The whole event kicked off with a spectacular fashion show in St Stephen’s on Thursday 29th April which heralded the end of St Stephen’s Stylist of the Year competition – a month long celebration of fashion in conjunction with Hull College. After four weeks and over 2,000 votes, shoppers excitedly gathered within St Stephen’s for a series of three spring summer fashion shows, featuring this season’s leading trends. Nearly 1,000 shoppers watched the ten gorgeous models strut their stuff on the catwalk, showcasing clothes from retailers within the centre in categories such as ‘preppy’ and ‘dress to impress’.
The tension mounted as finalists from the Stylist of the Year competition saw their creations on the catwalk for the first time, and a panel of leading industry experts decided their fate. Laura Kenyon was announced as the winner; having styled an outfit inspired by this season’s key military trend and she walked off with the top prize of a week-long internship with award winning couture designer, James Steward.
Meanwhile the Unique Boutique shows in Queen Victoria Square got off to the best possible start with a performance from ex-Pop Idol star, Roxanne, who gave her version of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Shortly after, and under the watchful eyes of presenters Paul and Rosie from Viking FM’s Breakfast Show, the models took to the catwalk, showcasing fashion from the city’s leading independent retailers such as Leonard Silver, Bolo, Slaters and Scarlet’s Boudoir. Students from Wilberforce College and Hull College’s Hair Beauty and Catering Department were also on hand to give free nail painting and hair styling. Meanwhile over in The Prospect Centre, beauty was the main theme, with people queuing up to have their hair put in curls and their faces made up professionally.
Saturday saw more catwalk action in the Unique Boutique including The Colour Lounge transforming Viking FM’s Rosie and Hull College’s students doing a Street Dance. In particular there was the showcasing of the Fashion Week t-shirt competition, featuring children from six local primary schools who were given the opportunity to design a t-shirt which were manufactured into an adult t-shirt that were all shown as part of the catwalk show on Saturday. The winning designs were judged by Kathryn Shillito, Hull City Centre BID Manager who said: "I am delighted so many schools and children have taken part in this exciting project. The t-shirts add another element to our Fashion Week and I hope the children enjoy seeing their designs on the models."
Princes Quay also played a major role in the Fashion Week and on Saturday played host to a full day of fashion related activity. Using the Quay’s central atrium which acted as a natural amphitheatre, there were a variety of popular fashion shows throughout the day featuring clothes and designs from stores within the Quay. These were all expertly presented by well known local journalist Helen Philpot. Shoppers also took part in Primark’s Dress for Less competition while shoppers also enjoyed regular performances from local groups and dance troupes.
"Princes Quay is one of the city’s top spots for fashion retail so it was great to have them so involved in our Fashion Week and to be able to take the latest designs directly to the shoppers in the Quay," commented Kathryn Shillito. She added that she was delighted with how the Fashion Week event had gone overall, "We’ve had some tremendous collaboration with the shopping centres, major department stores and city centre independent shops. Overall the events have exceeded our expectations and the feedback so far from both contributors and the public has been very positive."