Shoppers have been taking their places in the front row of a major fashion spectacle in Leeds this weekend, as the city’s most famous shopping street is transformed in a cutting-edge catwalk, writes Stephanie Smith.
Briggate is a forum for fashion, hosting a runway for a team of professional models performing half-hourly shows featuring new season collections from the city’s biggest High Street names, alongside leading independent designers, retailers and talented students.
Saturday saw showcases first from a team of independent designers, including red carpet label James Steward, ethical Leeds designer Bo Carter, menswear from Studio805 and work from Leeds collective Fabrication.
This was followed throughout the day with shows by Yours, Bravissimo, Bonmarche, Primark, Next, M&S, John Lewis, House of Fraser, River Island, and finally, Leeds College of Art, Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds.
Shipping containers have been transported onto the pedestrianised street to become the Fashion Space, highlighting fashion’s relationship with sustainability. Both the shows and backstage preparations within are visible from the outside, and shoppers have been crowding on all sides to see the models walk and the catwalk team prep.
Tomorrow, Sunday, starts at 11am with another independent designers showcase, followed by Levi’s, Jack Wills, French Connection, Jigsaw, Hobbs, The White Company, Joules, Accent, Oliver Sweeney, Ghost/Hawes & Curtis, Charles Tyrwhitt; Ann Summers /Honey Birdette. Hair looks are created by Hob and Sassoon, while Sally Hair and Beauty store gives support throughout the weekend.
Developed by Fashion In Leeds, The Fashion Space is part of Leeds International Festival which takes place from today, April 22, to April 29.
The fashion programme runs from April 24-29, and includes speakers Christopher Ræburn; Lulu Kennedy MBE; Katie Eary; Gary Aspden; James Brown; Claudia Croft. Admission to all events is free but tickets need to be booked in advance for speakers. See LeedsInternationalFestival.com.
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