industry talks, educational insight, immersive shopping, catwalk shows, high-energy dance and live music.
With invaluable support from Liverpool City Council, as well as local venues, retailers, hoteliers and Marketing Liverpool, no part of the city was without the festivities of British Style Collective; from complete city dressing from the moment visitors arrived in Liverpool, to surprise flash mobs, pop-up shops and nightlife into the early hours.
The show’s infamous Shopping Halls took over the Exhibition Centre Liverpool with fashion and beauty brands, pop-up cocktail bars, pampering and makeovers. The likes of Monsoon, Oasis, Elemis, Victoria’s Secret, River Island and Accessorize joined an array of online boutiques and ‘Instagram brands’ to offer a wholly unique shopping experience for visitors to the show.
A dedicated Expert Stage in association with Liverpool BID enhanced the shopping scene with styling tips and insight from hairdresser Andrew Collinge, experts at PIXI Beauty and Nanshy plus the Style Studio team at River Island. Broader talks covered topics of ‘dressing for success’, ‘how I built my brand’ and ‘the future of social media’, with appearances from Donna Air and Lexi Willetts of Wistla; Nichola Joss with Nair; as well as reality stars Jamie Laing, Lydia Bright, Olivia Buckland, Alex Bowen and stars of the Real Housewives of Cheshire.
An illustrious line-up of designers, industry talent, editors and bloggers appeared on stage in St George’s Hall across the three days, with Henry Holland, Lisa Snowdon, Mollie King, Kimberley Walsh, InStyle’s Josh Newis-Smith, influencer Megan Ellaby and GLAMOUR’s Jo Elvin and Alessandra Steinherr among the star-studded roster. Antonia O’Brien and Professor Caryn Franklin MBE hosted the series of panel discussions and ‘audiences with’, shedding light on the ins-and-outs of the fashion world; from kick-starting your career to tips on summer styling and body confidence.
Designer Henry Holland commented, “I thought British Style Collective was a fantastic evolution of what The Clothes Show has become for consumers up and down the country over the last 15 years. I was mostly based at the fashion education camp at St George’s Hall – an exquisite venue showcasing the best of the Liverpudlian architecture and hosting some really great names from the industry. I thought the two elements of the glitz of the arena show and the more informative talks at St George’s was a fantastic balance and a way of entertaining and educating fashion fanatics of all kinds.”
Designer catwalks were also welcomed to the picturesque venue of St George’s Hall, with Philip Armstrong, Barrus, David Ferreira, Sorapol and Edeline Lee showcasing their esteemed collections. The respective designers then joined Hilary Alexander OBE on stage to share firsthand insight on the inspiration behind their latest creations. An intimate designer showroom also gave visitors the chance to preview the striking work of Gary James McQueen and talk to the designer about his latest series: Life, Death, Rebirth.
From high-end to high-energy, the Alcatel Fashion Arena in association with GLAMOUR and Capital FM reached new heights in the Echo Arena Liverpool, led by popular presenters Vogue Williams, Kimberley Walsh and Mollie King, along with Capital FM’s Ant Payne. Visitors were wowed by an hour-long fashion-meets-music performance, combining exquisite catwalk styling with theatrical dance segments and live music from rising star Stealth, backed by drummer Alex Todd and violinist Analiza Ching. For the first time in The Clothes Show’s history, Circus Artist, Klodi Dąbkiewicz, wowed the audience with her jaw dropping moves.
Jules Von Hep, who presented British Style Collective Diary Room throughout the show commented; “A recurring theme on my interviews in The Diary Room was how excited and full of joy each celebrity was when we chatted about British Style Collective being in Liverpool. As a northerner, I couldn't be happier being nestled in this amazing city, surrounded by inspirational people, passionate shoppers and a wealth of talent. What a weekend!”
Visitors were also given a rundown on this summer’s hottest trends on the high street in partnership with Liverpool ONE. Collections from John Lewis, River Island, Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Oasis appeared on the catwalk, with every look shoppable online or direct from the stores in Liverpool.
Vintage sellers, independent designer makers and local artists enjoyed a bustling two days at Albert Dock Liverpool, where Wayne Hemingway’s brand-new fringe event, Fine Tuned, launched as part of British Style Collective. Stilt walkers, DJs, street performers, food vendors and classic cars brought the historic waterfront to life, with a daily catwalk to celebrate the most stylish visitors in attendance.
Hemingway commented, “Liverpool was buzzing this weekend. Seeing all those folk at Albert Dock, enjoying the street food, the bus bar, the Fine Tuned ‘Best in Show’ catwalks and the seeing how busy the vintage and designer makers were on those sunny two days was uplifting.”
Across the city, over 20 international scouts from British Style Collective’s official model agency partner, IMG Models, were in search of the next big thing in modelling; someone to follow in the footsteps of Bella and Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham and countless other global names.
The opening day of the show also welcomed The Creative Hub, a one-day educational programme in Liverpool’s Baltic Quarter designed to inspire future creatives. Collaborations with Graduate Fashion Week, Liverpool John Moores University and Tate Liverpool added to the exciting agenda, as graduate collections took to the catwalk alongside inspiring career talks and fashion illustration workshops to provide an experiential look into the fashion industry.
British Style Collective in association with Alcatel will return to Liverpool from 13-15 July 2018 for its second installment of the glamorous fashion and beauty festival. For more information and to view highlights from this year’s launch event, visit: www.britishstylecollective.com.