There’s more to the Great Yorkshire Show than tractors, sheep and pigs, you know. As a major highlight of the Yorkshire social calendar, it’s a time for putting your most stylish foot forward, albeit in a practical and effortless, mainly dressed-down kind of way (that showground is huge - and sometimes you need to watch where you’re putting your feet).
The Fashion Pavilion has been playing out all week to packed houses. In fact, it was standing room only when Anita Rani, Bradford-born star of Countryfile and Strictly Come Dancing, stepped out for the Kuoni Catwalk celebrity VIP fashion show, accompanied by a stylish troupe of Yorkshire celebrities.
On the catwalk, she looked every inch the professional model dressed in a statement red gown by John Lewis, joined by soprano Lizzie Jones, also in a red showstopper by James Steward, the Wetherby-based red carpet and special occasion designer who has created show-stopping pieces for celebrities including Kylie Minogue and Victoria Beckham.
Meanwhile, Olympic show jumper Graham Fletcher looked suitably suave while wearing Barbour. Completing the celebrity model line-up were Yorkshire ITV stars Jon Mitchell, also dressed by Barbour, and John Shires, modelling Brook Taverner.
Another first for the fashion pavilion was Shepherdess, a beautiful collection of tweed tailoring by Yorkshire hill farmer Alison O’Neill, bringing the sheep to chic and showing the world how slow fashion can be streets aheads. New lifestyle brand Huff Equestrian also made its debut on the Kuoni Catwalk with its effortlessly chic range of clothes and accessories designed to be worn both on and off the horse.
The Great Yorkshire Show catwalk has become an increasingly popular and prestigious platform for British and Yorkshire fashion, with renowned High Street names choosing it to showcase their collections alongside both established and emerging local designers and talented students.
As well as a preview of John Lewis and Barbour’s autumn/winter collections, this year also featured a special sartorial tribute to celebrate the 160th Great Yorkshire Show, with designs by up-and-coming designer, Joanna Rishworth, a graduate of Harrogate College, who has researched and recreated what people would have worn to the very first Great Yorkshire Show, held in York in 1838, using cloth from Abraham Moon of Guiseley, tailored by Keighley-based menswear brand, Brook Taverner, which also showcased its beautiful new Minster tweed collection.
Showcasing emerging designers has become an important aspect of the Fashion Pavilion. This year saw another Harrogate College graduate, Berenice Gilmour, among those lucky enough to have been selected to show their designs. She launched her label Drunk in Love Couture, which offers alternative wedding dresses, while Barnsley College students brought their Egyptian-themed designs to life on the Kuoni Catwalk for the first time.
Not to be outdone, the Great Yorkshire Show itself has launched a range of T-shirts, polos, rugby shirts and caps, while the YAS tweed collection, hugely popular since its launch last year, and featuring jackets and caps, was also showcased.
Devised and run by Morton-Gledhill: The Fashion Team, and with hair and make-up by White Rose Beauty Colleges, with front of house presided over by head steward John Warburton, this was another stylish year to remember on the Great Yorkshire Show catwalk. Roll on next year.