Arts and Culture

Cheshire Fashion Week 2024 at Chester Cathedral

Poppy Dippnall went to the UK’s biggest fashion event outside of London…

The Cheshire Fashion Week partnered with Porsche this year for a three-day fashion extravaganza from June 13 to 15. First formed in 2019 by Claire Namukolo Raven, the show highlights upcoming fashion talent from around the globe.

The first catwalk event was held on June 14 in Chester Cathedral, a beautiful 16th century building in the heart of the city. The historic site was lit up to create a beautiful catwalk for the models to show off the designers’ outfits.

Before the show, taken by Poppy Dippnall.

Each of this year’s designers were carefully chosen in accordance with this year’s theme of sustainability – this included designers outside of the UK from Ireland and Nigeria.

Speaking to the CEO Claire Namukolo Raven about the chosen talent and this year’s main sponsor, she said: “Porsche, to us, symbolised a brand that doesn’t just want to be luxury, but they also want to support projects that are sustainably focused – we share the same message.

“We really had to narrow it down to the most sustainable, the most talented, as well as the designers that represent different parts of the UK. We didn’t just focus on Cheshire, we wanted to actually show that sustainability is a very global problem and it needed to be addressed by each and every designer that showcased in fashion week events.”

The Porsche Shop were fittingly the first of the runway looks, as the main sponsor of this year’s event. Their collection embodied the eccessence of the brand with sporty attire fit for both smart or casual wear.

Dress by Misty Couture, taken by Poppy Dippnall

Next up was Manchester-based brand Misty Couture with her first collection in five years, which can be summed up as coquette and cute. Her dresses captured the essence of femininity by using bows and ruffles to create elegant looks that flowed beautifully down the runway.

Misty couture’s designer, Misty, said: “For the first time in 20 years of progress, we decided to go back to where it all started. It is a mix of childish frilly dresses mixed with really tightly structured corsetry.

“For me, everything is visual. I see things and that’s how I work. I let my brain do the work without having a strict theme or deadline. I knew what type of collection I wanted and I could see it.”

Cathedral event designer Hassana, taken by Cheshire Fashion Week.

The next couple of brands again focused on more formal wear, with Doyenne The Label capsulating ‘old money’ looks with padded shoulders and tweed. Elie Bahar Fashion Designer meanwhile, took inspiration from nature with a focus on textures for a moss or coral look.

Award winning fashion brand Original Ireland showed simplicity can be beautiful, with her monochromatic collection. The designs were elegant, with small eye catching details that complemented the designs to create an ethereal yet powerful collection.

Original Ireland’s designer, Angela Cerriku, won the best designer for the 2024 Fashion Week Awards UK held on the opening night of CFW on the 13th June.

On her successes and the collection, she said: “I’m really happy with it and it was an honour to come all the way from Ireland and receive an award like that was outstanding.

“The inspiration behind the collection was a mix of gladiators, Greek goddesses and eagles. Why all of those you may be thinking – I’m originally from Albania, I grew up in Greece and I’ve spent half of my life in Ireland. An example, the leather pieces are like an eagle’s head which symbolises the Albanian flag with the two headed eagles.”

Angela with her collection, taken by Poppy Dippnall.

To close the show, collections from sustainable retail brand White Stuff and upcoming talent from Cheshire College South and West ended the night on a high. The college collection had a variety of designs that showcased some amazing handcrafted talent, including a realistic sheep skull headdress for one of the looks.

The historic location and the bursting atmosphere of the night combined made it a very memorable fashion show. The catwalk event in the cathedral was brilliant, and it was exciting to see what designs were waiting at the next event at Porsche Centre Chester.

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