You’ve been to Paris, New York and Milan Fashion Weeks; well, now there is one right on your door step. Strike a pose this week at Forest Hill’s Fashion Week, 15-19 February.
Forest Hill Fashion Week (FHFW) is staging events to tickle the stylish fancy of all the family. With collections from local designers showcased, in-store events in boutique outlets Bunka, Stag & Bow and Doopo Doopo, textile and accessory workshops, fashion and jewellery upcycling, frock-swapping, markets, catwalk shows (including a dress-up catwalk for children) and even a fashion party where you can strut your stuff and strike a pose on the catwalk – there really is going to be something for everyone.
Mary Jane Baxter, Milliner and author of Chic on a Shoestring, will be running a workshop to reveal how old clothes can be given a new lease of fashionable life. Local couture designer Katharine Harrison’s latest collection will be appearing not only at London and Paris Fashion Weeks, but also at a catwalk show at Canvas and Cream on Tuesday 19 February.
The SEE3 Town Team is supported by the Mayor of London’s Portas Pilot programme, which is nurturing town teams and helping increase the vibrancy and growth of high street places across London. Lewisham Council is providing an additional £137,000 to help rejuvenate the SEE3 high streets of Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill with new street markets, start-up opportunities for new businesses and creative exhibitions.
Louise Brooks, one half of The Shop Revolution team, had a few moments to have a chat with me to explain why she’s so excited about staging FHFW. “Forest Hill has become a hub for designer-makers and fashionable boutiques in recent years and so it is an ideal time to stage a celebration of local design talent and style. And of course the event will see the opening of our latest pop up shop SEE Boutique on Dartmouth Road, with pop up tenants Love Ur Look selling their fabulous reproduction vintage outfits.”
Penelope Else, the other half of the team and known for her local Frockcycle fashion-upcycling events, says “I love how the local shops have so enthusiastically joined in the Fashion Week, realising what an opportunity this is to reach a new audience, and providing such creativity for the visitors. I hope this becomes a regular feature in Forest Hill’s calendar.”
Love Ur Look will be the newest pop up shop tenants from SEE3, who have previously introduced three businesses to the high streets of Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill in December and a fourth in January in Sydenham.
The aim of the SEE3 team is to provide a springboard for businesses to trial their concept in the high street and to stimulate long-term demand for empty shops. With The Butchery, who had a pop up shop at Christmas in Forest Hill, opening the doors of their permanent shop later this month, they have a pretty good track record for bringing businesses to the high street that meet the needs of the community.
Personally I can’t wait to get creative and upcycle my old season’s clothes to a new spring/summer collection!
A full list of all events taking place during FHFW can be found at www.see3.co.uk/fhfw, it looks like Forest Hill is going to be the hottest place to be!