Bath In Fashion

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

“No dear, I can’t sit there!” The older, polished and perfectly pronounced lady says. He tilts his head to the left, lightly bemused and replies: “You can look, plenty of spaces”. Then follows a warm, dismissing smile. She frowns: “No dear, there seem to be handbags on every single seat.” He puts his arm out and lightly touches her back, broadly smiling; “They’re goodie bags. For you.”, he says. “Oh goodness!” she exclaims. Bath in Fashion.

I was at the daytime show; two pm. It was tattering with excited ladies sipping wine and orange juice. The front row sat gracefully, if self consciously, and crossed their legs to the side. The lady behind me was rifling through the goodie bags on all the chairs, and the row in front was full of ‘Oooh, I say!’, as they saw, picked up and looked in the bags. Something I never saw at London Fashion Week, and I never felt I could do it, through the power of appearing nonchalant. But here we all were, in this beautiful room, the Octagon, cooing over Clarins. And there was a lovely atmosphere in the domed ceilinged venue. Bath is a stunning city, and unapologetically affluent. I often feel like I am entering a bubble when I go to Bath. Not necessarily aspirational, but certainly high above my own current living luxuries. For me sour dough bread and a saturday coffee out is a luxury. These ladies have bespoke kitchens – with SMEG fridges, four ovens and a wine collection – as standard. I don’t know this, but I know this.

Most of the women here remind of when referring to my mum, as mum, feels wrong; she is mother. Mother wears, Whistles, Phase Eight, HOBBS – coincidentally like all the bags on the seats; target women. Although my mum doesn’t like being called mother, she has more to her than to be defined by these shops, and is far more friendly than ‘mother’ sounds. Just like these women here, they are relaxed, past the needs and issues that being young can hold claim to. They have lived more, seen more and have stories to tell. Which in fact many of them were doing; “I wore the most amazing things, Oh! Now, there’s that lovely boutique…” They were all very chatty with each other and talked enthusiastically about fashion and life. It all had a pleasant, relaxed feel.

The show started with loud and vibrant music. The high street was paraded before of us, with pouting, sunglasses wearing models. They strutted stripes, flowers, maxi dresses, midi length skirt suits and colour pop! Camel, red, purple, chiffon, 30s maxi, 70s midi and maxi, little skirt suits and beautiful dresses. It was a gorgeous spring day outside, and the show made the buzz of spring streaming through thoughts, arrive firmly in the desires and excitement section of the audience’s minds. “Ooohs” and “ahhhs” were heard echoing quietly, as if we were watching a private little firework display of spring sensations. The dresses with the statement shoes were my favourite; glamorous light numbers, with red stillettos. Also block heels, headscarves and ballooning sleeves looked fresh and stylish. TOAST and Reiss stood out as particularly good this season, whilst Monsoon was flourished in the 70s trend. The fashions would certainly suit many a lady, and had just the right amount of pizazz. Kate Middleton should be wearing more of these styles. Safe but stylish, with an extra something.



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