Fashion’s Night Out: Manchester

If there is a fashion event going on somewhere in the world, the chances are, Manchester is hosting its own version. British VOGUE’s Fashion’s Night Out London is no exception with Manchester being well represented by Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

Fashion’s Night Out was created by American VOGUE Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour (as if you didn’t know) to help an upsurge in sales during the 2009 recession. One year on and the event is being hosted by representative VOGUEs in the US, UK, Germany, France, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Korea, Japan, China and Australia. Pretty good going if you ask me.

In Manchester however, whilst a crowd including Martine Alexander and Clare of tweet partied with Henry Holland to celebrate his Autumn/Winter collection launch in Selfridges Manchester Exchange Square, I partied next door with a bunch of tipsy ladies that lunchin Harvey Nichols! (See Martine’s blog about the night here)

The first floor of the palace of perfection was kitted out for the soiree with VOGUE covers, a drinks bar, DJ and pamper section overflowing with lotions, potions, tweezers and powders. Grabbing a drink I nabbed prime position for the second of the night’s three fashionshows, Denim Deluxe.

I’d missed the ‘More Cash than Dash’ show and would then go on to miss the ‘International Collections’ show because my party of fashionably inept gentlemen wanted pints in Castlefield instead! Sacre Bleu. Still, the show was intimate and simple and showcased some beautiful denim on some beautiful models.

Of the pampering section, Andrew Barn of Barnit salon represented, as did Yves Saint Laurent purfumes and Shu Uemura make up. It all got a bit Oestrogentastic for me so I swept back past the bar and headed out.

Well done Harvey’s, lets hope next year is even bigger!


Kuyichi, Attitude, Selfridges oh my!

The thing with the Manchester fashion scene is, for ages nothing happens and then all of a sudden EVERYTHING HAPPENS! Last Thursday night played host to three events all of which I was invited to attend. One was the relaunch of the newly refurbished TOPMAN in Manchester Arndale, a party with DJs, drinks and style consultations. The second was the opening of the first ever Kuyichi store in the UK on King Street and the third the Attitude Magazine men’s swimwear and underwear show at Selfridges Manchester Exchange Square! What is a boy to do?

Naturally the Attitude gig was a must, but luckily I also got to pop to the Kuyichi event just in time to neck a glass of Champers before closing! Here is the tale of 26th August 2010 for Mr McDowell.

It was 5:30 and we were running late, so after phoning Christopher to hurry him up (he was sat with his rollers in painting his toe nails) we minced down the canal to Exchange Square. The show was hosted within the menswear Department on the first floor of the super dooper department store and the whole event was organised perfectly (despite my name being originally absent from the guest list, epic fail, don’t they know who I am!?) The complimentary and ever-so-strong cocktails were poured by Patron Tequila and Coors beer (Light, naturally) was iced and on offer from various lovely gentlemen carrying trays. Muscle marys in aussieBum knickers were handing out copies of this month’s Attitude and St Tropez were spraying gay boys needing a bronzing before Pride. It was the campest I’ve ever seen Selfridges (probably).

Meanwhile, drink in hand, myself and my + twos (Adam and Christopher) meandered through the menswear collections to see the Manchester Pride Photography Exhibit on show exclusively in Selfridges Manchester Exchange Square. The exhibit features photos of various celebrities who all pledge their support for Pride and LGBT rights. Lovely.

Now, the naked men. The catwalk was square and boarded the menswear section so we took our seats, sandwiched between Dior and the tie collections, for a prefect view. David, the menswear buying director for Selfridges Manchester, took to the mic to introduce the night saying that ‘the attitude show is my favourite on the Selfridges calendar’. Bless him. Without further ado the music was cracked up and the boys were let loose to the horny, tipsy gays and their whistles (provided to ensure nothing about the evening was civilised).

The models nervously strutted out onto the catwalk, and if there was ever any confusion as to what was expected of them as male models the lovely people at Selfridges had ensured that instructions like, ‘walk this way’ and ‘strike a pose’ were plastered all over the floor.

Oh the clothes… The swimwear and underwear on offer was a mixed bag from boxers and shorts to near-thongs and speedos! Brands exhibited included aussieBum (of course), Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein (natch) and one of my new favourites and my personal brand of underwear for that specific night, Diesel. The last change saw the models sporting I HEART MCR PRIDE Tees which gave the campest evening on the Manchester fashion calendar the cherry on its proverbial cake.

After the show a rather hyped up and excited crowd returned to the bar for drinks as we snuck off to catch the last orders at the Kuyichi Denim store opening on King Street!

The usual MFN crowd were present although by the time we staggered in many had left. Still Faun (my new favourite shop assistant) popped open another bottle of Champagne for us and we took time to stroke the lovely jeans. It was at this point that I bumped into the lovely Martine Alexander and was finally able to put a face to the Twitter account! BONUS!

What a busy night it was, and now I’m off to get ready for Night One of The Manchester Pride Big Weekend! Blog post delights to follow!

P.S. was totally mentioned in the Twitter section of this month’s Attitude.