The Great Yorkshire Show catwalk set the style bar sky-high this week when it put on a showcase of fashion worthy of a Hollywood red carpet or a Paris runway.
Celebrity couturier James Steward presented special-occasion designs named after local Yorkshire beauty spots. Wetherby-based Steward has created pieces for Kylie Minogue, Victoria Beckham, Katherine Kelly and many soap stars, both for the red carpet and TV, including wedding dresses for Coronation Street. He has twice been named Yorkshire Brides Couture Designer of the Year, and is a designer for BBC TV’s Cbeebies channel, interpreting outfits for reality series Marrying Mum and Dad.
His ready-to-wear collection, designed with his sister, Hannah Moody, drew gasps of delight from the audience, with dresses entitled the Chevin, the Birdsall, the Lockton, the Cropton and the Malton, all made in honour of the county.
The highlight of this year’s catwalk was undoubtedly Steward’s bespoke wedding gown, created especially for the show and incorporating Great Yorkshire Tweed, the beautiful green fabric woven for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society by Abraham Moon & Sons of Guiseley.
This year’s Fashion Pavilion catwalk also saw the debut of John Lewis Leeds, showcasing an impressive range of autumn/winter 2017 daywear and outerwear looks for women and men. The looks were styled by the store’s personal shopping team and featured designs from its And/Or, Kin and Loved & Found collections, and from Yorkshire brand Pure Collection, which is stocked in the Leeds store.
Highlighting the retail giant’s commitment to giving a platform to local talent, the Kin by John Lewis selection included pieces by Yorkshire textile and fashion designer Laura Slater.
Georgia Earnshaw, from John Lewis, said: “It was fantastic to be part of the Great Yorkshire Show catwalk and showcase a preview of our autumn/inter collections. Our Leeds department store is soon to mark its one-year anniversary and being a part of this iconic Yorkshire event has been the perfect way to celebrate.”
And, on Tuesday, stars of Yorkshire sport and screen joined the models on the GYS catwalk to showcase the countrywear crafted in Great Yorkshire Tweed.
Cricketer Ryan Sidebottom joined former Leeds Rhino player Keith Senior, Yorkshire vets Julian Norton and Peter Wright and BBC TV presenters Amy Garcia and Abbie Dewhurst to model the striking range, as Harry Gration joined regular GYS catwalk host Claire Montgomery to introduce them
Last year’s show saw the launch of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society men’s jackets, created by Keightley tailors Brook Taverner and made in the tweed, woven in the YAS’s green and gold colours by Abraham Moon & Sons. This year women’s jackets have been introduced, impressively modelled by Amy and Abbie.
Meanwhite, the men’s range has been expanded. Ryan Sidebottom confirmed that he was pleased with his outfit. “It fits perfect, looks smart and it’s Yorkshire. You can’t get better than than that,” he said as he waited backstage before the show.
This year also sees the launch of a competition to find the Great Yorkshire Show’s most stylish people. Visitors, exhibitors and competitors are invited to take a picture of themselves or a friend/colleague/relative at the show and post on Twitter and/or Instagram using the hashtag #GYScatwalk to win a John Lewis Leeds personal shopping session, lunch and beauty treatment for two.
The catwalk has become a highlight of Great Yorkshire Show, and is regarded as a prestigious platform for the best of Yorkshire fashion, attracting major high-street names alongside independent designers and up-and-coming graduates from colleges across the county.
There were four shows a day, featuring a 12-strong team of male and female models from Huddersfield-based agency Morton Gledhill The Fashion Team, which also co-ordinates the runway.
Each year, students from Yorkshire colleges and universities are selected to showcase their work. Designers from Harrogate College, Hull College of Art and Design and the University of Huddersfield took part, while hair and make-up was by Harrogate College’s Artistic Team. The University of Huddersfield presented designs from a tailoring project, using cloth donated by Abraham Moon & Sons.
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