New York Competition Winner
Published on 16/04/2015

We’re delighted to announce that the winner of our fabulous Norwich Fashion Week fashion writer competition is Kate Cooper.
Kate, who is 28 and from Norwich, impressed all the judges with her funny, engaging and insightful articles.  A talented jewellery designer, Kate has an MA in Fashion from Norwich University of the Arts.

“After my first degree I decided to study fashion at NUA because it’s something that really excites me.  In terms of career progression, I’m a firm believer in grabbing hold of opportunities as they come along.  I’m going to be starting a new role with Norfolk Museums Service soon which I’m really excited about.  In my spare time I am also taking a Neuro-Linguistic Programming course.  I eventually hope to use that training, combined with my love for fashion and styling, so that I can help women who are facing self-esteem issues.

“I’ve always enjoyed writing about fashion but haven’t had the confidence to actively pursue blogging. I entered the intu Chapelfield competition partly because it was a fabulous prize but also to see if my writing is any good.  Winning has been a massive confidence boost and I’m super-excited about the trip to New York and the opportunity to see my writing in print in the intu Chapelfield magazine.”

Sheridan Smith is marketing manager at intu Chapelfield.  ““We had some excellent competition entries and it wasn’t easy to select a winner.  But in the end, all three judges agreed that Kate’s articles were our favourites.  That’s because her enthusiasm for fashion really shone through the copy.  She has a naturally friendly and humorous style and the ability to conjure up some vivid images through her writing.”

Pippa Lain-Smith, managing director of Plain Speaking PR Agency and one of the competition judges, adds; “Being able to engage a reader at the start of an article and keep them interested until the very end of the piece is a real skill.  Kate clearly loves fashion and has a clear and inspirational point of view.  Most importantly, her personality really comes through in her writing and that’s essential for any blogger.”

Kate has won a four day trip to the most fashionable city in the world: New York.  She’ll be able to soak up the style hotspots of the city that never sleeps as well as having the opportunity to meet with influential fashion writer Gregory DelliCarpini.  When she gets back from the Big Apple Kate will spend time on a Norwich Resident fashion assignment, get involved with an intu Chapelfield fashion shoot and have three of her articles published.

Here are the two pieces of Kate’s work which wowed the judges:
Let your true colours shine
I remember vividly when I first discovered fashion.
The outfit that did it was a scarlet circle skirt and T-shirt suit. It was a lovely jersey fabric, heavy enough to give a satisfying hang, light enough that when I twirled (and believe me, I twirled often) the skirt swung out all around me like a flamenco dancer. I must have been three or four years old and I remember the day we went and chose it from Marks & Spencer. I remember knowing that this wasn’t an outfit for everyday playing and that I should only put it on for going to visit Nan and suchlike, but this only served to increase its allure.
Once, I sneaked up to my bedroom and put on the suit without asking. I thought I would probably get into trouble when Mum realised, but it didn’t matter. Gramps must have got his camera out because we have photographs from that day; I’m curtseying on our lawn, accessorised with a large stripy bow that I must have coerced my Grandmother into putting in for me, gazing not at the camera but at the sheer volume of skirt clutched in my chubby fist.
I was captivated.
For me, getting dressed should always feel like that. Fashion can be an amazing tool for communication and individual creative expression, as well as often having a powerful transformative effect on how we feel. Who hasn’t felt that lift when slipping into a favourite dress, or pair of shoes? We connect with our clothes when they resonate with who we are and who we want to be. It’s not about looking the same as a model on the Milan catwalks, it’s about finding pieces that communicate your own message to the world; clothes that let your true colours shine!
I am so thrilled about fashion this season, because really, anything goes! On the Norwich high street you can find florals, stripes, denim in a million different incarnations, glitter, 70s boho to the max, embellishment, fringes galore, pastels and really, anything else you can think of. There is no one ‘look’ of the season, it’s about individual expression; finding what you like and feeling good in it!
At the recent Norwich Fashion week it was so exciting to see models of all ages, styles, shapes and sizes strutting their stuff on the catwalks and looking fabulous!
Local television company, Mustard TV, aired a documentary on NFW entitled ‘made to measure’. Clearly, the attitude to fashion in Norwich isn’t ‘one size fits all’; it’s about finding the style that fits you! If NFW reminded me of anything, it’s that whatever your style, you’ll find something to get excited about! Whether you want the latest catwalk trends translated to the high street, a vintage classic, a locally designed one-off or a statement piece from one of our many independent boutiques, Norwich is definitely the place to fall in love with fashion again this season. It’s time to go shopping!


Norwich Fashion week goes out with a Bang (& Olufsen)
Fashion and music have always enjoyed a special relationship; sort of like what Churchill and Roosevelt might have been talking about if they had grown hipster beards and were best friends with Florence Welch…
Think Kate Moss and Jamie Hince or Cara D and Rita Ora; mixing music with fashion causes some kind of intense, synergistic reaction, whereby the ultra-hip-quotient of the pairing is rendered greater than the sum of its individual parts.
The organisers of the Norwich Fashion Week finale, Fashion Excess, were evidently aware of this scientific principle, choosing to combine local musical talent with the cream of the Norwich High Street to produce a party atmosphere in Norwich nightclub venue, Open. Add in a fashion-drunk crowd and a bubbly alcoholic beverage or two and you basically have the recipe for the perfect end to the biggest and best NFW yet!
I rocked up solo as The Boy had refused to attend ‘yet another fashion show’ (he realised the gravity of his error later in the evening as I whatsapp-ed him video footage of the Tibetan Night Terrors’ set).  After purchasing my drink, positioning myself centre-front of the stage and considering at length how to hold a drink, bag and adjust the zoom on my phone-camera simultaneously (seriously, how do the professional FROWers do this?) I was struck by the notable lack of catwalk. This being my first Fashion Excess I wondered if I had misunderstood the premise. Where were the models going to go? I was slightly late, had I missed the fashion bit? I detected similar murmurings from my general environs.
We needn’t have worried. As the first Vampire-Weekend-esque tones of The Tibetan Night Terrors filled the Open underbelly, models sporting headphones (courtesy of Bang & Olufsen, the event sponsors) began dancing across the stage. The party feeling was contagious and set the perfect tone for the evening, which was basically one big fashion rave!
Brands showcased during the evening exuded the rock-star vibe.  The Independents meant business as Catfish, Dogfish and Sevenwolves mixed 60s minis, crops tops, streetwear and suits. Local accessories designer Lisa Angel creatively fashioned scarves into bohemian tops and skirts- perfect for summer festivals- while fellow local Streetwear brand Never Be Famous cut through the retro vibe with modern graphic tees.
The independents sat alongside perfectly curated collections from House of Fraser. To the rocky, edgy sound of local act The Big Alabama, Biba did what they do best, effortlessly emanating 1970s glam-rock chic. John Lewis got in on the action with fur gilets and bling for the women, blazers and shorts for the guys.
The whole evening was the ultimate celebration of the massive success of NFW 2015. With not a ‘blue steel’ in sight, Fashion Excess was unique and refreshing, encouraging all in attendance to let their hair down and look fab doing it. We all danced our little feet off!
Thanks NFW 2015, I can’t wait for next year!

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