Category Archives: Fashion

Richard Emden, a creative soul

This season will be celebrating the 10th year of Bracher Emden luxury handbags and hasn’t it been an eventful and exciting 10 years for Richard Emden and everyoone who has been involved with developing such a fabulous brand.

Since the birth of this magical entity in Covent Garden 2002 Richard Emden and his team have quickly and successfully developed the brand into an internationally recognised name. Bracher Emden has taken to the catwalks of London Fashion Week, showcased in the windows of Selfridges, taken over the billboards of London, raised money for Breast Cancer, hung off the arms of the famous and collaborated with names that will never be forgotten.

Richard Emden came from a creative background and so he was always going to be a recipe for fabulous creations, his Mother was a hairdresser and his Father was an art printer. Growing up Emden knew he was in for a creative ride, when he left school he literally tried everything from graffiti, dance, hairdressing, to prop and window design. Emden finally found his true forte with womens handbags and yes Emden is straight incase you were wondering! He first started out customizing trainers for Nike to designing props and window displays for Moschino, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.   ‘These experiences in prop design has definitely carried through to my structural, 3-dimensional handbag designs’ says the dynamic designer.

Emden spends a lot of time in Thailand looking for inspiration and sourcing different materials at the many markets. When he has some time to relax which isn’t too often  his favourite bar to visit is Bar 23 in Bangkok, ‘it’s where a lot of photographers, designers and artists hangout and a great place to meet some very interesting, creative people’. It’s not just the bars of Bangkok making an impression, Richard has found some great places where he can enjoy authentic Thai food, a favourite of place to eat is The Face. Whilst he loves Thailand Richard Emden loves England too he reminds us ‘you can’t beat a homemade Sunday Roast’ this is so true…oh and a good old English cup of tea??!! Back in his hometown of London, he has a soft spot for Mishkin on  Catherine Street ‘a ‘kind of Jewish deli with cocktails’ check out their website I love it, what more does one need?!!

Fashion is a fast moving industry and so Emden doesn’t get to holiday very often but when he is done working in Bangkok he likes to escape to Koh Lanta which by the way consists of about 52 islands!! Emden has found the perfect location where he can relax and unwhind from the hustle and the bustle of cities and truly relax ‘in one of the most underdeveloped areas of Thailand’.

In 2004 Emden created the lace-up Parker a bag inspired by Peter Parkers mask in Spiderman an interesing angle on inspiration, I had to ask… have films always been a part of your inspiration? Who and what has influenced your collections most? ‘All my inspiration comes from comic books.  I am a massive fan of DC & Marvel comics.  HR Geiger was a huge inspiration for our iconic Breast bag and several clutches of past seasons.  This masculine element in my design is what gives my women’s handbags individuality’.

Richard Emden has been extremely successful and his creations have become must have items amongst the rich and the famous, I had to nosey on a little bit further…How did it feel when you started seeing your bags hanging off the arms of celebrities? Saw your marvellous creations in the shop windows of prestigious stores such as Oxford Streets Selfridges? Was there ever a moment you had to stop and pinch yourself?!! ‘At the time, it was all a bit of a whirlwind.  One minute, we were quietly making leather bags at our humble Covent Garden store, and the next we were getting orders from prestigious stores all around the world.  Then the whole celebrity thing began when Beyoncé was spotted wearing our Breast bag.  It was great to know that I was not only wanted by the luxury market but also by amazing artists’.

When Emden started the company in 2001 it wasn’t to show the world who he was, it was to enjoy life and do what made him happy and this hasn’t changed. Emden really values his team and seems very grateful to have such wonderful people in his life ‘as the company rapidly grew, I had to surround myself with a team of special people.  Without these people, that have remained loyal to this day, there would be no brand!  We all still work as one, developing Bracher Emden each season’.

I wondered what it was that made his brand and ranges different this is how he responded ‘ my style is certainly different, and sets me apart in many ways. It’s an explosion of ergonomic shapes that mostly derive from female curves, with layers of different exotic skins fused to make an item of beauty.  My favourite bag would have to be the Geo clutch. A sleek weapon like shape that elegantly moulds to a woman’s hand as soon as it is picked up’ perfect…words to my little ears!

