Suffolk Fashion Show highlights - Christchurch Creative

Autumn’s already here, and don’t we know it, as it’s feeling oh-so chilly outdoors. In fact, this cooler weather should provide the perfect excuse for updating this year’s wardrobe, don’t you think?! So, with this in mind, surely the Suffolk Fashion Show is the one event you should have on your radar. You can even help raise money for charity, too, as each year they choose to support and raise money for one local organisation. This year, it was second time running for the domestic abuse charity, Lighthouse Women’s Aid in Ipswich, a very worthy cause.

Suffolk fashion show before shot

Catwalk collections

This annual extravaganza has in fact become a firm favourite for our director. After all, this is the best chance for Suffolk dwellers to see stunning, ready-to-wear collections on the catwalk. What’s more, you’ll find you can buy the things you see the very next day. So read on to discover our director Sarah’s take on this glamorous fashion show and just a handful of the latest looks you’ll want to wear!

Personal invitation

When Lighthouse Dental Practice invited me to attend this fashion show, naturally, I was excited. I was there last year, you see, so I knew just what to expect. Catwalk model and style guru, Pam Davis of Fashion Candy Style, who offers everything from style advice to personal shopping, is the brains and beauty behind the Suffolk Fashion Show. And, as a result, this highly successful brand has evolved for seven successful years and it continues to grow. Well, what a night it turned out to be! I discovered a whole host of long-lasting trends you can choose from, as fast fashion is taking a step back to make way for the more savvy shopper. So, in no particular order…

fashion show Laura Jane Boutique on the catwalk

Scandi chic

Looking for chic, pared-back styling in your wardrobe this season? Well, Laura Jane Boutique can help you channel this style with their Scandinavian cool collection for the autumn/winter season. Easy and effortless, choose muted shades with plenty of layering for a cosy take on this gorgeous genre.

Bolton Bros fashion show Bolton Eco Collection

Fashion designers

Sustainable fashion has always been a firm favourite for me. So, I loved local knitwear designer Francesca.R.Palumbo‘s new collection parading down the catwalk. Francesca takes inspiration from the world around her and she uses a unique colour wave which she knits on a domestic knitting machine.

Taking sustainability to another level this year, fashion designer Florence Bolton-Smith is definitely one to watch. This was, in fact, her first ever collection with fellow designer Viola Williams, which she says was challenging but well worth the positive reaction she received at this year’s fashion show.

Florence is the daughter of Jodi Bolton-Smith, director of Bolton Brothers, Suffolk’s leading recycling and waste management company. In fact, this firm was also a Suffolk Fashion Show sponsor. However, I think Florence has found her own way in which to interpret the ever important recycling message, through fashion. She describes her collection as ‘Christian Dior meets Alexander McQueen’ – so, unapologetically feminine with dramatic styling.

Fashion Show highlights houndstooth coat Cake and Catwalk

The check

The kimonos definitely caught my eye as I’m always looking for a layering solution, which is lightweight. They’re just so versatile too, as you can pair them anything, from jeans to skirts. Showcased at this year’s fashion show, you can buy this traditional Japanese garment from Cake & Catwalk, owned by Lynn Turner. Other highlights from this trendy independent include a whole host of easy to wear smart casual looks for the new season. Loved the beautiful check coat too – yes, checks are back in vogue people, from wraparound scarves to trousers and in a whole host of styles, from tartan to houndstooth.

Casual appeal

Loving the casual look for work lately and I think Truffle has nailed it with their ready-to-wear collection at this year’s fashion show. The owner, Arabella, showcased a capsule collection of casual jackets teamed with cropped trousers, but her check print knitted dress in mustard and tan made my heart miss a beat. Teamed with a reversible teddy-style coat, you can take your pick from faux sherling or suede for more smart casual appeal!

Simply Splendid fashion show

Evening wear

Whether you’ve got a prom or charity ball on the horizon, I soon discovered Simply Splendid is the place to go. With literally hundreds of dresses in a whole host of styles and sizes to choose from, there is something for everyone. What I like about this brand is that they guarantee no-one will have the same dress on at the same event! This way, you’re guaranteed to be belle of the ball.

Truffle and Pink Ostrich fashion show

Dress it up

If you’re planning to splash the cash on some new-season favourites, a day-to-evening dress must feature in your capsule wardrobe. From designer monochrome beauties, which I spotted from Truffle, to beautiful bold brights, from Pink Ostrich, there seems to be a pattern and colour way to suit everyone this season. Loved the look of this black and red number from Pink Ostrich and just couldn’t believe the reasonable price.

Moss Bross and Twist N Shout at fashion show

Menswear

Slim fit or tailored, whatever your preference, it seems jackets and suits will prove popular in blues and beiges for autumn winter. Check is in for men too, as Moss Bros demonstrated perfectly at this year’s fashion show.

Meanwhile, the casual look is still going strong in menswear this season with a collection of ultra-stylish pared-back styles for everyday wear from Hall Street.

For the husband, he’s a big fan of the patterned shirt so he was looking out for Twist N Shout‘s new collection. And, he tells me, they didn’t disappoint with statement shirts aplenty at this event. Wear them open or closed, floral prints are one of the biggest menswear trends to emerge from the 2020 spring/summer catwalks so why not start now?

What a night! It was great fun and there were so many great brands there. I hope to cover some who didn’t make the cut over on Stories on my Instagram feed, so watch this space!
As the future of the high street is changing for the better and more independents could flourish, we caught up with Fi Coe from independent department store Coes. Read all about her take on womenswear and a snapshot of her life right here.