Cymru Culture

Fashion and Designers / Ffasiwn a Dylunwyr

Prêt-à-porter; Cardiff Fashion Week 2016

(December 01, 2016)

Isabelle Herring

Cardiff Fashion Week 2016

CFW logo

Cardiff Fashion Week 2016 launched at Maserati's Penarth Road showroom. It was highly glamorous affair, with everyone dressed for the occassion, and we were surrounded by the beautiful Maserati cars! I couldn’t stop looking at them!

Scarlet Etoile at CFW2016 VIP event - Jessica Burt Photography
Models showcasing designs by Scarlet Etoile at CFW2016 VIP event
Image: Jessica Burt Photography

The main reason to attend the event was to get a first glance at some of the collections which were to be featured in the main catwalk event the following week. I also had the chance to mingle and meet with some of the designers who were showing during the week, as well as being able to view the work by the students from the University of South Wales first hand on mannequins. The university also had a visually exciting short film looping in the corner of the room. It gave an insight into the inspiration behind their collection, which really showed their uniqueness as an educational institution. Thanks to Dirty Martini for providing cocktails and goodie bag on the night, and the official Cardiff Fashion Week cupcakes were lovely!


Dirty Martini at CFW2016 VIP event - Jessica Burt Photography CFW2016 VIP event - Jessica Burt Photography
Dirty Martini at CFW2016 VIP event
Image: Jessica Burt Photography
CFW2016 VIP event
Image: Jessica Burt Photography

At the end of the evening a short presentation was given by some of the people that made the week possible, including stylist, Wenda James-Rowe, who highlighted the individual looks she styled for the catwalk shows and featured designs from the key Welsh designers featuring in Cardiff Fashion Week.

CFW2016 VIP event - Jessica Burt Photography

CFW2016 VIP event - Jessica Burt Photography CFW2016 VIP event - Jessica Burt Photography
CFW2016 VIP event
Images: Jessica
at Maserati, Cardiff
Burt Photography

The following week, a friend and I attended Cardiff Fashion Week's catwalk show. This was my first opportunity to view any of the major fashion week events in person, so Cardiff was the perfect spot. The venue was so beautiful and very fitting for the type of garments shown on the catwalk space. The venue was the wonderful Masonic Hall in Cardiff’s city centre. It is a stunning piece of architecture and really set the scene for the fashion week event. Before being given our seats for the catwalk event, we had the chance to browse some of the designers' pieces that were for sale.

The designers featured on the catwalk included Welsh designers Clare Johns, Jaxxon House, The Power of Greyskull and Emiah Elliot. We were also given an insight into the new A/W16 collections from the Cardiff-based retailer Peacocks.

Another designer to exhibit their latest collection was high street department franchise, House of Fraser, who showed a selection of womenswear and menswear pieces. In terms of the womenswear collection, their pieces could be considered to be very bold and definitely party-season ready with the beading embellishment used. The fabrics used within this collection included extremely light fabrics, such as chiffon and mesh, as well as metallics and leopard faux fur, which is a huge trend this season. I found that a few of the pieces had a slight sport luxe feel to them, with the striping on garments and the oversized style of the bomber jacket featuring within the collection. Black was the main colour, contrasted with bright colours.

House of Fraser's menswear collection was fairly simple, but modern and casual, with the inspiration from current trends. The standout pieces from the exhibition were the long line blazers and the bowler hat as an accessory piece. The main colours were navy and different shades of purple. Monochrome garments also featured.

Pembrokeshire-based womenswear designer and Carmarthen School of Art alumni, Kai Stewart is the creator of the fashion brand Jaxxon House. Her latest collection showing on the catwalk during Cardiff Fashion Week is best described as evening wear. The overall feel of the garments shown was very feminine and delicate. One of my favourite outfits from the collection was a white lace outfit with translucent sections. The main colours were navy and white and the collection had a lot of draped garments, making the outfits unique. Stewart also featured brocade fabrics, and lace.

CFW2016 Jaxxon House, Narberth CFW2016 Jaxxon House
Jaxxon House
Images: Nigel
, Narbeth

Penarth-based fashion designers, The Power of Greyskull also exhibited their latest work; their new collection of colourful leggings. Their collection was very athletic and sports influenced, due to the tight-fitted nature of the garments. Their overall theme was mixed, with aquatic, illustrative and science based themes being portrayed throughout. One of my favourite items from the collection would have to be the unicorn and rainbow themed leggings. Their multi-coloured collection seemed to have no predominant colour theme.

CFW2016 Power of Greyskull, Image: Nigel Fitzgibbons CFW2016 Power of Greyskull, Image: Nigel Fitzgibbons
Power of
Images: Nigel

The collaborative collection by the recent graduates of the University of South Wales was a large feature within the catwalk show. Their exhibit was split into two separate sections, one featuring near the beginning of the show and one near the end. The collection, titled Self, was genderless. The overall theme of the first part of the collection was quite grungy, oversized and included a lot of layering of different garments, perhaps inspired by Japanese designers such as Yohji Yamamoto. Self featured some really creative design techniques such as fabric origami on a dress, as well as mesh inserts. I found the mixture of different fabrics really interesting, such as the use of cotton and velvet together. The colour scheme was mainly monochrome, with a hint of nude colours and reds, really helping to convey their genderless theme. I found the collection to be really visually intriguing and I really liked the use of the mouthpieces.

CFW2016 Self, Image: Nigel Fitzgibbons CFW2016 Self, Image: Nigel Fitzgibbons
University of South
Images: Nigel
Wales collection, Self

The second half of the show was more detail focused, with more fastenings being featured as well as ruching on sleeves. Although fairly similar to the previous section, due to the layering and oversized fit of the majority of the garments exhibited, the colour scheme had the addition of mustard yellow. I really like the way that some of the outfits within this section were styled, especially with the knee high socks and the Timberland boots.

Power of Greyskull's leggings collection was my favourite collection of this year's show. I loved how colourful and visually different their work was compared to other designers shown. I really enjoyed the catwalk show and seeing the latest collections from both Welsh designers and retailers first hand. Cardiff Fashion Week 2016 has been a tremendous success in highlighting up and coming Welsh designers and I am already looking forward to Cardiff Fashion Week 2017.

Isabelle Herring, December 2016

More info on the designers in our Cardiff Fashion Week 2016 preview

If you liked this, you will enjoy these from Isabelle too:
     Role models, September 2016
     Fashion Week Australia S/S 2016, June 2016
     New York Fashion Week F/W 2016; March 2016

     bloggers and vloggers; December 2015

     Review: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty; October 2015
     Festival essentials; June 2015

     New York Fashion Week F/W 2015; March 2015

     Does size really matter?; December 2014
     Looking for value?; September 2014

Isabelle blogs on fashion as Isabelle Rachel!

… and her other pages:
     Facebook: issy.herring
     Blog Facebook page: isabellerachelblog
     Twitter: @IssyHerring
     Instagram: issyherring
     Pinterest: issyherring


cylchgrawn Cymru Culture magazine
Published by/Cyhoeddwyd gan:
Caregos Cyf., 2016

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