Businesses line up to support Bath in Fashion

January 30, 2013

Seventy businesses have already signed up to be involved in Bath in Fashion more than three months before it takes place.

Last year 100-plus businesses supported the week-long event by taking part in shopping promotions, being involved in its range of workshops or displaying their products in its catwalk shows.

Organisers believe this year more businesses will back the event, now in its fourth year and established as one of the most talked about gatherings outside London that celebrates fashion, textiles, and art.

Business opportunities also include sponsoring special events and through promotions.

Bath Business Improvement District (BID) is again organising and funding Bath in Fashion. Its managing director Andrew Cooper said: “Bath has a great array of fashion stores, from distinctive independents to global brands, and Bath in Fashion is a brilliant opportunity for the variety and calibre of the city’s clothing retailers to be highlighted and celebrated.”

Celebrities from the world of fashion taking part last year included Manolo Blahnik and Stephen Jones and organisers this year promises another exciting programme of catwalk shows, exhibitions and installations, talks, workshops and opportunities for debate and discussion.

Bath in Fashion 2013, taking place between April 13-21, will have the theme of Looking at Fashion and top illustrator Julie Verhoeven has created exclusive imagery and is planning an extraordinary installation at the Holburne Museum.

David Downton is offering an illustration master class with super model Jade Parfitt, an opportunity to improve your life drawing skills alongside someone who has drawn the world’s most glamorous models. Other highlights include appearances by fashion designer Roland Mouret and art historian Sir Roy Strong, as well as a few surprise guests.

Festival chair, Sarah Mansfield, director of Milsom Place, said: “The festival promises to portray fashionable Bath in a new light bringing together top designers, commentators, photographers and illustrators under the banner of Looking at Fashion.”

"Bath in Fashion will bring world class speakers and artists to our World Heritage city. It is radical, inspiring and we hope fun."

Bath in Fashion 2013, which is supported by Bath Business News as media sponsor, has been extended to include two weekends to add more shopping events and in store activity. Super Saturday will be a chance to shop the city with a voyage of fashionable discovery from SouthGate through the core of the city to boutiques in Bartlett Street.

Bath businesses are being especially creative with a competition for aspiring fashion students devised by interior design experts, Eton Design and The Abbey Hotel showcasing fashionable art with a series of topical lunches with talks on figures from the world of fashion like Diana Vreeland and Alexander McQueen. Hall & Woodhouse will host a lunch with SouthGate jewellers Fabulous to track the latest trends.

The Norman Parkinson Archive is working exclusively with Bath in Fashion to stage an exhibition to mark the centenary of the birth one of Britain’s most influential fashion photographers. The exhibition at the Octagon at Milsom Place will be curated by Roland Mouret who famously created the iconic Galaxy dress.  This exhibition alone is creating worldwide attention having been featured already on

Bath Tourism Plus is quick to remind visitors of the city’s fashion credentials. Nick Brooks-Sykes, Chief Executive of Bath Tourism Plus said “Bath in Fashion has proven to be hugely successful in positioning the city as a great short break destination. By promoting Bath in Fashion, we are able to underline Bath’s style and elegance, as well as promote our excellent retail and cultural offer. Through this approach, we have received extensive media coverage in both national and international press, making sure that Bath remains on the list of ‘must visit’ destinations.”

To illustrate fashions fascination with the It Bag and celebrate the craft and heritage of British manufacturing a city centre pop up workshop sponsored by Liz Cox will reveal exactly what goes into making the fabulous designer handbags that have become the must-have accessory. This fascinating display by British Bag Makers will provide fashion fans with the chance to see a team of talented artisans create a unique collection of specially designed bags before their very eyes. Designs by milliner Stephen Jones, fabric designer, Nina Campbell and Iain R Webb, fashion writer, will be auctioned as one of a kind pieces at the end of the week.

Bath in Fashion welcomes Michael Bush, who created the flamboyant stage costumes for King of Pop Michael Jackson for a quarter of a century. Michael Bush will be presenting a talk and signing copies of his new book “Dressing Michael Jackson; The King of Style” with festival partners Topping & Co.

Other talks include Bath’s own style guru and writer Iain R Webb, who will offer a glimpse into Eighties fashion with a talk on his new book, ‘As seen in BLITZ’, and fashion writer Chloe Fox, whose new book ‘Vogue on Alexander McQueen’ lavishly chronicles the extraordinary career of one of British Fashion’s most visionary designers.

Bath in Fashion also promises a series of exciting catwalk shows staged by renowned London Fashion Week producer John Walford and styled by pop and TV favourite Rebekah Roy. These glam-packed shows will turn the spotlight on the latest looks for Spring/Summer 2013 with a Designer show sponsored by Mallorys. The programme is supported by students from one of the UK’s top Fashion Design Courses at Bath Spa University.  In June, Chloe Jones from Bath Spa University was awarded the Womenswear and overall George Gold Award at the Graduate Fashion Week Awards 2012. 

Bath in Fashion celebrates contemporary fashion but also reflects on fashion roots with an exhibit at the Fashion Museum of “Fifty Fabulous Frocks” to mark the museum’s fiftieth birthday.  The Holburne Museum, now transformed with its dramatic Eric Parry extension, showcases “Painted Pomp” a unique collection of portraits by William Larkin showing the intricacies of Jacobean court dress and the significant wealth of the subjects.  Sir Roy Strong, acknowledged expert on Jacobean portraits and former Director of the V&A, will be among the headline speakers for Bath in Fashion 2013.

The events programme includes Fashion Your Future, a window into the world of fashion with a panel of experts drawn from different areas of the fashion industry chaired by Louise Pickles, sponsored by Bath Spa University; Bath in Fashion on Film at the Little Theatre Cinema; and Vintage Sunday with Bath VA vintage fashion fair, Mrs Stokes Secret Tea Party, vintage motors and a Vintage Magic workshop to create your own vintage circular skirt.  Other exciting workshops include ‘Colour in Design’, a knitting workshop with knitwear guru and Vogue Knitting designer Brandon Mably of the Kaffe Fassett studio.

The week is without doubt a great excuse to go shopping in Bath which boasts a thriving high street retail scene complemented by a high proportion of independent fashion boutiques selling top labels.  Thursday late night shopping becomes a glam girly affair with Bath Life Fashion’s Night Out and Super Saturday – Shop the City sees fashions exploding onto the street in a city wide celebration of the latest styles with in-store events and promotions.


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