Bath in Fashion: Nurturing Up and Coming Designers

With one of our fabulous stores in Southgate Bath, Bath in Fashion is one of our favourite times of year, the City bustles with fashionistas and there’s an amazing line up of interesting exhibitions and talks hosted this year at the stunning Assembley Rooms.

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Last night we headed to see Susie Bubble in discussion with Lulu Kennedy and Ed Marler of Fashion East, an infamous non profit organisation championing the work of up and coming fashion designers. Originally set up 15 years ago, Fashion East started by helping out young designers with event space to host their shows, final shows are notoriously expensive to run and so by finding free space to launch collections, designers were given a leg up into the fashion world. 15 years later and in collaberation with Topshop, Fashion East now funds carefully selected young designers, helping them with their final shows and providing advice to launch collection from concept through to commerce. Renowned worldwide for it’s avant garde fashion, London’s fashion scene and reputation has been heavily influenced by the designers coming out of Fashion East.

Last year fabulous launched ‘fabulous futures’ a similar initiative championing the work of up and coming jewellery designers. Fabulous worked closely with final year students on the ‘Jewellery and Silversmithing – Design for Industry’ degree course, giving students a retail perspective, before they go on to become designers or pursue careers in the industry.

Jo Stroud, together with Sinade Prosser, Retail & Buying Manager at Fabulous (a past graduate of the course) formed part of the end-of-year judging panel and met all the students. Fabulous owner, Jo says “Birmingham School of Jewellery has an excellent reputation for producing highly employable graduates with the skills needed within the jewellery industry today. We have chosen this particular course as it offers students a sound knowledge of the market, developing their technical skills within a commercial environment.”

The winners receive mentoring sessions designed to help them consider their target market, the pricing of their pieces, the way jewellery is presented in-store and packaged for the consumer, and the ways they can showcase themselves online. They get a week’s work experience at Fabulous, as well as winning the chance to appear at the Fabulous annual Garden Party, where they will meet top customers and other designers. A £200 bursary has also been given to each winner to cover any expenses incurred during placements.

Jo continues, “British designers are very important to us at Fabulous, with collections from Vivienne Westwood, Lulu Guinness, Chloe Moss and James Boyd all helping make us the go-to place for must-have brands. We’d love to see the next big thing in the industry come from home grown talent.”

Bath in Fashion: Sarah Homer, Managing Director of Topshop

In a packed room in the stunning setting of The Octagon in Milsom Place, we were treated to over an hour of insight from Topshop Managing Director, Sarah Homer. She talked us through the evolution of Topshop, from concession to world domination!

Mary Homer MD of Topshop

Mary Homer MD of Topshop

Topshop was launched in 1964, arguably the most exciting decade in British fashion, making it 50 years old this year. Post-war babies were rebelling, fashion was changing and young women didn’t want to go from chidren’s clothes into the reserved outfits of their Mothers, they wanted to be teenagers. Fashion started to be designed by everyday people, street style took off and individual style was embraced, Mary Quant and Biba revolutionised young fashion and the Kings Road in London became the place to be seen and photographed.

Mary Homer joined Topshop in 1985 working in the Visual Merchandising department and quickly moved up the ranks taking a seat on the board. In Sarah’s words, ‘not a lot happened in fashion from 1985 to 1995, the high street started to stagnate’ this is when Topshop decided they needed to do something big, something different and something radical.

They set out to be the world’s fashion authority, an affordable, high fashion brand which would could sit alongside high end designers yet carry a high street price tag. But how could they achieve this?

The product was key, they wanted to epitomise British fashion, to be authentically British but also be eclectic, directional and non conformist. To do this they knew they needed world class standards, which meant having the best staff and working with the very best in every field, from the designers right through to who photographed their clothes. They knew they needed a young, excited talent pool who would take risks and challenge the status quo and most importantly lived and breathed the brand.

