Last week saw the return of the ever popular, Bristol Fashion Week at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, to showcase all of the hottest styles and trends ready for this Autumn/Winter. The WesternEye’s Arts and Fashion editor, Jill Alger, was lucky enough to get to the event.

The Final Trend- Plaid
photo: Bob Singleton 2013

When I was offered press passes for Bristol Fashion Week to view the A/W collections of many of my favourite brands, I snapped up the chance. Taking place a week after the infamous London Fashion Week, I was keen to see how it would compare and what Bristol could bring to the fashion conscious table.

Bristol Fashion Week is a five day event held twice a year at The Mall; once in March for the launch of the Spring/Summer trends and once in September ready for Autumn/Winter. Although Summer is my favourite month, nothing quite beats getting all wrapped up in jumpers, hats and scarves during the colder months, so I was really excited to see what we had to look forward to this year.

Photo: The Mall Cribbs Causeway

The catwalk show was held in a pop-up arena just outside The Mall. It boasted a ‘star-lit’ reception room, where we were greeted with alcoholic cocktails and some nibbles courtesy of Marks and Spencer (a way to girl’s heart), and a rather impressive catwalk auditorium. After sipping our cocktails and taking our seats, the celebrity presenting duo, Mark Heyes and Andrew Barton, took to the stage to kick off the show.

The hour long show was very entertaining. Mark and Andrew make a great comedy double act and sandwiched some handy little beauty/fashion tips in between each trend. The dancers/models also gave a very tight and energetic performance (despite being the 13th show!) and looked amazing in the clothing. The brands that featured in the show were all within an affordable price range, unlike most of those at LFW, and are all available at The Mall, which made resisting a major shopping spree after the event almost impossible.
Some of the brands involved were:

  • River Island
  • Lipsy
  • Austin Reed
  • Oasis
  • Fat Face
  • Wallis
  • Ann Summers
  • CC Viyella
  • Marks and Spencer
  • JD Sport
Photo:The Mall at Cribbs Causeway

It was really interesting to see how the high-end styles that appeared on the London runway back in February had been transferred to high street brands, and I must say I was really impressed! It just goes to show — you don’t need to spend a fortune to look amazing.

After the show we headed over to The Mall to collect our goody bags, which after the initial excitement, were a bit on the disappointing side. They mainly consisted of leaflets and shampoo samples, but as students it’s not in our nature to turn down a freebie. The ‘BFW Check Book’ however did come in useful with its many vouchers and discounts for places within The Mall.

The day didn’t end there — set up just outside Boots was the Pamper Zone, where visitors could treat themselves to a bit of TLC from the various stands involved. There were free mini mani’s, reflexology, colour and style consultations, makeovers, eyelash tinting and even eyebrow threading on offer. Although each stand was very popular, there was the option to book appointment slots to avoid queuing.

I had a really enjoyable day at Bristol Fashion Week, and although it was never going to be quite as flashy and fast-paced as London Fashion Week, I would still thoroughly recommend people to go. Despite its status, the London event can often come across as quite pretentious and conceited, whereas the smiling models and banterous presenters at BFW supplied a much more light-hearted atmosphere. It is a fantastic opportunity to get clued-up on the seasonal trends and find out how you can look fashionable without spending sinful amounts of money. From start the finish, the day had a strong focus on looking good and feeling good— which after all, is what fashion is all about.


If you’re interested in getting down to the next Fashion Week event in Bristol, the S/S 14 event will be coming to The Mall next March; so keep your eyes peeled for tickets on the webpage.

For a more in-depth review of Jill’s favourite collections from the event, check out the print issue of WesternEye which will be available from the 25th October on all UWE campus’.