Emden only knows too well that the industry isn’t as glamourous as preconceptions may have us all fooled into believing ‘the lows are the deadlines and  fashion is certainly not as glamorous as it portrays’. ‘It can be shallow and extremely cut-throat.  It’s also about who you know and not what you know most of the time’. On a more positive note the highs seem to make up for those more stressful lows ‘the highs have to be seeing and hearing people’s excitement when they receive their bags.  We also offer a bespoke service on our website, where I personally make and design the bags; each bag takes several days to finish, and receiving thank you emails when they finally reach the customer is great’.

I’m looking forward to what 2012 holds for us I asked Richard Emden what’s next for Bracher Emden? ‘Collaborations.  We will be working with several other designers to expand the brand, appearing on several catwalk shows as well as designing bags for cosmetic , sunglasses and clotheswear brands.

And what trends can we expect to see dominating the 2012/2013 catwalks? ‘I have always had a passion for anything futuristic, and SS12 has been the best time to let this lead my designs. Futuristic trends and geometric shapes are huge right now. This is certainly apparent throughout the whole collection.  Bracher Emden featured on the SS12 catwalk with Jean-Pierre Braganza, and will be collaborating for London Fashion Week again for AW12, with prestigious designer, Bora Aksu’.

Words of wisdom from Richard Emden are ‘know yourself, believe in yourself and grow a thick skin.  Believe in your design.  Take everything on board but don’t take everything to heart’.

His quote of the moment:  “Amalgamation” – (more of a ‘word of the season’) and he recommends Progressive Breakbeat

What a wonderful brand and what a wonderful creator, thank you Richard Emden it’s been a pleasure getting to know more about you!!

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Little Black Dress Fashion & Beauty Charity Event

Tomorrow night 6th December see’s yet another fabulous event taking place in Leeds at Alea Casino, Clarence Dock ( from 7pm). Luxury lifestyle brand Temple Spa will be hosting the evening in partnership with 96.3 Radio Aire’s Cash for Kidz Christmas Appeal in association with Asda.

Every year thousands of children across the region wake up on Christmas morning with no presents, the event is not only providing an opportunity for ladies to celebrate their fabulousness also a chance to be a ‘Secret Santa’ by buying an extra present to help make a real difference to a local child this Christmas. Ladies can drop their new and un-wrapped gift under the Radio Aire Christmas tree which will be in the market place alongside the mistletoe stop!

Alea Casino will be transformed into a Fashion and Beauty market place bringing together local designers, boutiques, make up artists, stylists, models, hair dressers and many other creatives. On the night you can expect to receive first class treatment from the moment you arrive to moment you have to prize yourself away from this fabulous event, on arrival expect a drink and some delicious canapes!!

The Fashion and Beauty Market Place will be your space to receive styling tips, beauty advice and the opportunity to shop ‘til you drop, picking up Christmas treats for yourself and others from; Phenomenon Couture, clutch bags, W’mann Boutique, Bird Shell/ Bird Yard Boutique, Rachel Roberts of Audere, Couture Hats, Mandy Vowles, Carl Stuart, Tony McLaughlin from Mac Hair Essentials, Hearts for U Candles, Bling, InFACT Anything, Julie Fisher of Jools Clothing, Fiona Cooper Bespoke Gowns, Marmalade Jewelry… there will be a Temple Spa nail bar and also a lash bar by BoHoo Beauty, Space Wakefield.

At 8:15pm the Fashion Show will commence featuring a selection of little black dresses and seasons latest fashions from exceptional local designers from across West Yorkshire; Lucy-Jo Coombes of Phenomenon Couture, Lisa Jayne Dann (described as the as “Queen of Leeds independent Fashion”), W’mann Boutique Ossett, Rachel Roberts of Audere, Bird Shell Boutique/Birds Yard Boutique, Mandy Vowles and Couture Hats by Beth Hirst.  Our runway make-up artists are Cassie Hudson from Sublime Spa, Louise Matthews from Amber Beauty and Maria Oyedele. Dishy male models will be in Carl Stuart bespoke Tailor for dinner suits.

On the night  Temple Spa have planned for a raffle to take place and the prizes are looking rather attractive!! Local businesses have donated amazing raffle prizes, including; The Village, Mac Hair Essentials, The Box Ossett, Passion Flowers Florist, Gala Bingo, Oulton Hall,, Amaryllis, bag, Eternity Bridal Ltd… All proceeds from the raffle will go to Temple Spa West Yorkshire’s chosen charity, Mercy Ministries UK, a national charity helping young women between the ages of 18-28, suffering from life controlling issues, such as eating disorders, self-harm, depression, and the effects of abuse in all its forms, providing support that tackles the root causes of these issues. Mercy seek to break the cycle of destruction, by helping one young woman at a time find freedom and restoration in a beautiful and safe home-like environment.

Now I don’t want you missing out  on this event so this is where you can purchase a ticket.


Lara Ostertag, recent work

Creative Director Lara Ostertag is a favourite of mine and I plan to closely follow this one. This outstandingly talented young lady not only offers innovative skills and ideas she has an amazing spirit that rubs off.

When I look back on my first encounter with Lara Ostertag she was creating flyers for night clubs and using other photographers work. I recall several conversations where I could sense her bursting at the seams to do more, she enjoyed the work but it was just a stepping stone for her. ‘ Using other photographers work isn’t enough for me, I want more control over images, I’ve got concepts and I have photographers interested in working with me. I want to create my own art inspired fashion photography’.

Lara Ostertag has been very busy and a recent shoot that really caught my eye was her Twisted Heritage project. An interesting fact for you…. When you need some fog grab the talcon powder as Lara proves there’s nought better for creating that mysterious foggy theme.

When Lara and designer Laura Baker collaborated this was always a recipe for something special. Yorkshires Falconry Centre made a perfect location for setting the theme and being able to have a bird of prey star in the shoot made it even more spectacular.

Did you know it’s (Tweed) name came about by a simple communication error, back in 1830 a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm about some Tweels he misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders textile area, easy mistake but a mistake that made its mark in history.

Lara has recently collborated with a team who are involved with creatng a series of new  Oxfam fashion adverts, this is a perfect opportunity for her as she shares their strong values and beliefs. ‘By coming up with a series of subtle but clever fashion advertising campaigns, I’m able to create awareness for global issues to promote the vintage fashion brand that Oxfam provides. I’m personally very excited about this project so keep an eye out over the next 6 months’.

Another shoot that caught my attention was her United Blingdon T-shirt  shoot this was my favourite image…

This is all for the moment on this great artist, people watch the Ostertag space there’s much more to come. I look forward to updating you soon with more on Lara Ostertag. In the mean time yu can stay up to date by following her on Twitter.

Photographer Simon Paterson works with Lara and all pictures are copyrighted, if anyone would like to use images please contact Lara or Simon and I’m sure they would be happy to help out.

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Interview with photographer Charles Davis, the opportunist!

Favourite food: ITALIAN & FRENCH   Favourite travel destination: ITALY & ISRAEL

Favourite Restaurant: A difficult one as there are so many fabulous restaurants now, but it would have to be Italian I guess!

Reading recommendation: The Source by James A Michener


Thanks to Twitter I have recently been in communication with Charles Davis founder and director of Professional Photography. I have been blown away by his work and his general ethos, he is keen and as they say ‘dutch’ in the sense that he gives as well as takes opportunities. The prolific networker recommends that we should ‘network, network, network’  Charles Davis is clearly a big fan of social media  and face-to-face networking groups. He’s right when he says ‘it’s essential to get you and your business out there’ who else will?

Meeting new people on a regular basis and participating in state-of-the-art joined-up social networks is certainly key in succeeding in a 21st century and is very much behind some of the successes of Professional Photography. Additionally try to give something back, it doesn’t have immediate benefits but long term you will be surprised at the opportunities that arise. Another top tip from the man who describes fashion as an industry that takes no prisoners  is ‘do it because you love it, invest in the best equipment you can afford and learn as much as you can. Of course practice practice practice we all have to start somewhere’.

Charles you’ve got an extremely interesting and successful career history which has taken you from being part of the Special Escort Group looking after Royals and VIP’s to advising and leading in firearms operations to successfully filling the role of Fundraising & Communications Director for a large charity. Today I know you for your fabulous photography skills, so what was it that inspired you to become a photographer?

I was always very close to my late Father as a boy, he was an accomplished life-long Photographer  who indeed encouraged me to have a go at Photography. He essentially encouraged me to do whatever I wanted in life, grasping opportunities that came my way with both hands.  This together with my love of beautiful images is what attracted me to finally have a go as a full-time Photographer. Being in the right place at the right time has presented many opportunities and I can’t say no! (it wouldbe very rude to say no)

Your portfolio covers a broad range of skills and services suited to various settings ranging from images of products to beautiful wedding albums, in particular I picked up you’re steady involvement within the fashion industry how have you become involved in this?

I’ve always had an interest and followed fashion from a distance although in recent times more and more people have asked me if I’d be available for their shoot and it’s just developed from there.  Clients seem to be happy with the results and excitingly I’ve just been asked to become the Official Photographer to a new very talented and very interesting Designer. So we will see, I just love what I do and am quite happy doing whatever shoot I’m asked to do as long as the results exceed the client’s expectations.

What do you think is the biggest preconception that people have about the fashion industry?

Do you know what?  I’ve done some tough roles in my career but always been lucky to be able to develop what I’ve wanted to do, yes it may seem from the outside a little more glamorous but I can assure you they have taken a 100% commitment together with wonderful support from my family.

Describe what you do and who and what has influenced you to make you who you are right now?

It’s a fact of life with modern technology that many Photographers joke that they spend far to much time in front of a computer and not enough doing what they love, photography! It’s true, although an essential element to producing the best possible results for a client is in the selection and editing.  Being personable too, it’s so so important  if you can be friendly and build a rapport then your subject/Models have a fun experience and the shots are so much better. Influence has to be from, of course my late Father and in recent times Mario Testino, his work is just the best.

What were your first job experiences as a photographer?

Now that’s a difficult one for me as I’ve been a Photographer since I was a little boy.  The excitement I guess when the developed film came back from processing and seeing the images for the first time.  Gone are those days now, you don’t even have to take a Polaroid, the technology is fabulous, I love it. Being able to instantly have your images transmitted to your iPad2 so that the client can confirm whether your close to the look required or not.  We’re very lucky to be living in such a era of wonderful technology complementing our creative desires.

How does having your own business differ from working for a large corporation?

It’s amazing, together with scary!  I say that as I clearly do not miss having to play the political game that is so often an essential part of your life when working for a large organisation at a senior level, as everyone has their own agenda. However on the other side the freedom of expression comes at a price, and that is ensuring there is enough regular sustainable business coming in.  I’m an advocate of a joined-up approach to Social Media and although sometimes a little time consuming, I’ve built and developed some of my best clients via Twitter, Facebook, & Blogging. (DIY…love it!)

Can you describe the transition from the start of your business to where you are now? What has the process been like? Where have you worked and who have you worked with?

My roots over the last decade have been in the Automotive Sector and it therefore follows that my Photography work started there with Corporate Shoots, Press & PR material.  Soon though I seemed to get booked for more and more Events, which again led to other opportunities, some of which were Fashion related. It’s not all Photo-shoots though I’m a prolific networker and not just Social Networking the vital  face-2-face networking, early morning breakfast sessions, events, travelling just like any other business, building ‘Power-Groups’ of key contacts is really important to success.

Believe it or not, I know both those men in the picture, the man to the left used to race with my father and the one to the right worked for my father as a mechanic for years, what a strange and small world it is. sppppoookkky!!!

What has helped you the most?

