St Albans Fahion Week comes to cathedral

St Albans Fashion Week

St Albans Fashion Week - Credit: Archant

Forget London, Paris and Milan – St Albans is the latest stylish city to host its own Fashion Week, and with the longest front row in the UK and a glittering guest list the show is set to be a sell-out.

Brought to the district by stylist Ellena Ophira, St Albans Cathedral and the Mayor of St Albans, the inaugural charity event will see the fashion pack descend on the city for seven days at the end of October for a flurry of catwalk shows, workshops and VIP dinners.

On November 1 an army of models will strut their stuff down the nave of the cathedral – the longest in the UK – and treat guests to the latest fashions from the district’s boutiques and retailers, before concluding in a bridal sequence featuring gowns from British fashion designer Jenny Packham.

The women and menswear fashion on the catwalk will come from high-end boutiques and designers from the district, including a collection from the Lovestruck label famously worn by Kate Middleton and co-owned by St Albans residents David Kellard and Jeremy Foster.

Labels also lined up for the runway include Paul Smith, Day Birker Et Mikkelson, American Vintage, J-Brand and Topshop.

There will also be new collections from up and coming local designers and an award for the best emerging fashion designer talent.

Ellena is no stranger to fashion as proven by her successful blog Style in my City, which is set to launch in print for the upcoming event.

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The Cambridge graduate said: “From the moment I started Style in my City, I wanted to organise a city wide fashion show, but from there the idea just grew and grew.

“St Albans is such a stylish place and I wanted to promote our great city and the amazing talent here by bringing the community together to create something spectacular.”

Ellena sung the “wonderful and generous” Cathedral’s praises and said they hugely contributed to bringing the venture to life.

She added: “It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to showcase the fantastic work that goes on here in our awe-inspiring Cathedral. It doesn’t hurt to have the longest indoor Front Row either.”

Ellena said: “We have an award-winning collection of retailers and designers in St Albans and fashion is a very important part of the culture and life in this city, and is a serious industry across Hertfordshire.”

No show would be complete without a stellar front row and the cream of the St Albans crop have already confirmed their attendance at the show.

Guests include Confessions of a Fashionista author Angela Clarke will be in prime position to view the latest trends, as will Deryane Tadd, owner of the award-winning The Dressing Room, and patron of the fashion week Mayor of St Albans Cllr Annie Brewster.

Cllr Brewster said: “The whole week peaking with the extravagant show in our magnificent Cathedral exemplifies how the city’s heritage and contemporary assets sit comfortably side by side. It will be a tremendous showcase for our city and district.”

Style-fanatics can brush up on their fashion knowledge at a range of night-time events.

Author Angela Clarke will be reading excerpts from her novel which follows her time in the cut-throat fashion industry at a VIP dinner on October 30 at 7.30pm at a top local restaurant. Style guru Amanda Slader, of John Lewis, plans to set up shop on November 1 and teach residents their personal best colours and looks over a leisurely lunch.

Christopher Place will come alive the following day with a showcase of the latest looks for children.

Could you be the next Kate? Or are you as graceful as Gisele?

If you think you’ve got the walk and the look for the catwalk get down to St Albans Town Hall on Monday, October 7, between 3-8pm as fashion week organisers are holding a casting for models.

Those interested do not need previous experience but will need to ooze confidence and demonstrate their best runway walk.

A panel including representatives from the Herts Advertiser, St Albans Mayor Annie Brewster, Lady Camilla Cecil and Amanda Slader, manager of fashion and personal styling at John Lewis will pick the very best catwalk queens or kings they see on the day.

Models must be 16 or over, available all day on November 1 and are required to bring a close up photo of their face and a full length picture.

For more information on how you can take part email

St Albans Fashion Week will run from October 28 to November 3. All proceeds will be divided between The Mayor’s Charity, Ian Rennie Grove House Hospice, The Dream Foundation and the Cathedral Abbey Church of St Alban. For more information visit