Brighton’s worldwide reputation as an essential creative hub plays another trump card this month with the annual showcase of its eclectic and diverse array of fashion talent. Brighton Fashion Week has come a long way from the Brighton Frocks days of a single show in the Honey Club and now spans four days with catwalk struts for all tastes. From the wild concepts of some of the Brighton Frocks Show though the intricately-crafted Couture Show to the affordable and wearable Ready To Wear outing there are clothes for all tastes.
“Brighton is a city with a sure sense of itself,” says director of BFW Liz Jones. “Its residents are discerning, with a cool, alternative approach to fashion. Brighton Fashion Week is reflective of this and is a real showcase of innovative, edgy design.”
Indeed. Here’s what’s going on.
WAR CHILD BENEFIT
Concorde 2 Weds 1st
Who says fashion is superficial and self-interested? Rock’s favourite charity comes to the Concorde for a Fashion Week benefit gig in aid of kids living in warzones (no, not to buy them Hermès scarves). La Shark, The Agitator and Dark Horses have promised to turn up and tune up to help children living in real danger. Meanwhile Nick Hollywood is doing a White Mink AV show while Brighton Rumble and Born Bad will spin the tunes. Just don’t lose a Mui Mui shoe in the moshpit.
THE BRIGHTON FROCKS SHOW
St Martin’s Church Thurs 2nd
Thursday 2nd sees the return to an ecclesiastical setting for the show that started Brighton Fashion Week off all those years ago, as St Martin’s Church fills out with this traditionally dramatic and theatrical performance. Off the wall designer collections are showcased in an unconventional manner in a unique fusion of styles and eras. Previous years have been really eye-opening with a frequent knowing wink. For 2011 the line-up of stitchers includes Red Mutha, Former Glory, Susannah Henly and many more.
THE COUTURE SHOW
St Martin’s Church Fri 3rd
This one looks like being really interesting for Brighton University students and anyone who’s seriously into fashion. Giles Deacon’s pattern cutter Masato Jones will be showcasing the new collection for his own label. He’s joined by Edward Finney who has worked both on Savile Row and with Alexander McQueen. Brighton makes an appearance in the form of Alexei?Ismaylov, while Tim Rhys Evans – who had his degree collection featured in Elle – will show why the British Fashion Council gave him the Creative Cutting Award at Graduate Fashion Week in 2008. On the other end of the scale is Jess Eaton with her roadkill couture (yeah, it’s just what you think) and Studio_805’s Club Kids-go-to-Taboo cartoon outfits.
READY TO WEAR
Corn Exchange Sat 4th
If that all sounds a little daring for you then try this one on for size. With catwalk collections from up-and-coming national designers – including Eva Cammarata, Alexander Murray and Coco Sailor – this afternoon will concentrate on chic yet accessible fashions. All exhibitors at the RTW show are also hosting retail stands at the attached Fashion Emporium, where attendees can snap up the most covetable items from the show. No waiting months for the next season clothes to arrive here, you can wear the stuff home – now that really is accessible.
WORDS BY NICK COQUET, JAMES KENDALL
PHOTO BY KEVIN MASON