On Wednesday night, I trotted down to Manchester’s Urbis museum along with my guest, VIP tickets and notepad in hand. For one night only, the Urbis was transformed into a fashion paradise for Harvey Nichols S/S 2010 fashion show, in collaboration with Irish artist Helen Steele.
I went down a little bit earlier to catch up with Helen Steele herself, where we talked about her career as an artist, how it has led her to collaborate with fashion, her own personal style and a little bit of banter about Irish life. Dressed in silver sequins and figure hugging trousers, Helen looked every inch the model herself as she spoke to me about her favourite designers and her creative wardrobe.
After a champagne reception and a rummage around our VIP Pinko goody bags (you know your being looked after when there’s Versace face powder in the bag), the show was about to begin. To reflect Steele’s painting style, the catwalk was splattered with UV Paint in a rainbow of neon colours, along with paint drenched theatre-style curtains, to reveal the line up of models. The show kicked off with a screening of a short film by Steele which shown the audience her usual painting style, painting with her fingers and throwing paints at a model wearing a beautifully structured long dress. Seconds later, the model appeared on the catwalk to begin the show wearing a shortened version of Steele’s paint splattered dress.
The show, entitled ‘Playday’, showcased a range of lovely garments being thrust down the catwalk by the male and female models, and the beautiful artistic backdrops complimented the array of bold colours before our eyes. The men played up colourful styles, lots of bold aqua’s, violets and pinks from the boys, where as the girls wore a mixtures of soft pastels, with the exception of a lot of bold blues coming through.
The show was split into 11 different sections:
The Talented Mr Ripley Inspired by the classic film, think rolled up chinos and crisp polo shirts
Feminine Military Khaki and neutrals, practical and polished
Artisan Bold prints and patterns, bursts of fun and colour. Influenced by 90s Brit Pop Hacienda age.
Natural World Nature is the ultimate muse. Floral, intense colours and shapes.
The Great Outdoors Brave and masculine, see checked shirts and gilets worn with swimming trunks and trucker caps.
Scuba Chic Panelling and body-conscious bandaging, channels various sports, shapes inspired by American Football.
Long Live McQueen Paying a tribute t Mr McQueen.
Urban Cowboy Hardworking and industrial, builders and workmen become unexpected fashion uses. Think double denim, hard-wearing boots and buckled belts, very masculine.
Fairytale Ultra feminine. Layering chiffons for a delicate look, synonymous with the princess of childhood fairytales. Subtle colours.
Brideshead Revisited Tailoring and textures that hark back at the 1920s. Blazers with shirts complemented with scarves and floral ties. Laid back summer…
Red Carpet Style Embrace classic glamour, elegant dresses with skyscraper heels. Injecting ‘Old Hollywood’ style for a modern silhouette.
My favorite sections for ladies wear had to be Fairytale for its iridescent fabrics and pretty styling, and Red Carpet style for its ultimate glamour. For the men, I enjoyed the Urban Cowboy look, it was very on trend with its updated take on checked shirts and hard-wearing boots. I also enjoyed the Great Outdoors section, but maybe more for the trail of men strutting down the catwalk in swimming trunks and swimming trunks only!
Here are a selection of photos from the event, and check out my interview with Helen Steele under my “Who Emma Interviewed” tab.