Topshop began investing in young designers, plucking the very best talent straight out of St Martins and sponsoring these designers with Topshop initiatives. New Gen sponsors new designers and have nurtured the likes of Alexander McQueen and Jonathon Saunders, they are also heavily involved in the Vogue fashion fund which gives emerging talent a ‘leg up’ in the industry. Collaborating with this emerging talent helped the designers to enter the industry whilst supplying Topshop customers with the chance to buy designer, fashion forward lines at highstreet prices, just what they set out to do.

In that original meeting, Topshop had wanted to be endorsed by the world’s media, worn by influential people around the world and to show during fashion week. At the time these goals seemed fantastical, but Topshop showed during London Fashion Week in 2005 and continue to do so each year. Sienna Miller, Cara Delavigne, Suki Waterhouse, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss were all wearing the Topshop range for the recent launch, pictures which will be in every fashion magazine this month and every fashion blog worth it’s salt. Topshop recently opened their flagship American store in New York which has proved highly popular, bringing the London look to the New York masses. World domination complete!

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While discussing the future of retail Sarah didn’t agree with the scaremongering suggesting the high street was dead, with a new generation growing up who still wait for the day they’re allowed to venture into town on their own and look around the shops, Sarah strongly believes that the high street will always be integral to our social lives. Yes, the way we shop will change, we can click and collect and order in store, but the retail experience will still be important. What will become different is the ‘experience’ we offer our customers in-store, what that means right now, she’s not sure! What she could guarantee is that the next 10 years in retail will be very very different, but that is what is so exciting about the industry.

“Love what you do. If you don’t, find something you do love. If you’re passionate about your career you’ll work your way to the top”  Sarah Homer, Managing Director of Topshop

Follow what we’re up to this week at Bath in Fashion by following us on twitter @FabCollection or #BIFab

 

Bath in Fashion: Look fabulous Styling Lunch

We hosted our second styling lunch at the fabulous Allium Brasserie yesterday as part of our Bath in Fashion week. We were joined by 25 guests including press and bloggers from the area, who were treated to a two course lunch, wine and the infamous Bath in Fashion cocktail courtesy of the Art Bar.

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The Abbey Hotel is one of our favourite haunts in Bath, the combination of modern art curation from Jessica Llloyd-Smith of ModernArtBuyer, classic cocktails in the Art Bar and fine dining in the Allium Brasserie makes it the perfect destination for a fabulous event, not to mention the fantastic staff and service.

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Our styling partner Lyn Bromley joined us from First Impressions to give a fascinating talk on the art of styling. This is not a latest trends talk, but more a demonstration of how to dress for your own personal style, bodyshape and colouring. Guests were shown how to choose jewellery depending on their face shape, height and colouring, and could then choose their wardrobe personality which would point them in the direction of the kind of designer brands that would suit their style. You can work out your wardrobe personality here.

After a fabulous lunch of salmon on crushed new potatoes with minted pea puree and a pear and salted caramel desert, ladies mingled and browsed the latest collections from fabulous, with the opportunity to pre-order Moog, a brand new watch concept coming to fabulous stores very soon (we are the sole UK stockist) more information coming soon!

Thank you so much to The Abbey Hotel, Lyn Bromley and all of our fabulous friends in Bath who came to the event, it was great to see so many new faces and we look forward to seeing many of you at the Bath Garden Party.

If you like the sound of this event, why not join us for our fabulous Garden Party on 10th July at the Bath Priory hotel – you can book tickets here for the event.

If you’d like to know our whereabouts this week follow us on twitter @FabCollection or #BIFab

Fabulous What’s On: Bath in Fashion 2014

PrintFabulous fashionistas will be descending on Bath from May 3rd to May 10th to enjoy a week of catwalks, talks, workshops, films, shopping and exhibitions to celebrate the fabulous world of fashion.

