It may have started life more than four decades ago as a simple idea to showcase British wool, but the fashion shows at the Great Yorkshire Show now have extensive appeal. Around 6,000 visitors head for the Skipton Building Society Fashion Pavilion during the three-day agricultural extravaganza to catch a glimpse of the latest trends and catwalk looks, as well as a sneak preview of the new autumn/winter collections.
Since the fashion shows first began at England’s premier agricultural show, they have grown in size and popularity. As well as acting as platform for many of the region’s up-and-coming designers, leading UK fashion houses will feature on the runway at the four-times-daily shows. Dates for this year are Tuesday 12 – Thursday 14 July when around 130,000 visitors are expected.
Making their debut on the show’s runway is the prestigious Cordings of Piccadilly who will be showcasing autumn/winter men’s and womenswear. Cordings has been part of England’s clothing heritage since 1839, offering an understated British style, and combining elegance with practicality. Part-owned by legendary musician Eric Clapton, the stylish clothing brand now has a branch in Harrogate’s Westminster Arcade as well as its flagship store in London. Closer to home, West Yorkshire designer Kevan Jon will be presenting glamorous evening wear which is sure to be another highlight.
Keighley-based tailors Brook Taverner are also taking centre-stage with their limited edition Great Yorkshire tweed jackets and the specially-commissioned one off three-piece suit which will be seen on the catwalk for the first time. Quirky details add to the appeal, including “Yorkshire Born and Bred” woven under the collar, the county’s iconic white rose featuring on both the jacket label and on the lapel pin. The cloth has been woven by Abraham Moon of Guiseley, West Yorkshire, and was commissioned by Brook Taverner in a unique partnership with the show organisers, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. Brook Taverner is renowned for its quality tailoring, which will be evident in the day and evening wear featured on the catwalk.
The Skipton Building Society Fashion Pavilion is traditionally seen as a launch pad for budding designers from across the north – and this year is no exception. Collections from students at Bradford School of Art, Northallerton College and York College will be making their debut.
For York College students, it is the chance to display the results of an exciting project which has seen men’s suits donated to the city’s St Leonard’s Hospice shops up-cycled to create dramatic and eye-catching women’s wear. And when the show is over, some of the garments will be auctioned to raise money for the hospice, whilst others will feature in student portfolios. Described by the college as a major British Heritage project, it was the brainchild of John Warburton who spent 45 years in the fashion and textile industry and is now a volunteer at the hospice’s Selby branch as well as Chief Steward for the Great Yorkshire Fashion Shows. The students, who are aged 16 and 17, are in their first year, studying the Extended Diploma in Fashion and Clothing.
Students from the University of Huddersfield will also have the chance to showcase their work at Harrogate, following an exciting partnership between the college and leading disinfectant brand Zoflora. Students on the Costume with Textiles BA (Hons) course are designing and creating costumes to complement Zoflora’s garden at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in July. The top five designs will modelled on the runway at the Great Yorkshire Show where the overall winner will be announced.
Clothing and head-dresses created by students at Bradford School of Art are sure to turn heads. The colourful Frida Khalo-inspired head-dresses and floral blouses and A-line skirts and pencil trousers have all been created by Level 5 students studying on the BA (Hons) Fashion course. Some of the youngest designers showing their collections are from Northallerton School and Sixth Form College. Garments on the catwalk have all been created by AS and A2 students, from the college’s Design and Technology Textiles Department.
The fashion shows take place four times daily in the Skipton Building Society Fashion Pavilion. They are organised by Morton Gledhill – The Fashion Team with hair and makeup by Bradford College.
The Great Yorkshire Show highlights the best of British farming and the countryside with thousands of animals in the competitive classes. The showground’s new £11.5m exhibition hall will make its debut as a food emporium and elsewhere attractions include displays by the motorcycle display team, Bolddog Lings, as well as international show jumping, a Garden Show, Art Show, and more than 1,300 stands with everything from jacuzzis to combine harvesters on display.
For the latest information see www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk