Day 3, a round up.
Year on year Bath in Fashion grows. The breadth of subjects, the calibre of contributors and the numbers in the crowds.
Similarly each day of #BIF2016 has seemed even better than the previous.
Day 2 was fantastic, day 3 was incredible. And so it should be because it saw the first of our catwalk shows.
However the day began with an enchanting tale of love and landscapes from owner and print designer of West Country success story Seasalt, Sophie Chadwick. In conversation with Red Magazines Alice Olins, Sophie’s passion for her ‘dream job’ was tangible and we all felt a little bit more in love with this nautical brand by the end of a fascinating hour.
Whilst still floating on that Cornish wave we were then transported to the 1960’s and to BIBA fever with a extraordinary hour with the funny, irrepressible and colourful Barbara Hulanicki who returned to Bath in Fashion to tell tales of Anna Wintour being a shop Saturday girl and the barren fashion landscape that inspired her rule breaking creations. Barbara was in conversation with Red Magazine’s Sarah Bailey who opened by saying ‘I’d argue that it’s impossible to imagine that stores like TopShop would exist without BIBA as a forerunner’. No one disagreed.
We are all hoping that the fashion icon might make her way back to Bath from her home in Miami again before too long.
David Downton, was also a returning guest to Bath in Fashion. David described himself as an ‘elder statesman of fashion illustration’ having completed a beautiful collection of drawings entitled Portraits of the Worlds Most Stylish Women. The artist in residence at Claridges Hotel told us the story of the phone call that changed his life and saw him sent to Paris to cover a catwalk show. Since then he really has drawn the worlds most celebrated women although admits that Tilda Swinton and Julianne Moore are still on his list. David was a witty and captivating guest and we hope he too will return.
Visiting us for the first time was the couture designer Nicholas Oakwell, whose incredible The Great Dress sits, for now, majestically in The Octagon Room. Nicholas was in conversation with the funny diminutive but larger than life Hilary Alexander.
Like a wonderful double act, Oakwell the straight man to Hilary, his funny partner, she attempted to extract from him whether client Jane Fonda wore spanx or not. She failed. Although she did tease from him stories of his rise to prominence, of client care and confidentiality and dresses that have an entry fee of £15,00 and take anywhere from 500-800 hours to make; 5 of which stood on stage and were breathtaking.
As was our show teams two incredible catwalks shows, delivering Spring Summer styling trends for 2016. A mix of high street stores and boutique indies took to the stage in the elegant Assembly Rooms Ballroom. Plenty of boho relaxed cools were on offer together with pops of brights with bold prints. Casual shapes and feminine silhouettes were evident. Roll on Friday for the ‘designer’ catwalks….we are very ready.
Day 3 you were immense…..next up day 4.
Photographs by anthonyprothero.co.uk