With both a fabulous and Pandora concept store in Bath, we are heavily involved with the festivities this year. Here’s what we’re looking forward to…

Sunday 4th May: Vintage Fashion Fair, Green Park Station, 10am – 1pm FREE

Tuesday 6th May: Vogue on… Vivienne Westwood with Linda Watson, The Royal Crescent Hotel, 4pm, £18

Wednesday 7th May: Look fabulous Styling Lunch, Allium Brasserie, 12.30pm, £27.50

Wednesday 7th May: Meet Topshop Managing Director Mary Homer, The Octagon, 6.30pm, £15

Wednesday 7th May: The BIBA Years Barbara Hulanicki with Hilary Alexander, The Octagon, 8pm, £20

Thursday 8th May: Vintage BIBA Show, The Assembly Rooms, 1pm, £20

Thursday 8th May: Spring/Summer fashion show, The Assembly Rooms, 4pm and 7.30pm, £12

Thursday 8th May: Bath Life Fashion’s Night Out, Citywide, 5.30 – 8pm FREE

Thursday 8th May: Meadham Kirchoff with Sarah Mower, The Octagon, 8pm, £20

Friday 9th May: Jewellery Making Workshop with fabulous, The Pavilion, 1.30 – 3.30pm FREE

Sunday 11th May: Best of British Bridal Showcase, The Royal Crescent Hotel, 4-6pm, £38

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For more information about Bath in Fashion visit the website for the full line-up. To come to our fabulous Styling Lunch book your tickets through the Allium Brasserie, £27.50 includes a two course lunch with champagne on arrival hosted by Jo Stroud and Lyn Bromley of First Impressions. They’ll be talking you through how to pick jewellery to suit your style and shape as well as showcasing the latest trends in jewellery.

fabulous at Bath in Fashion 2013

We showed fashionistas what we have to offer them during Bath in Fashion Week 2013. With events going on all around the City we love getting involved every year, and this year we went big!

Bath in Fashion Week got off to a great start for fabulous, we served Bubbly and canapé’s in store and watched the flash mob’s in Southgate Square, there was so much going on.

roland-mouretOn Monday Jo was honoured to be invited to hear visionary designer Roland Mouret being interviewed by Susannah Frankel of Grazia. From the front row Jo heard all about Roland’s inspiration and design process. Roland Mouret curated the Norman Parkinson exhibition which we went to see that night. Roland Mouret loved the moment of privacy captured between Parkinson and his models, and it is this intimacy Roland hopes to achieve with his designs. Jo loved the idea that his designs were created for real women, not just models and designed to give freedom of movement – which led perfectly to the ‘Exhibition of Mouvements De Femmes’ by Norman Parkinson, which we went to see that evening. Champagne flowed and the photographs were exquisite, a pretty fabulous Monday all round!

Thursday was a busy day for us at fabulous, with an event and catwalk to organise and party to attend (I know, poor us!).
elinor-jo-lynFrom 12.30pm, Jo Stroud of fabulous and Lyn Bromley of First Impressions hosted a Styling lunch at Hall & Woodhouse (the first of many – watch this space). We were delighted to welcome over 40 guests to the fabulous lunch and loved talking through this seasons jewellery trends. Lyn gave an insightful talk on styling, wardrobe personalities and how to pick colours, shapes and scales of jewellery to suit you. We also enjoyed a two course lunch with wine, which gave us plenty of time to chat to our fabulous clients and provide one on one advice.

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Cut to Thursday evening and we’re at the Assembly rooms getting ready for two catwalk shows featuring fabulous alongside other great brands such as French Connection, Reiss, Phase Eight and Lk Bennett. Once all the preparation was done, we settled down on the front row and joined 600 other guests to watch our Nikki Lissoni, Swarovski and Thomas Sabo jewellery sashes down the catwalk.

We had a great view of the catwalk and were sat just across from Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing! Jaime’s Famous Candy Kitten Store was also showcased on the catwalk with fabulous.jamie-mic

We just had time to pop along to the Ted Baker store for catwalks and cocktails from the amazing team at Circo (a fabulous favourite of ours in Bath) we loved the Summer range from Ted Baker and enjoyed more shopping at the beautiful store.

We ended the week with more bubbly and canapés in store. A huge thanks to everyone who helped out, modelled and came along to beautiful Bath to make it a truly fabulous week, we can’t wait to do it all again next Spring!

