Designer showcase at Essex Fashion Event

Car-crash television hit a whole new level this year when we met the characters of The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE)…and we were all quickly drawn into their Moet lifestyle.

I even helped my gorgeous friend organise her TOWIE style hen weekend – in Essex. I know, I know, but it was a lot of fun. We made it chic and fantastique, like I do.

It was earlier this year that I received an informal invitation from a designer friend to attend the first ever Essex Fashion Week. Surely there was a printing error, Milan, Paris, New York, Melbourne even…but not Essex?

Of course I had to go – like the television show, I had to watch to see what all the fuss was about. After researching what I was attending I soon realised that EFW was almost an extension of TOWIE – similar characters donning the catwalk in outfits worn in the Essex nightclubs in the show.

Essex Fashion Week is the fashion brain child of TOWIE twins Adam and Simon Ryan – Ah ha! That explains everything. The brothers have their own clothing brand One Off One You, which you will see a lot of the characters in the show wearing.

When I met Adam he told me that the idea behind the label and the style came from being a twin and wanting to be as individual as possible.

The next EFW is this Saturday 29th October. You cannot fault Adam & Simon’s drive for publicity, sponsorship and a good showcase of designer talent. The brothers will be showcasing their own collection, and I thoroughly applaud the fact that they are another British independent label.

And this is what I want to focus on – the design talent. Two designers have caught my attention over recent weeks, and it’s time I shared them with you.

It was at the Essex Fashion Week show in March 2011 that I was introduced to Masato Jones. Of course I soon became a huge fan, even owning my own piece of Masato Label. Masato has become a wonderful friend to me as well (we’ll be talking more in the near future about MasatoBaby and Boutique presence).

This next EFW event I’ve discovered designer knitting sensation Peggy’s Collection. I befriended the very lovely Di who owns Peggy’s Collection via the world of Twitter. The name Peggy’s Collection is Di’s loving memory to her dear Grandmother Peggy who taught her to knit.

Knitted designs can be as light for Summer as they are chunky for Winter.

Di is hand knitting a scarf especially for EFW host Adam Ryan – so look out for that. However if you aren’t heading to EFW, then check out Di’s web site for her wonderful collection of knitted designs including her chic chunky knit poppy especially designed for Remembrance Day. Proceeds from the sale of Di’s hand-knitted poppy will be given to the British Forces Network. My hand-knitted poppy is on its way to me, and I will be taking a gorgeous photo. Check back soon!

Peggy’s Collection has an ever-growing celebrity clientele fuelling the fact that knitting is chic and glam, and is a must have this A/W. ChicFantastique LOVES the pleated shawl/wrap in pink below.

Stunning pink for something bright this Winter, however you can order this in a colour of your choice. Team with a vintage brooch for day or evening.

My next exciting fashion find is Arthur & Betty (A&B). I met designers Lauren and Eva through the power of Twitter, and we’ve soon become fashion-buddies. They will be debuting their first collection at EFW on Saturday evening the 29th October 2011.

A&B Label is about luxe styling for the work hard and play hard gal. Looking chic at work, then moving into the evening to be seen in all the right places wearing all the right clothes. These designers are exciting because their ready-to-wear label is all about using luxury fabric with tailored styling, keeping it modern and interesting.

A&B stylish chiffon shorts. More please!

I love their chiffon shorts in cream with sophisticated gold spots – beautifully tailored with a traditional waistline with a tie to keep the look neat. These girls have just launched their website and look-book featuring their the very stunning model muse Imogen Leaver (Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model contestant).

I hope to see Imogen modelling more of the A&B range. Their couture and mens range will be released in 2012.

So these are ChicFantastique’s ones to watch – hot, or what?

To hear more from the designers themselves, follow them on Twitter @MasatoStudio @PeggyCollection and @ArthurandBetty and indulge yourself with something from their collections. I certainly have been.

To book your ticket for Essex Fashion event show and after party, just click here.

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