Fashion Workshop Commentary : March

MariaNatalie from our fashion department runs fashion workshops for customers who are interested in finding out about our fashion in store. Natalie and her team give an insight into what’s hot and what’s not for the season, how styles and brands can be versatile on different shapes and sizes no matter what age.

The first workshop was last week so I thought I would go along to see how it worked and to gather some information for you readers out there.

Did you know that bamboo is used in the manufacturing of clothing? I didn’t, not until I attended the fashion workshop. Apparently fabric made from bamboo is incredibly soft, smooth and luxuriously comfortable,

  • it is highly breathable in hot weather and also keeps you significantly warmer in the cold than traditional fabrics.
  • it sits very well next to your skin, not clinging to it.
  • it cuts out 98% of harmful UV rays, so perfect for holiday/travelling cover-ups.
  • For sensitive or allergy prone skin, bamboo is perfect; it’s also anti-fungal. Many people say it’s the only solution they’ve found for problem skin.

I did hear one of our ladies at the fashion workshop saying that she had a pair of socks made of bamboo and they were so soft and the more she wears them the softer they become.

We have a new brand of clothing, Two Danes, a Scandinavian collection who use natural fibres such as bamboo and hemp (which has similar qualities to bamboo). The designs are simple but classic with subtle added detail in forms of cut and colour and are proving very popular with our ladies.

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Rosie was the first to ‘strut the catwalk’ wearing a soft grey dress with matching cardigan (both at £65 each), a necklace from Capri and shoes by Marco Tozzi (£39.99). The audience could see how well the items went together, they had a chance to feel the fabric and to ask Rosie how it felt to wear them.

The workshop works very well as not only do you get to see how to wear the different collections, you can interact with the models and other members of the audience asking about the feel, fit and comfort factor.

Next up was Val wearing a mid calf length skirt (£39) with a quirky print top (£55) – also available as a cardigan, bringing a sophisticated simplicity to the collection. Val wore shoes by Tamaris (£69.99)

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Finally Judy came along wearing a black dress (£55) with a waterfall cardigan – which also looks great with trousers (£99) both items are hemp and cotton. Shoes by Gabor (£79.99)

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Next was Masai

Rosie looked very feminine wearing powder pink ‘pia culottes’ (£93.50) with a floral top – also available in large spot (£58) and scarf.

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Val wore a simple but effective black tunic (£58.50) with multi print trousers (£81). We also stock the tunic matching the trousers which, according to Natalie look ‘really cute’ as a set. Shoes by Rieker (£55)

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Great for versatility, as with any piece from Masai, Judy modelled a print dress (£92.50) which could be worn as a tunic with leggings or trousers or as a dress, it could even be worn as beachwear. Judy explained to the audience how easy the dress was to wear. She also demonstrated how versatile her sandals in pewter were, they could be dressed up or down.

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The next range Natalie spoke about was the Oui collection a French fashion brand that fuses sophistication with comfort and luxury.

Rosie’s maxi dress perfect for a summer evening, holidays or barbecues, can be dressed up with a wedge or down with simple flat sandals. The print lends itself to introducing other colours to dress up or dress down depending on the occasion.

Pastels are in this season, here Val is wearing pink jeans with a striped knitted jumper. Rosie is wearing a pastel pink jumper with a multi print shirt toned down with grey tailored trousers all from Gerry Weber.

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Accessorise with a handbag that picks out your favourite colour in the multi print pieces or stick to ‘nude’ the colour that will go with anything Fashion workshop 023

Gabor have some beautiful wedge sandals in nude that will bring the whole outfit together as demonstrated by one of our customers, who was contemplating buying a dress by Betty Barclay.

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Again in the Betty Barclay collection Natalie and her team demonstrated how to add a splash of colour to white jeans by adding a multi print top or a stripe jumper.

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If you prefer the nautical look to the pastel shades then Olsen have some beautiful pieces Rosie teamed the wide leg trousers with the anchor print with a print top but a simple white t-shirt or vest would look just as good and maybe add flat white sandals a large red bag to finish off the look.

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Val wore the fitted jeans (not quite a skinny jean) teamed with a coral jumper and to bring it all together a multi print scarf. The leather pumps are by Gabor.

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Having shown the audience how some of the brands could be worn, Natalie and her team then turned to the occasion wear such as Frank Lyman and Michaela Louisa. Firstly Rosie wore a Frank Lyman dress that could be worn for a day at the races, a wedding or a holiday, the dress is lightweight, handwash in cold water, doesn’t crease, just hang to dry. Pick out one colour and dress up with hat shoes and bag.

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Val looked stunning in this black and white maxi dress, so easy to wear and easy care, she dressed it up with black evening shoes by Lunar (£59.99) and although her shoes were high Val was surprised how easy they were to walk in.

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We have had Frank Lyman in for a couple of seasons now and they have not failed to surprise customers with how beautiful the pieces are, so feminine and yet so easy to wear. Michaela Louisa is another brand in the same genre, a British design house with a strong Italian influence. Ideal for the slightly more informal occasion whether it be a wedding or any other special event, the pieces are soft, stylish and easy to wear. Judy is wearing a very flattering black and white spotty dress.

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I thought the workshop went really well, it lasted one hour, the audience even though they had been in to shop previously, had either not noticed what was in store or hadn’t thought of putting the pieces together! Looking at an item of clothing on a coat hanger doesn’t always give you the inspiration you are looking for. Trying the item or a whole outfit on, or even booking one of the fashion team for a personal shopping experience gives you the opportunity to see what suits you. You never know you may come out with an outfit that you wouldn’t have dreamed of trying but you look and feel fabulous in.

If you’re interested in attending a workshop or booking a personal shopping experience call 01422 394215 and speak to a member of the fashion team, or call in and visit the exciting newly refurbished fashion floor.

Until the next time, happy experimenting!