The ultimate showcase for the hottest couture from the world’s catwalks, the Royal Ascot Fashion Show, returns to the Bessborough Restaurant for the five days of Royal Ascot. The catwalk front-liners for this year are the Grand Dame of British fashion and three times
British Designer of the Year, Vivienne Westwood; maestro of milliners, Stephen Jones; fashion’s finest Amanda Wakeley, who recently received an OBE for her services to the fashion industry; entourage to the stars - Matthew Williamson; and the holder of three Royal Warrants, Gieves & Hawkes. On Thursday 17th June only, Ascot is delighted to feature Mary Katrantzou, one of Britain’s newest up and coming designers and winner of the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN award. This exclusive fashion show gives guests a unique insight into the world of fashion where these top British designers will showcase a variety of their collection usually only seen on the international catwalks.
Vivienne Westwood shows off a more edgy look with signature pieces from her Spring/Summer Gold Label 2010 and archive collection. Stephen Jones entertains racegoers to a fresh approach with hats from his ABC Spring/Summer 2010 ready to wear and bespoke range: A is for Art, the art of Japan. B is for Beauty, the beauty of France. C is for Commerce, the commerce of America. Amanda Wakeley showcases outfits from her Spring/Summer 2010 range. Designing the range herself since claiming back her business last year, racegoers will be treated to Grecian draped gowns and togas in egg yolk yellow, grey and peach, unstructured draped blazers, voluminous harem trousers, barely-there swimsuits twisting and turning around the body in raspberry and burnt umber, tulip-shaped skirts and gold sequin mini dresses.
Matthew Williamson uses the Fashion Show catwalk to showcase his Spring/Summer 2010 collection of shift dresses in fine metallic tweeds encrusted with geometric jewels, the exaggerated shoulders adding to the fierce Williamson attitude. A child of the Eighties, the designer has a way of taking some of that decade’s most garish elements and whipping them into a thoroughly modern, super cool new look. Form fitting trousers feature side seams of snakeskin paired with peep toe stiletto boots and cropped biker jackets, while a flash of neon yellow appears in a cowel necked chiffon top tucked into a blue leather pencil skirt.
Gieves and Hawkes will parade their own traditional Morning and Dinner Suits. Recently worn by Dermot O’Leary when hosting the National Television Awards, the slim-fit black dinner suit was finished with hand-sewn piped satin lapels complemented perfectly by a made to measure crisp white shirt, black silk tie and hand-made patent dress shoes. Further styles will be seen on the catwalk of their Morning and Dinner Suit range. Katrantzou’s inspiration is derived from Art and Design. Every season an object or craft inspires a thematic collection and is in turn, translated into Print. First it was oversized jewellery, then it was perfume bottles and then blown glass. Her most recent collection was inspired by 18th century society paintings. The label is defined by its philosophy of subverting wearable art. The daily fashion show, in association with Longines, Snow Queen, Piper Heidsick and Toni & Guy, is one of the highlights of the Royal Meeting where guests can enjoy a show of five sets put on between courses of luncheon and will finish in time for the arrival of the Royal Procession. Gary England, Director of Ascot Hospitality, comments “We are delighted to be supporting British fashion especially at a time when British fashion designers are returning to the UK to showcase their collections. For many of the collections it’s the first time that some of them have been seen on UK soil so guests of the Bessborough restaurant are in for a real treat".
Vivienne Westwood is both iconoclast and a global icon having electrified the world for the last 30 years. She is one of the most inventive and influential designers of our time. Best known for her fearless nonconformity, she also has a profound respect for the past and looks to it for inspiration and however outrageous or provocative the result, her approach has always been practical – this is what makes Vivienne one of fashion’s most respected figures.
Stephen Jones is considered one of the world’s most radical and important milliners of the late 20th and early 21st centuries and is also one of the most prolific, having created hats for the catwalk shows of many leading couturiers and fashion designers. Jones has always made millinery seem modern and compelling. In materials that were often radical, and in designs that ranged from refined to whimsical, his exquisitely crafted, quixotic hats have always encapsulated the fashion mood of the moment.
In the 2010 New Year Honours List Her Majesty The Queen appointed Amanda Wakeley an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). The award, for services to the British Fashion Industry, also recognises the considerable contribution that Amanda makes as founding co-chair of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC). Amanda Wakeley launched her signature label in 1990 and over the last two decades has developed an international reputation for designing stylish, supremely luxurious, womenswear and accessories. She is the winner of several awards including three British Fashion Awards for Glamour. In April 2009, Amanda completed the buy-back of her business, saving over 50 jobs across the United Kingdom. Since then she has relaunched her brand, opened a new flagship store and achieved critical acclaim when she returned to London Fashion Week in September 2009.
The year 2007 marked a 10 year anniversary for Matthew Williamson - he launched in 1997 with his debut Electric Angels show. To celebrate, he curated an exhibition about his work at the Design Museum, London. Matthew Williamson won Red Carpet Designer of the Year at the 2008 British Fashion Awards, previously having been awarded Elle Designer of the Year in 2004 and the 2005 Moet and Chandon Fashion Tribute Award. He has also been nominated 3 times for Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. His entourage have always been a key part of his popularity - whether it was Kate Moss in the early days or latterly Sienna Miller and stylist Bay Garnett, who also worked for him.
Gieves & Hawkes
All over the world, Savile Row stands for the very best in men’s tailoring and so it is fitting that Gieves & Hawkes should be “No 1 Savile Row.” The Company has held three Royal Warrants since 1809, an unbroken record of service to successive Monarchs and members of their families.
One of London’s key emerging talents this season is Mary Katrantzou who has received catwalk sponsorship for the last three seasons as part of NEWGEN from the British Fashion Coucil. NEWGEN is internationally recognised as the leading designer talent identification and support scheme and has become a key draw for the international fashion media and buyers attending London Fashion Week. Katrantzou is fast becoming one of Britain’s top emerging designers following in the footsteps of the late Alexander McQueen, Julien MacDonald and Erdem.
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