This year Nottingham was host to the first Nottingham Fashion Week. The Independent Designer Showcase marked the end of a fabulous week and Imran Ibrahim, the man behind the show and his team deserve all the credit for making this possible. Nottingham’s local designers evidently worked hard to make their debuts into the fashion world and their efforts have paid off, creating a fantastic show. All proceeds from this event went to The Sunita Treacher Foundation to support children in Uganda. Impact reviewed the showcase to introduce all of the designers’ collections.
There was not an empty seat in the house on Saturday night in the Alea Casino’s function room, where the Independent Designers Showcase took place – on each seat lay an elegant goody bag from Dolce & Gabbana or Gucci. Nonetheless, the intimate setting of the Alea Casino’s function room with its under 21 policy was not the ideal location to showcase these designers’ fabulous pieces. Perhaps a more welcoming setting would be perfect for the next showcase. Yet the tantalising atmosphere and talent for the evening surely made up for the poor choice of venue.
The show was divided into three action-packed parts; KOJO the comedian was the host for the evening keeping the crowd entertained at all times – especially when technical difficulties arose.
What You Sayin Clothing (WYSC):
Liam Tansey’s hooligan inspired line kicked off the Independent Designer Showcase. His unisex brand already has a strong following from famous music artists and footballers such as Oliver Burke from our very own Nottingham Forest FC. His large social media following on Instagram of over 20,000 followers has helped expand his brand, since its inception a year and a half ago. His designs have a fresh vibe and are evidently targeted at a younger market, using an array of print logos on either white or black t-shirts, styling each model with a bomber jacket and fitted jeans – the perfect combination for a teen on-the-go.
The golden partnership between Maxine Abbott and Sarah Esau, graduates from NTU, established Platypus UK as a creative brand for men and women, which showcases the designers’ personalities – their edgy vibe is transcended onto the collection. All of the jackets are custom made to order and as each model walked down the catwalk a new side of the brand was shown. The clothing ranges from more casual sportswear to denim jackets. Additionally, their brand features a charitable twist as the factories they work with support the Fair Wear Foundation, which aims to improve the working environment.
Genius Clothing Notts (GCN):
Genius Clothing Notts was a tough act to follow as it is already recognised as the ‘Best Independent Clothing Brand in the UK’ by Bexlive. Although the brand was only established two years ago, it has sky rocketed since. It was a busy week for Eugene Frances, CEO of NGenius, a modeling agency and events company – the Independent Designers Showcase was his second runway show of the week. His urban wear brand embodies the athleisure trend with a twist to showcase the innovative side to a confident man or woman. The most fascinating aspect of their runway showcase was the male dancer dressed in a jersey performing acrobatics with a football.
Ka-Ho Leung Design:
Ka-Ho Leung Design is a tailor-made menswear dream; each suit is custom ordered. The latest collection by Jake Leung is an Autumn/Winter collection showcasing rich colours such as navy blue and burgundy – with a large variety of bow ties and ties. Since its inception Ka-Ho Leung Design has focused on quality over quantity, hence the idea of mass produced goods is one the customer will not experience. The unique details of each suit are made-to-order for the preference of the client.
ABENZI had the most to offer in terms of their latest collection for this year; although they are the newest brand they had the most groundbreaking creations. Their set was divided into three parts going from casual wear to an edgy smart casual collection for a young creative – each design used music as its inspiration. The prints were striking floral using a psychedelic colour palette. Jahred Harris sweetly used his stunning wife as his muse. The aim of ABENZI is to provide quality garments for every occasion.
Using her late mother’s middle name as her brand, Afrinah Falder created a couture brand incorporating African prints; this season she expanded into men’s wear creating formal shorts and shirts for men and incorporated velvet into her garments. Her mother empowered her to become a designer, as she used to sew and sell clothes. Afrinah did not study fashion design at university, but she has the talent of an upcoming couture goddess. The African music in the background truly encapsulated this vision of African prints on western style clothing.
ICON by Nyssa’s UK:
Unfortunately, we were unable to interview Nyssa Wheeler herself as she is currently in hospital. Her family helped her to complete her line and showcase her edgy style; at the end of the show her dad played the guitar – a heart-warming performance. Her mum Jillian spoke to the audience about her daughter proudly. Her collection ICON showed an array of denim styles – Rihanna type fashion. Her sassy attitude was portrayed by her designs and the way the models were instructed to walk and pose.
Iflight Clothing Ltd:
Last but not least, Imran Ibriham; after his modelling career he created a brand designed for the modern day gentlemen on the go. The brand represented luxury casual wear. Bold colours walked down the runway, as well as his signature colours of black, white and gold – representing elegance, luxury and perfection. His collection showed off shirts, snapbacks, polo shirts, chinos and sweatshirts. He put on a great show and co-ordinated the whole event in an extremely professional manner giving each of these designers a chance to debut their brands.
Image Credits: Disha Daswaney, Sophia Harris