Head Over Heels in Bath

Jo rubbed shoulders with fashion royalty during Bath in Fashion!

I was lucky enough last week to be invited to the hottest ticket in town, during Bath in Fashion week – a rare talk by the fabulous Manolo Blahnik, hosted by ‘Bath Life’ magazine – an event which sold out in 20 minutes!

Manolo has lived in Bath for many years, and this year finally agreed to get involved with this high profile event. He spoke about his start in life in the Canary Islands, his early forays into designing shoes for his dog, and then his stellar career designing some of the world’s most iconic shoes.

During the fascinating hour-long interview, we heard about the many famous names he has worked with or designed for, from Bianca Jagger to Angelica Houston to Kate Moss – telling us stories about the stunning shoes Kate wore at her wedding, hand-sewn in Italy the night before and flown in just in time; to the huge boost his career received from Carrie’s obsession with his shoes in ‘Sex and the City’.

Bath in Fashion gets better every year, this year featuring headlining talks and shows from designer Amanda Wakeley, Mulberry-founder Roger Saul, and milliner Stephen Jones, as well as Manolo Blahnik. With coverage now in Tatler, Vogue and the Telegraph, this week of fashion events and shows really puts Bath on the fashionista map.

We at fabulous have been heavily involved again this year, with our jewellery featuring in several scenes in the Spring / Summer 2012 catwalk show at the Guildhall, styled by famed stylist Rebekah Roy – stylist to Kate Moss – as well as being showcased at the Street Style events throughout the weekend.

Every time I go down to Bath to our store, I am amazed by the sheer vibrancy of what goes on in the city, and just how many events happen throughout the year. If you didn’t make it to Bath in Fashion this year, then keep an eye out on events later in the year, as it’s a really great place for a weekend away. We’re adding our own little bit of fabulousness to life in Bath this Summer, with our Garden Party at The Bath Priory – so if you want to see what all the fuss is about, take the opportunity to come and see us there. It’s on Thursday June 21st – we’d love to see you there!

Manolo Blahnik interviewed at Bath in Fashion

Get fabulous at Bath in Fashion 2011

Celebrate fashion with the upcoming events at Bath in Fashion festival 2011!

 

Come see fabulous at Bath in Fashion 2011!

Here at fabulous, we love nothing more than flicking through the latest glossy mags and picking out the season’s key trends, so when we were invited to take part in the Bath in Fashion festival this month, we just couldn’t resist! From 23rd – 27th of March, there will be all sorts of events happening in and around Bath celebrating the  area’s fashion credentials, from catwalk shows and exhibitions to talks and workshops. Fabulous are lucky enough to be featured in each of the five fashion shows that will be happening in the region, and we’re very excited to say the least!

First, you’ll be able to spot fabulous jewellery on the runway in a Spring and Summer show in the Octagon at Millsom Place on Wednesday 23rd March at 2pm and 7.30pm, featuring collections from a range of high-street names.

Then, there’s a chance to see some wonderful fashions from Bath’s independent boutiques in the beautiful setting of the two hundred year old Roman Baths in the Fashion Fizz runway show on Thursday 24th March at 8pm, followed by supper and some bubbly!

Daisy Chakra Bracelets, from £55 - Available at SouthGate Bath Fashion Show!

Daisy Chakra Bracelets, from £55 - Available at SouthGate Bath Fashion Show!

To finish things off, there’ll be an Urban fashion show at SouthGate on Friday 25th March at 4pm and 7.30pm. This show will feature live music, great food, and even goody bags to take home! There will also be a chance to pick up some of the things you’ve seen on the catwalk with stalls from contributors – including our very own fabulous stall, where we’ll be featuring all the jewellery from the shows, including designers such as Pandora, Trollbeads, Nomination, Thomas SaboChan Luu and many more!

As if all that wasn’t enough, there are also lots of other events going on around Bath – head to the Bath in Fashion website to find out more and book tickets for the shows. It promises to be a great week, and we’re thrilled to be involved. We hope to see you there – make sure you pop in and say hello!