Amanda Wakeley S/S’11 Manchester Preview

The Royal Exchange Theatre held a fund-raising dinner at The Midland Hotel in Manchester. Guess who the special guest was… Amanda Wakeley.

Wakeley is a long time supporter of the Arts, “we’re both in the Arts, Theatre and Fashion.” she told the bronzed crowd, and was born in Cheshire – so she’s practically Mancunian!

Amanda Wakeley (centre) and two models in her latest collection

Wakeley’s S/S’11 collection has not been seen outside London and choosing Manchester as the first non-capital to UK city to see the designs said something about the fashion kudos in the North West.

Wakeley’s designs were brought forward on BOSS Models (Manchester) models and some rookies. Wakeley told me in the Champagne reception that “some have never [modeled] before and some are old hats at it and will be showing the other ones the ropes”, she looked nervous which was surprising since the Designer and sole Brand owner has had London Fashion Week eating out of her palm for the past two seasons. 

There was a smattering of celeb, Shobna from Corrie (whose name I totally forgot but was kindly corrected via Twitter by BlackWhiteDenim), someone from Emmerdale, someone from Brookside, Peter Kay’s mate and Ted Robins. Bonus.

Emma from The Fashion Network and Me.
Emma went for 80s glam in an LBD and I opted for Colour Blocking Black Tie.
Suit and shoes, Topman Ltd
Shirt, T.M.Lewin
Cufflinks, Tiffany’s
Bow Tie and Cummerbund, Debenhams

Easily the hottest couple in the room.
Lynda, Health & Beauty Editor for Manchester, London, Leeds and Liverpool Confidential and her other half, Chris.

Jewelery was statement, including one necklace piece that consisted of one gold plate above the breast that caught the light and stunned the room.

Hair by Andrew Collinge…

Pleats were a plenty with mainly earthy and soft plum hues. Coral and Electric Blue came out on top at the end and gave a signature to the mass of the colours already filtering onto the high street.
Oh, it was nice to chat girl-clothes for once.

Oh and the raffle alone raised £15,000 with £4,000 coming from Wakeley’s bespoke gown gift and shopping experience.

See the collection here.


Harvey Nichols A/W ’10 Catwalk Show

I was lucky enough to nab a press pass to one of the most glamorous events on the North Western fashion calendar: the Harvey Nichols Autumn/Winter 2010 catwalk show hosted at Manchester Cathedral.

The event was spectacular and made fantastic use of the Gothic surroundings of the Cathedral. As one would expect of a Harvey Nichols event, the bright young things of the Northern Celebrity world were present including: fashion event veterans I see everywhere and Coronation Street stars Helen Flanagan, wearing Christian Louboutin studded heels, and Brooke Vincent, in an Alice & Olivia dress. Also Hollyoaks actress Melissa Walton and Emmerdale’s Kirsty Leigh Porter mingled close by sipping their Champagne.

After bumping into the lovely and gorgeously attired Sara Wilson of SeraLuxe blog and nabbing myself a glass of Champers it was off to the press pit to take my seat and giggle at the newspaper photographers elbowing each other out of the way. Whilst sat in my pew I got talking to Emma of WhatEmmaDid the Cosmopolitan Blog Award winner who seemed to share my enthusiasm for Twitter! I was also given a gift in the shape of a glossy from Rebecca of VIVA Magazine, my new favourite regional publication (after my blog, of course).

The show was fantastic, the styling was superb and I’m now running out of adjectives. The attention to menswear, as I told anyone who would listen, was SO brilliant. A real eye for the trends and general gentleman’s fashion was taken on board and showcased excellently.

Mine and Adam’s (as I told Sarah, ‘you’ve got to have a plus one’) favourite look was the comfy and easy-to-replicate-without-spending-the-entirety-of-my-Student-Loan look which saw Scandinavian knits from Moncler and McQueen layered under Nichole Farhi gilets, teamed with DSquared skinny jeans and mittens! They even had room for the D&G Ski Suit at £805 that was modeled recently over the HN_Manchester twitter feed by Personal Shopper, Tom.

Often tending to go for a military look over the winter months I’m looking forward to diving into the vintage stores looking for knits and wool hats and thankfully Harvey Nichols showed my just how to do it.

A big surprise of the night was the set themed around Equestrian clothing for men. I feel in love with a pair of beige Gucci jodhpurs which are on my Christmas list for sure, along with a D&G riding cap I think I might just be able to pull off!

Click here for a full report!