Fashion week frenzy

London Fashion Week AW 2013 may have finished yesterday (next stop Milan) but there are only ‎61 days 4 hours 27 minutes to go until the opening show of Manchester Fashion Week 2013!! This five day celebration of retail fashion will return to the city between 22 – 27 April 2013 with regular catwalks shows running through the week.

I was recently asked what makes Manchester’s style different from other places? An interesting question. Having moved here from Bristol, a city heavily influenced by it’s musical and maritime roots, and undeniably a city with it’s own unique sense of style, I was excited at the prospect of reviewing what Manchester had to offer. What followed was my own personal Manchester fashion love fest, which I thought I would share with you lucky people.

You can’t argue that Manchester is a city with definitive style. Cool, confident and savvy are just a few words that spring to mind when asked to describe its key characteristics. People here make an effort. They really do. There’s a genuine love of fashion and they love to dress up (I’ve read that it’s a northern thing, that “people are always a bit more polished and well-groomed up here”).

Like many cities, Manchester has undergone a massive transformation over the last two decades, but there is an undeniable buzz about Manchester’s fashion scene which comes from a real diversity within this large metropolitan borough…from the UK’s second largest shopping centre, the Trafford Centre (dubbed ‘The Temple of Consumerism’) and City Centre, which boasts an array of shopping streets and arcades… to the eclectic Northern Quarter, Manchester’s self-elected creative quarter which showcases new design talent and is a treasure trove of weird and wonderful vintage finds… and the premium (and frankly marvellous) independent boutiques out towards Cheshire and Lancashire. The list goes on……

The massive student population has also played a part in influencing the city’s style blueprint and there is a great deal of design talent in the city – The University of Salford’s final year fashion students won the British Fashion Council’s Colleges Portfolio Award two years running and a Manchester University fashion student was described by (at London Fashion Week 2011 no less) as an “undeniable springboard” for the next generation of talent.

Chic and fashion-forward, this modern cosmopolitan city deserves its place on the fashion map and I, for one, am very proud to be a part of it.

I will be reporting from Manchester Fashion Week for INCheshire Magazine and also from the Manchester Harvey Nichols Spring Summer 2013 Fashion Show on Wednesday 6 March 2013.

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