York Fashion Week (YFW) returned in style this week as designers and creatives descended on the city for the five-day festival of fashion. Over 25 events took place across York including runway shows, styling workshops, exhibitions, film screenings and guest lectures.

From 1930’s elegance, ocean-inspired jewellery, eco-conscious fashion to country chic clothing, the eclectic mix of events showcased some of the region’s brightest stars.

Nicky Hayer, founder and director, explained: “Our vision for YFW is to be a trailblazer for home grown designers and fashion’s new generation. Which is why, for the first time in York Fashion Week’s history, we orchestrated two sell out runway shows that were curated for grassroots indie brands and students and graduates to celebrate their latest collections. We’re passionate about working in collaboration with fledgling brands and designers to shine a spotlight on emerging talent and to share their journey as they set about influencing the fashion trends of the future.”

The Independent Fashion Runway Show unveiled the latest collections from designers across the UK and Europe including Belgium brand Amare Antwerp’s range of accessories handcrafted using innovative plant-based material; stylish fascinators by Suzanne Gill Millinery; luxury dressing gowns made from heirlooms of the past from Spitting Feathers; edgy yet tailored menswear by Master Debonair; and bespoke country apparel crafted from Yorkshire Tweed by Galijah.

The event’s showstopper was Warpaint – York’s new fashion brand bringing dignity and empowerment to those with life-altering illnesses. People going through treatment for cancer and other conditions took to the catwalk to unveil the new range of clothing created by Joanne Nicholson.

The Student and Graduate Runway Show welcomed East Riding College and York College students and graduates from Leeds Arts University and Salford University who launched collections including the revival of street styles (York College), blending poetry with ethical fashion (Sophie Norton) and Hit the North (Tia Wilson) which celebrates her Northern background and identity and reflects the ‘gritty culture of the North’.

Mark Bewick, managing director of York Fashion Week added: “Response to the Spring Summer show has been phenomenal, with students and creatives from across the city and beyond coming together. As well as providing a platform to promote designers and showcase some of the city’s stunning venues, it also offers invaluable work experience for budding hair and make-up stylists, photographers, event organisers, videographers and models – creating a community of likeminded people keen to collaborate and put our beautiful city on the fashion map.”

Other events included:

  • A runway show to launch the Pepper Girls Club Spring/Summer collection from TV personality, Charlotte Crosby.
  • A meet the West End Costumer Designer event by Shoni Wilkinson who talked about her career journey at Bedern Hall.
  • A presentation by Nayna McIntosh of Hope Fashion who shared her story behind the brand at The Principal Hotel.
  • A runway show from Half the Ocean Jewellery and St Leonard’s Hospice highlighting upcycled, thrifted and vintage fashion at Spark York.
  • A showcase of student fashion by the students at All Saints School, at Doubletree by Hiton.

Mark concluded: “We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to all those who helped bring YFW together - particularly our Head of Photography Olivia Brabbs, Head of Hair & Makeup Sonia Schofield, Ayre Events, Doubletree by Hilton and the York BID for playing such an integral role in YFW – we simply could not do it without you. Even local restaurant Lucia’s got involved and provided the most amazing food for our huge crews backstage. And a huge thanks to the local students who supported our team, and of course to the residents of York who, once again, showed their support by attending the shows and events across the city.”

Plans are already in place for YFW Autumn / Winter 2022. Details will be available on the website shortly.

Image courtesy of: Olivia Brabbs