Last Wednesday, Manchester’s finest gathered at Harvey Nichols for their Spring/Summer 2014 fashion show.
Guests entered via a red-carpeted entrance to be greeted with a champagne reception.My friend, Helen, of popular, satirical blog ‘Lady Fauntleroy’, quickly dubbed the department store a “classy joint” as she accepted her top up of Perrier Jouet. It wasn’t us that left the water mark on the Laura Mercier counter, honest.
With a well received 15% throughout the store, beautifully-dressed shoppers browsed the departments; selecting Christopher Kane biker jackets in mint lace, Sophia Webster printed sling-backs and PVC Marc By Marc Jacobs tote bags emblazoned with cats. It’s as if Marc accepts and anticipates our inevitable cat lady fate.
We wandered the Beauty Hall accepting free samples like the American women you see on Extreme Couponing. Yes, I have found a way to marry high fashion with trash TV. A sample of the new Burberry Brit fragrance has now been passed to my boyfriend’s Mum in an attempt to score Brownie points.
Buzzing with anticipation, the two hundred strong crowd made their way up to the first floor womenswear department to take their seats beside the runway. A stark white setting made for a perfect blank canvas to showcase the collections. Floral garlands hung low from the ceiling to create visions of summer holidays and subdued red and blue lighting added to the atmosphere and illusion of intimacy.
Initial people-watching concluded that Manchester ladies enjoy a blow dry. Mancunians, seemingly, are immune to sudden gusts of wind. Toes were pinched by glossy Louboutins, quilted Chanel handbags were worn across Isabel Marant crochet and woollen coats in sugary, summer shades were slung across lightly tanned shoulders.
Bright lights were met by the sudden hush of the audience. With accompanying, pulsating music, the first collection, entitled ‘Street Side Story’, was presented. A modern take on street wear, this style story evoked the aesthetic of Miss Vogue with luxe sportswear references and lots of zips! I particularly liked a McQ Alexander McQueen printed bomber jacket, a cobalt blue envelope clutch bag with statement detailing and Sam’s Guiseppe Zanotti high tops of a similar shade.
Duke Dumont signalled the arrival of the second edit. For many attendees, the high light of ‘Throwback’ was, without doubt, the Versace jeans worn by male model, Nathan. A-maz-ing! Monochrome womenswear served to highlight to variety of pattern and strong colour of the menswear. I loved the bright, relaxed Maison Martin Margiela tailoring for a daytime look.
Next, Givenchy took centre stage for ‘Midnight Garden’. I’d already made a beeline for these floral lovelies earlier, whilst browsing the designer accessories. Stella McCartney provided equally covetable offerings, too, in gorgeous mock croc.
I wants one.
Wine bottle green was prominent in the ‘Keen Explorer’ collection. Again, for me, the accessories were a stand out and, paired with the earthy colour palette, Valentino and Alaia provided slick, safari inspired, city wear.
However, it was ‘Seductive Softness’ that really captured my excitement and it became the aesthetic I would be keen to mirror this Spring.
Fleetwood Mac added a welcome note of Summer nostalgia as we were presented with gypsy blouses from Chloé and boho Isabel Marant looks with romantic rose gold accessories. For evening, I liked a lilac maxi skirt from Roksanda Ilincic with an unexpected flash of mint green. The stand out piece, however, was a long sleeved, sheer Isabel Marant dress. In wearable cream shade it would be perfect occassion wear, but, equally, would be great for the weekend with sandals and a denim jacket. For £585.00, I’d want it to be versatile.
The menswear formed a dark backdrop for the finale: ‘Metallics’.
I somehow think I wouldn’t get my partner into a pair of Dolce and Gabbana velvet slippers, but Kumi worked them. Although, I wasn’t too sure about the Calvin Klein Collection printed trousers with which they were paired. Models positively strutted down the runway to the beat of Beyoncé’s ‘Run The World (Girls)’. Gucci provided a Studio 54 throwback with a metallic jumpsuit. Isabel Marant (again) had me wishing for a gold bomber evoking left-bank cool. Closer inspection of a pair of purple leggings showed them up to be Tamara Mellon thigh high boots. I think I’d give them a miss in favour of her gladiator sandals or Nicholas Kirkwood pumps, but, on April, they looked great.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the night, but I really enjoyed myself. Not a typical Wednesday night, for me, but I wouldn’t mind if it became so!