STRICTLY Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke proved he can cut it in the style stakes after hosting the VIP launch event for Solihull’s first ever Fashion Week.
The dancer took to the runway alongside ITV newsreader Sameena Ali-Khan to introduce the spectacular Fashion Show with nine different catwalk scenes themed around a Great British Summer.
More than 150 guests attended the red-carpet event at the Ramada Hotel, which saw spring and summer collections from high street brands alongside Solihull’s bustling independent boutiques and stylists.
The evening’s fashion scenes included ‘The Yacht Club’, with clothing from John Lewis, ‘The Flower Show’, featuring independent store Aspire, Oasis, Laura Ashley and shoe store Office and menswear from T.M. Lewin and Gant, ‘Game, Set and Match’, featuring House of Fraser and ‘Shop Til You Drop’, with all fashions from Touchwood stores Monsoon, Next and French Connection.
A ‘Special Invitation’ scene displayed stunning bridal wear provided by Brides of Solihull with menswear from Moss Bros.
Fashion Week, organised by Solihull BID and supported by Mell Square shopping centre and John Lewis, was four days of town centre shows, demos, special offers and promotions, which took place between Thursday and Sunday.
At the heart of activity was the Mell Square Style Arena with pop-up displays and demos throughout the weekend.
On Friday stylist to the stars, Andrew Barton, who appeared on TV show Ten Years Younger, and has a salon in Harrods, held a series of style demos and Q&As hosted by Sameena Ali-Khan.
On Saturday an open casting took place to find Solihull’s next top models, run in conjunction with Alan Sharman Agency, which works with some of the country’s leading casting directors and fashion brands.
Solihull BID Executive Director Melanie Palmer said: Thursday’s Fashion Show exceeded all my expectations.
“It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying Anton’s company and getting to see first-hand the great fashion offer in Solihull town centre from high street favourites to independent stores.”
Meanwhile guests to Touchwood enjoyed a touch of glamour on Saturday, as the shopping centre played host to a vibrant, fashion-focussed event featuring a dedicated men’s catwalk show.
New spring-summer trends and must-have styling ideas from many of the centre’s designer, high street and independent retailers including Superdry, French Connection and GAP were showcased.
On Sunday it was the kid’s turn to strut their stuff on the Touchwood runway, with live themed fashion shows throughout the day including ‘Holiday Shop’, ‘Let’s Party’ and ‘Sports Day’, featuring the latest looks from River Island, John Lewis, Monsoon and more.
Lucy Burnett, Marketing Manager for Touchwood said: “We were thrilled to play our part in the town’s first ever Fashion Week.
“It was a great opportunity for us to display the new styles that are coming into our stores for the summer season, from renowned high street retailers through to independent boutiques and designer stores. Events like this bring a real buzz to the centre as there is something for everyone and its great way for families to kick-back and enjoy the weekend.”