In an exclusive Great Yorkshire Show preview, John Lewis makes its debut and the Great Yorkshire Tweed women’s collection is unveiled. Stephanie Smith reports. Pictures by Doug Jackson.
When three great Yorkshire names came together to create beautiful contemporary-classic tailoring, crafted in the finest tweed with signature detailing, the stylish women of Yorkshire were always going to want in on the act.
Last year’s Great Yorkshire Show saw the launch of Yorkshire Agricultural Society men’s jackets.
They were created by Keighley-based tailors Brook Taverner and made in the Great Yorkshire Tweed, woven in the YAS’s green and gold colours by Guiseley-based Abraham Moon & Son.
The jackets were a runaway success among proud Yorkshiremen, but the women of the county had a question: “Where,” they demanded to know, “are our jackets?”
So, for this year’s show, Brook Taverner has created two new designs, this time for women, using the tweed – a fitted, single-breasted jacket and, for cooler days, a heavier weight shooting jacket.
The new YAS women’s tweed jackets were unveiled at a fashion shoot at Birdsall House, near Malton, which belongs to Lord Middleton, president of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
The tweed range features all the quirky details that made last year’s men’s jacket a fashion must-have – a white rose on the lapel of the fitted jacket, and Yorkshire Born and Bred embroidered under the collar.
Waterproof and windproof, the YAS shooting jacket has a luxurious gold lining, also embroidered with the Yorkshire Born and Bred slogan.
There’s more: two styles of hat – a cap and a soft hat made by Castleford milliners Lawrence and Foster.
Roger Meeke, retail sales director of Brook Taverner, said: “ Not only did demand for the men’s jacket exceed expectations, but having the opportunity to expand the range has been really exciting.”
There have been additions to the men’s range, too. YAS tweed trousers and waistcoats, featured on last year’s Great Yorkshire Show catwalk, proved to be so popular that the pieces are now available as separates, or to make up a YAS three-piece suit.
Show director Charles Mills said: “Every purchase is supporting Yorkshire agriculture, as the Society receives a donation from the sales. We are very proud of our new ladies’ jackets and hats.”
The tweed has inspired Leeds couturier James Steward, who is also taking part in this year’s Great Yorkshire Show catwalk, to create a bespoke bridal dress featuring the fabric.
“The dress is made from a mixture of natural fabrics including silk, cotton, hessian and tweed wool,” said James. “It’s something a little bit different and fun for a great event such as the Great Yorkshire Show.”
In another first, John Lewis will showcase its autumn collection at the show, exclusive unveiling it here in the photo-shoot preview. Reflecting the show’s heritage, countrywear brand Barbour, stocked by John Lewis, is featured, alongside the department store’s exclusive own labels Modern Rarity, And/Or and Kin, as well as its treasure trove Loved & Found department. Harrogate-based international cashmere and luxury brand Pure Collection has also been selected to feature as part of the John Lewis showcase, as has Yorkshire designer Laura Slater, who has created a limited edition collection in collaboration with Kin – her first clothing venture.
“Working with the community is something that is so important to us,” said James Prince, head of branch at John Lewis Leeds. “The Great Yorkshire Show catwalk is great exposure for the exclusive products we will be stocking at John Lewis.”
Nigel Pulling, chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, said the society was delighted to welcome such a prestigious name to the Great Yorkshire Show.
“Its recent opening in Victoria Gate shows significant investment into the retail sector in Leeds, and we are thrilled to showcase its Yorkshire designs here at the fashion show in July.”
This year’s Great Yorkshire Show will bring together 8,500 animals including cattle, sheep, pigs, and ponies. Highlights will include the Charolais Cattle Society’s Summer National Show with 75 head of cattle expected, and the now legendary Shetland Pony Grand National. There’s also the fabulous Food Hall and Game Cookery Theatre, featuring Rosemary Shrager, plus horticultural displays and lots of shopping!
The 159th Great Yorkshire Show takes place Tuesday 11 – Thursday 13 July, 2017, at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. See the designs on stage at the Fashion Pavilion Catwalk, with fashion shows daily at 11am, 12:30, 2:30 and 4pm. See www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk
All YAS tweed garments are available to buy from Eric Spencer of Ilkley and Clarksons in York. They will also be available at the Great Yorkshire Show from Eric Spencer, stand 106 on the President’s Avenue, and at Clarksons of Petergate, stand 338 on Eighth Avenue.
Photography: Doug Jackson Photography
Location: Birdsall House, near Malton, part of an award-winning, family-run farming estate, which can now be hired for weddings and events.
Models and shoot styling: Morton Gledhill The Fashion Team, which will also co-ordinate the Great Yorkshire Show fashion show, with hair and makeup by The Artistic Team at Harrogate College.