Bath in Fashion 2014 puts vintage on the catwalk

Vogue writer Linda Watson will discuss her book Vogue On Vivienne Westwood

Vogue writer Linda Watson will discuss her book Vogue On Vivienne Westwood - Credit: sub

Nicky Hancock looks at what the event has in store

There will be plenty going on behind the scenes

There will be plenty going on behind the scenes - Credit: sub

Bath in Fashion 2014, which takes place 3-10 May, explores the influence and interplay between trends past and present, celebrating the creativity of contemporary Bath whilst paying tribute to its illustrious past when a true spirit of invention created a city that was inspired, radical and bold.

The Fashion Museum presents its special exhibition Georgians: Dress in Polite Society in homage to t

The Fashion Museum presents its special exhibition Georgians: Dress in Polite Society in homage to the Assembly Rooms where the museum is housed - Credit: sub

The festival looks at the origins of an idea. What influences and inspires us when we buy fashion and how and where do designers find their inspiration?

We all read about London Fashion Week – and Milan –and New York – and Paris - but those celebrity-packed catwalks seem far removed from what we can buy on the high street. With Bath in Fashion you get your chance to absorb some of the glamour of top London models on the runway in a catwalk show created by London Fashion Week producer John Walford.

Bath in Fashion 2014 promises an exciting programme bringing some of those fashion celebrities to Bath to share their style and stimulate debate. Plus there are plenty of hands-on workshops, films, shopping events and exhibitions.

The week is a unique collaboration supported by 150 businesses across the city under the umbrealla of the Bath Business Improvement District.

This year’s lead sponsor, the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, has enjoyed a multi-million pound makeover and will host a series of delightful lunches and a bridal showcase.

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In an exceptionally rare interview, Meadham Kirchhoff is coming to the city to discuss ideas with Bath girl, Sarah Mower, Contributing Editor to American Vogue. Sarah, who is also ambassador for Emerging Talent for the British Fashion Council has known Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff since they graduated from Central Saint Martin’s and won the New Gen award, which she chairs.

The Anglo-French duo Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff are renowned for presenting beautiful, theatrical collections against intricately staged settings – as much theatre as fashion.

The talks take place at Milsom Place in the beautiful Octagon building, which also showcases superb photographs by Bruno Ehrs in a pop up exhibition.

Fashion is fast-paced and constantly seeking new directions but is often inspired by what went before. Bath in Fashion 2014 takes a nostalgic look at that fashion moment 50 years ago when Barbara Hulanicki created BIBA, the brand that shifted attitudes and sent the industry on a new trajectory.

She will be in conversation with Hilary Alexander, former Fashion Director of The Telegraph and one of the most feted fashion journalists of her generation.

A unique opportunity to see original vintage BIBA on the catwalk will be the highlight of the week for many.

In May 1964, Barbara Hulanicki designed a pink gingham dress, promoted to readers of the Daily Mirror; and some 17,000 outfits were sold by mail order.

Fifty years later, fashion students from Bath Spa University are working on their own designs in gingham to be shown on the Bath in Fashion 2014 catwalks.

Fashion as a business is on the agenda with a headline talk by Mary Homer, MD of Topshop; and the creative inspiration behind Clarks, Paolo Gabrielli, plus Jason Basmajian, Creative Director of Gieves and Hawkes, talking about men’s style today.

The tenacity and personal style of Camila Batmanghelidh will be the focus of a discussion of fashion as armory, in support of her charity, Kids Company, which reaches 36,000 children a year with therapeutic care.

At The Fashion Museum, a special exhibition Georgians: Dress in Polite Society, pays homage to the Assembly Rooms where the museum is housed. The grand finale includes modern fashions inspired by 18th century dress, by five contemporary designers: showing how the elegance and grace of Georgian dress continues to inspire fashion today.

The Assembly Rooms are also home to Bath in fashion catwalks with the best of summer fashions presented on 8 May in partnership with Somerset Life and a designer runway sponsored by Nicholas Wylde on 9 May.

There are afternoon and evening showings, so perfect to plan your visit to Bath and take in lunch or some shopping.

A master class by interior designer Nina Campbell, sponsored by Bath Facial Aesthetics, explores the use of texture, colour, lighting, art and flowers in interior design. Vogue writer Linda Watson will discuss her book Vogue On Vivienne Westwood, at the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, which charts Westwood’s 40 years of revolutionary designs and fearless non conformism.

Workshops include upcycling jewellery with Fabulous; festival head dresses with the Tallulah Rose Flower School; needle felting with Emma Leith and a make up masterclass with AOFM, as well as hair inspiration with Artizan.

Fashion Your Future is a window into the world of fashion with a panel of experts chaired by Louise Pickles, who leads the acclaimed fashion design course at Bath Spa University; Bath in Fashion on Film is a series of fashion-inspired films hosted by the Little Theatre Cinema, including Fabulous Fashionistas, introduced by Director Sue Bourne in which six women with an average age of 80 are determined to look fabulous, have fun and redefine old age; Vintage Sunday with Bath VA vintage fashion fair; and Thursday late-night shopping the essential ‘girls night’, with a chance to shop the city from SouthGate’s energetic brands at one end to Bath’s most historic shopping zone around Milsom Street at the other.

Bath has been in fashion since its Georgian heyday, when it was a magnet for fashionable society; today Bath maintains a reputation for fashion and style with Bath Spa University’s award-winning fashion design course; and its thriving retail sector, with a high proportion of independent fashion boutiques retailing niche and designer labels.

The high street in Bath is buzzing with activity with great excitement around the opening of Anthropologie in May.

Managed and funded by the Bath BID Company in conjunction with Bath Tourism Plus, the festival is a collaborative effort by hundreds of Bath businesses to highlight Bath’s fashion credentials.

For tickets and to find out more visit bathinfashion.co.uk

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