Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Bath in Fashion Festival: Style in the City

This month sees one of Britain's key fashion cities celebrating its style connections with the Bath in Fashion festival. From 13th-21st April there will be a packed schedule of events and exhibitions to help you indulge your inner fashionista, whether you're into the stunning photography of Norman Parkinson or the modern super stylist Rebekah Roy. Here are some of the highlights:

Mouvements de Femmes: Roland Mouret in conversation with Susanna Frankel (Grazia's Fashion Director) - Monday 15th April, The Octagon at Milsom Place

He's known for iconic dresses such as the Galaxy, seen on A-listers and widely copied by the high street, but you'll see him in a new light here, as the curator of Norman Parkinson's photography exhibition. Obviously someone who appreciates the female form, Mouret will be grilled by the brilliant Susanna Frankel, so expect some juicy soundbites. Tickets cost £20 from Visit Bath.

Fashion illustration of a woman in a black dress, by David Downton

 Downton's timeless painted illustrations are worth seeing. [Image via]

David Downton's Illustration Masterclass with model Jade Parfitt - Saturday 20th April, The Grange Suite in the Bath Spa Hotel

I was lucky enough to hear Downton speak at the London College of Fashion a few years ago, where I sat in the audience taking copious notes and lapping up every word - I'm utterly in awe of his work and even used him as inspiration for my AS-Level Art project, back in the day. You'll know a Downton illustration for its expressive and fluid lines, celebrity subjects such as Dita Von Teese and its minimalist finish; he's also the fashion illustrator in residence at Claridges and creates unforgettable couture and catwalk imagery. Tickets have sold out for this event, so if you've managed to score one then I'm incredibly jealous.

BathVA's Vintage Fashion Fair Special - Sunday 21st April, Green Park Station

In a place with so much history, it's only right that vintage style gets a look-in here. Get your hair fixed up like a true retro lady (Marcel wave? Victory rolls? Yes, please) and browse over 50 stalls selling the very best local finds. There's even a dance troupe to entertain you as you shop - what more could you want, except a man in a classic car? Yep, they'll have them too. Entry is free and it runs from 9:30am to 4:00pm, so there's plenty of time to track down a bargain, but you may want to get there early for the best selection (of vintage, not men in cars). 

Aside from these picks, there will be plenty of exhibitions at the Holburne Museum, including 50 Fabulous Frocks and an installation by artist Julie Verhoeven, or you can pop to the famous Fashion Museum to see the Dress of the Year 2012. In between all of this, you might want to explore the Roman Baths or take a boat trip down the river, as I've done when I've visited over the years.

With talks, art displays and pop-up shops to check out, there really is something for everyone on the festival schedule. Well done to Visit Bath for an incredible line-up - I just wish I could be there myself!

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