Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Cambridge Style Week night 1: Best of British

As models practised their walks, bottles of wine were being laid on ice and finishing touches being put to pop up shops in the boutique experience; Nicky Shepard, Cambridge Style Week director and co-founder, was gliding around amazingly stress free. The first night of the first ever Cambridge Style Week was about to go live to the public and not an ounce of panic or anxiety graced Nicky's face. What a pro. 

As guests entered the first stop boutique area, single roses in a wide array of colours were gifted by Purely Roses, I got a beautiful lemon shade which sat proudly in an Asti bottle on the kitchen table for the rest of the week. It was a beautiful welcome touch along with a goody bag for seated guests and complimentary welcome drink as well as plenty of smiling faces. Guests, and myself alike, then had an hour to peruse the boutique experience meeting local Cambridge companies including: Victoria Egg, Curious Orange, Retro Vert, The Cambridge Raincoat Company, Design Essentials, B Jewellery Ltd, Cambridge Interiors, OJT Designs, Tweed Vixen, Debbie Wallwork Photography, Velvet Bakehouse and Pole Fitness. The hour of browsing and admiring was up quickly and we were soon lead into the catwalk area as we anticipated the start of the first catwalk of the week.

As a living-in-the-sticks kind of girl it's never easy or cheap to get to London or Manchester for fashion weeks - so, when I heard there was going to be a 'Cambridge Style Week' I was extatic and dying to get involved. The first show was better than I ever expected, there were a diverse range of designs and styles from a mix of Cambridge based stores and British designers - many of which I had shamefully never heard of, but that's what this event was about. While designs were evidently different with varying inspirations, functions and aesthetics, they were all united in the fact that they are all quintessentially British; and they're ours to be proud of! 
Prohibido LingerieProhibido Lingerie, a Cambridge based luxury lingerie boutique, featured Mary Portas' Kinky Knickers as a great start to the show. Each pair is handcrafted in Britain out of the finest Nottingham lace, models sported some of the range which are perfectly suitable for everyday wear yet have a sexy and playful edge. 
Cambridge Raincoat CompanyThe Cambridge Raincoat Company showcased their classic and timeless mac designs with a modern and colourful twist. Originally started as a fashionable alternative for cyclists and unattractive lycra, The Cambridge Raincoat Company have become the epitome of stunning rain wear. Perfect for those little April showers.
Angels Carrying Savage WeaponsAngels Carrying Savage Weapons were absolutely, the most jaw dropping designs on the catwalk. Their intricate corsetry and handmade designs can easily rival the corset's Victorian creators. Each dress is handmade to order from the designers own cuts in Nottinghamshire, and their range includes bridal and evening wear, 50's style skirt suits, capri pants and the classic boudoir corsets and lingerie.
Olivia RubinBaska, a Cambridge based boutique boasting renowned international designers, showcased their Olivia Rubin London collection. This was one of my favourite sets and summed up my favourite part of British fashion - bright colours and playful prints! I adored this 'Porch Gate' printed silk mini dress with gathered sleeves, gathered waist and full skirt - it would look perfect amongst a field of daisies accompanied by the ornateness of a champagne and strawberry picnic. The classic Olivia Rubin brick print has been revamped in popular pastel colours specifically for SS'13 and this shirt dress was my favourite style the print was adorned on.
Alice Temperley SomersetAfter our blogger preview event of Somerset by Alice Temperley at John Lewis, I couldn't wait to see the SS'13 pieces styled to a tee and hit the catwalk. Alice focused her Somerset collection on feminine yet workable and everyday pieces which can effortlessly form part of a capsule wardrobe. Think pretty embellishments, classic cuts and sumptuous fabrics, Alice Temperley hasn't slacked on the collaboration with the high street brand. It's hard to pick favourites within this line as everything is so effortlessly stunning, but the blue wallpaper tile print jumpsuit is up there.
LibelulaBoudoir Femme, another Cambridge boutique, featured their stunning SS'13 Libelula collection. A UK based label designed by Sophie Cranston, Libelula draws attention to, and focuses on, timeless styles and cuts set to flatter the feminine figure. Having set up Temperley alongside Alice Temperley in the year 2000, I noticed this label draws slight similarities like classic British cuts such as the pink boucle skirt and white cardigan; but is much more eclectic in terms of print and colour. I love the vibrancy of the green and pink bug print dress, yet the clash of the red and pink georgette dress is striking - who said you can't wear pink and red together and make it work?
Bourne EnglandBaska did it again by featuring their Bourne, England SS'13 collection. With refined styles and polished details, Bourne commit themselves to creating British made and British designed products for those of us who want a luxury wardrobe on a competitive price level with other labels. Their SS'13 pieces see a mix of classic summer colours like nudes, pinks, whites and peaches and put elegance right at the forefront of their designs. 
Nehru LondonNehru London jackets are based upon traditional Indian fashion as devised by Jawaharlal Nehru. This classic Indian styling has diversified over the years to embody quirky British design by experimenting with bright colours and striking linings especially for those with a penchant for good tailoring. Their ladies collection, as previewed here, will be released later this year.
John Lewis MenswearThere was of course something for the guys in the crowd as the John Lewis menswear collection so proudly displayed. I'm sure many of us ladies love to see a well dressed man, and hopefully you guys like to make an effort too sometimes. The heritage look on the far left is a winner for me; I really enjoy the combination of earthy colours, elbow patches and a shirt and jumper combo topped with a check blazer. The second from left is a great smart/casual look, there's something very Ryan Gosling about it isn't there? The third in however, is a look my boyfriend Phil would be most likely to rock out of this selection - an untucked shirt, classic jeans, military boots and bomber jacket is much more his style. 

Modish Shoes, a Cambridge and Saffron Walden based shoe boutique, also made an appearance in some of the sets on catwalk boasting their classic union jack sequin platforms and other gorgeous footwear. They're on a mission to offer fantastic looking and fantastic feeling shoes to all women as well as stocking more difficult to find brands and new designers. Clamp Optometrists, an independent Cambridge based company with a wide selection of well known brand, designer and boutique glasses and sunglasses, supplied the brilliantly styled eyewear in this show. I'll hopefully be giving them a visit closer to summer to treat myself to a pair of more expensive sunglasses to cherish, there's only so many cheap £10 or under sunglasses I can buy.What pieces/brands are you liking the look of? Hopefully I've given you a few new designers works to lust over.Night 2 coverage // Night's 3&4 coming soon.


  1. What a great post! You write really well, I was hooked throughout. Especially love the Cambridge Raincoat company, who knew macs could be so fun?! And that Olivia Rubin brick print is so so amazing.
    Betti xx

    1. Aw thank you, what a wonderful compliment :)

      Their macs are amazing, especially close up. xx

  2. What an amazing fashion show! Looks and sounds like you had a great time! I love the look of the Bourne, England collection. Feminine and classic... perfection :D


    1. I had a wonderful time! It's great to have had something like this practically on my doorstep. I fell in love with the Bourne collection too. I adore that floral dress in the middle. xx


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