Style stakes raised for St Albans Fashion Week 2014

Fairytale of Fashion campaign: Dorothy. Photo by Michelle Becker

Fairytale of Fashion campaign: Dorothy. Photo by Michelle Becker - Credit: Archant

It’s time to dust off your designer threads and practise your best strut, as St Albans Fashion Week is back for its second year, boasting not one, but three catwalk shows.

Models walk the longest indoor catwalk in the UK in St Albans Abbey for the St Albans Fashion Show

Models walk the longest indoor catwalk in the UK in St Albans Abbey for the St Albans Fashion Show - Credit: Archant

From October 27 to November 2, the city will be filled by a whole week of fashion events, styling sessions, and exclusive district wide shopping discounts.

All ages can take part in a styling seminar and high tea, and a charity swap shop. Pop up beauty and hair stations will be dotted across the district, as well as a pop up barbers and bar. A ‘super shopping Saturday’ will also take place on November 1 and participating retailers will offer up to 20 per cent off purchases. As the event is being held during half term entertainment will be available for children while mums and dads shop.

The Cathedral will once again be transformed into a fashion wonderland Anna Wintour would be proud of and will feature the longest catwalk in the UK at 30m, and there will be two additional shows: a Luxe 1930s themed fashion show, and a luxury wedding event.

This year will also have a more concentrated focus on design students and graduates, with fashion business master classes, a presence at the Cathedral Catwalk Show and the newly created Young Designer of the Year awards.

The award will be one of 10 presented in December in a celebration of excellence at the Fashion and Beauty awards.

Organiser and founder of fashion week Ellena Ophira said: “I’m so proud that we have three shows this year.

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“The climax of the week will still be Cathedral Catwalk, which will focus on high street fashion, young talent and local designers, but each show will be a spectacle in its own right with its own unique style, atmosphere and ambiance.

“I want to showcase the incredible fashion and beauty and young and local talent we have on our doorstep and give St Albans a week that people will never forget.”

A promotional campaign based on the fairytale of fashion will soon feature across the district and includes Rapunzel at the Old Monastery, Red Riding Hood at Verulamium Park and Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz at Heartwood Forest.

The Cathedral catwalk will also open with a fairytale sequence where guests can decide for themselves who is the fairest of them all.

Luxe Fashion Show, Porsche Centre Hatfield

A live swing band and Martini bar will transform the showroom at the Porsche Centre in Hatfield into a scene from the 1930s on Monday, October 27 for the Luxe Fashion Show.

The show promises elegance and sophistication as cocktail dresses, tailored tuxes and beautiful lingerie will be modelled. Mike Murphy, principal of Porsche Centre Hatfield said: “We’re committed to supporting our local community and had a very positive experience sponsoring the inaugural St Albans Fashion Week last year. This year we’re delighted to be able to increase our involvement as a headline sponsor of this event and build on our association with what’s growing towards being a highlight in the regional calendar. We’re also very much looking forward to being a host venue for one of the evening events and welcoming everyone to our flagship Porsche Centre.”

Luxury Wedding Event, Hatfield House

Following on from the success of last year’s wedding sequence at the Cathedral, this year will feature a standalone luxury wedding event which will be at Hatfield House on Wednesday, October 29.

In contrast to a traditional wedding fair, guests will be part of the entire wedding experience. A catwalk show will profile every aspect of a wedding, from beautiful gowns by designers including Jenny Packham, bridesmaid dresses, grooms’ tailoring and bridal accessories, through to outfits for guests, honeymoon attire and swimwear.

Guests can meet stylists and the people behind all the other elements of a wedding at a champagne reception, while listening to music from wedding bands and performers. Portions of the room will be styled with a variety of themes so guests can experience the different types of wedding they could have. The event is sponsored by destination specialist Kuoni, with the opportunity for guests to win a luxury trip.

Cathedral Catwalk Show

The Cathedral Catwalk Show will take place on Friday 31 October and will feature more than 40 high street retailers, award winning independent boutiques, vintage specialists and young designers.

Headlining retailers include local boutique The Dressing Room. Owner Deryane Tadd, winner of five Drapers awards and Everywoman Retail Ambassador 2013, said: “St Albans Fashion Week 2013 was a fantastic way to celebrate all that is great about the fashion and beauty scene in St Albans. Just a stone’s throw from London, St Albans has a diverse and market-leading selection of multiples, independent boutiques and salons and the event was a brilliant showcase for us all. The 2014 event is set to be even bigger and better and we’re thrilled to be involved.”

Tickets for all events, apart from the Cathedral fashion show, went on sale today at

A special fashion event will take place at the St Albans Waterstones store on October 30.

Style and confidence coach Chelle Shohet and Want Her Dress will present Shape your Style at the St Peters Street bookstore.

The evening will feature makeovers, fashion and style master classes to demonstrate to people how to flatter your best attributes and how subtle styling can make a huge difference to clothes for different body shapes.

Want Her Dress is an online boutique with headquarters in Hertfordshire run by entrepreneur Carol Hanson. For more information contact Waterstones in St Albans.