Two weekends ago, Louise from Pauper to Princess invited me along to the Enliven Designer-Maker & Fashion Fair in Eastleigh. Louise has her finger on the pulse when it comes to fashion and has a passion for thrift shopping – make sure to visit her blog for a mix of vintage and charity shop finds for under a fiver! Louise and I met at the Bournemouth Bloggers Clothes Swap a few months back and one of her vintage skirts was among the collection of clothing I picked up at the event!
I too have a love of fashion and thrift, so jumped at the chance to attend the designer fair just outside Southampton, Hampshire. Louise and I travelled up to Eastleigh together just in time for The Sorting Office & Enliven catwalk show. Enliven is a project supported by internationally acclaimed designers Wayne Hemingway MBE and Philip Treacy OBE. The catwalk show featured clothing made by budding fashion designers who had worked with charity shops to create unique upcycled fashion collections. It was great to see everything from curtains to ties that may have ended up in landfill recycled into new garments.
Between shows, Louise and I browsed the stalls of the designer fair and met a few of the makers. There were some really unique pieces from jewellery makers, furniture upcyclers and home ware designers. My favourite stall came from Carly Mann, who is a contemporary glass and mixed media artist – her pieces were so eclectic and unique. I wish I’d purchased something!
We ended the day watching the rehearsal of the Southampton Solent University graduate fashion show. The show was taking place that evening and featured 30 collections from the students. It was great to see a few sneak peeks and I was blown away with the talent! Many of the collections featured printed silks, cutaway details and jewel-coloured fabrics. Here’s a few pictures I took of the rehearsal but you can find the official photos of the evening show over on the university’s Facebook page.
I hope to attend more fashion and design events like this one. They’re a great way to get inspired and I may have even picked up a few ideas for some DIY projects myself… watch this space!