Matthew O’Brien fashion show, Chester Cathedral

Models wait in the wings

Models wait in the wings - Credit: Pics; John Cocks

Chester’s fashion set came out in force for Matthew O’Brien’s fabulous fashion show at a very special venue

Fashionistas of Cheshire took little persuading when designer Matthew O’Brien staged the first ever fashion show to be held at Chester Cathedral. They stepped out in force to support Matthew (Britain’s Top Designer, Young Designer of the Year and Top Real Role Model of the Year finalist ) raise around £3,000 for good causes, as well as celebrate the first birthday of his bespoke design business .

Matthew, who has an atelier in Rufus Court, Chester, had the blessing of the cathedral for the show, which raised cash for three charities close to his heart: the baby unit appeal at the Countess of Chester Hospital, meningitis research, and Chester Cathedral itself.

‘My mum’s brother passed away after contracting meningitis when he was only 17 and we have had lots of premature babies in the family, plus I was delighted to be able to help support the cathedral,’ explained Matthew. ‘The whole night was extraordinary. We sold 200 tickets in advance but an extra 100 people turned up at the door. I am absolutely ecstatic about the turnout and support we’ve had. The feedback has been amazing too. It has been such a positive thing.’

VIP guests were able to enjoy a glass of fizz and took away goodie bags before taking their seats in the cathedral for the fashion spectacular.

A team of 17, including Matthew’s in-house seamstresses along with fashion and event management students from the University of Chester collaborated on the 35-minute catwalk show, which also showcased shoes from Hoity Toity in Tarporley.

However, the red carpet had hardly been rolled up after the event before guests were enquiring about the next show.

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‘I can’t wait to organise another one next year,’ enthused Matthew.

‘The idea is to make it the start of the annual fashion calendar in Chester. ‘

As well as showcasing 35 stunning designs from spring/summer ranges and his couture collection, Matthew revealed that his showroom is about to double in size. ‘It just shows that it is working and there is a demand for couture,’ he says.