Being personable, listening to your client to understand exactly what they want and delivering what they want, on budget and on time!If I had one thing I would ask people to remember, it’s that you don’t always have all the ideas & answers.  Listening to your client, your models and the people around you on many occasions others have brought in a key element or idea that has just made the shoot spectacular.

What has been most challenging? And are there any do’s and don’ts we should know about?!!

In the world of Do’s & Don’t I try to keep an open mind, and secretly I’m a bit of rebel when someone says you can’t do that.  I’d say why not! The current economic climate has been the biggest challenge but at least it’s the same for us all.

What are your favourite styles and looks?

Now that’s a difficult one for me, as I like so much.  I think ‘retro’ styling has been an interesting one, where the old has been revamped and in many cases is so much better than the nostalgic memories we all have of any particular decade.

Do You Have A Favourite Walk Around Lens…If So What Is It?

I’m a BIG BIG Nikon fan!  All my equipment is Nikon Professional Equipment, using the D3 & D3s Pro DSLR with numerous Nikkor lenses depending on the assignment.  If I had to pick just one, it would be my Nikon D3s fitted with 24-70mm F2.8G AF-S E Nikon Lens & Nikon SB-900 Speedlight Flash.

Thank you so much for your time, I love your work and have enjoyed getting to know you a bit better.

Please visit his website:  and keep up to date with Charles Davis on Twitter: ProPhotography Flickr: LinkedIn: Facebook: and his
BLOG: (It’s all bout the networking!!).
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Interview with Bo Carter Fashion Designer

I recently got to find out about fashion designer Bo Carter another inspiring talent whose collection was showcased at the Leeds Fashion Show this year. I also learnt how a £12 sewing machine kick started a very successful career in the world of fashion. Bo is 32, married and surrounded by positive and supportive people who have been very much a part of her success.

Bo attended Leeds Metropolitan University and studied Accountancy and Finance. Founder of Leeds Fashion Show Anjula Davidson has been an inspiration and provides realistic motivation for Bo and others.  So here’s what I found out about Bo Carter…

Bozena the accountant?!! Well there have been a few changes and I’m dying to hear all about this fashion adventure you’re on, what was it that inspired you to become a fashion designer?

You know, it may be sad but I do still love my numbers and spreadsheets…I always was creative and I always loved clothes, but I thought everyone loved clothes as much as I do.  I put my clothes in certain order in my wardrobe, on certain hangers and if I don’t wear something for a long time I feel sorry for that outfit and have to wear it even if I don’t like it (now that’s unconditional love!).  My hubby was always telling me I should do something about it and he is the one who found out in summer 2010 about Leeds Fashion Show, he told me to enter as a volunteer but me being me decided to see if I could actually be part of competition…and it worked. I got the sewing machine from charity shop for £12, learned how to use it and off I went to runway. Then  there was more and more shows and more and more love to what I was doing and I love every second of it.

 Since your first fashion show (Leeds Fashion Show 2010), first sewing machine, first runway and first everything you’ve been achieving more and more locally and globally can you share your adventures with us? Where have you been and are there any experiences that stand out more so than others?

It has been the most amazing year ever.  After LFS last year I went to Virginia Fashion Week where apart from showing my collection I met some fantastic designers, models and I was judging upcoming young designers.  After that I was invited to go to Bangalore but my visa didn’t get in time and my passport got lost, that was such a sad experience as I made the whole collection for that show.

I then had a few shows in the UK and worked with Tree of Hope Charity and Models of Diversity. In May I had the most amazing show in Malta, oh I did love this one to bits. In August I went to Baltimore to showcase my clothes; September Iceland Fashion Week and appearing on Romanian Next top Model, that was fun.

In October I won the Best Local Designer title on Leeds Retail Awards, worked on the amazing collection: nothing but nets, which was showcased at Fashion Bites Back event to generate awareness of net beds helping in thebattle against malaria. And then it was LFS again. Loved it every day!

You’ve expressed that you have felt very angry at the fashion world at times please share with us why?

You know, this can be nasty world.  In Oxford my clothes didn’t make it to runway due to a rail mix up, but things got sorted later on and an apology was sent and accepted of course.  During the year I have been involved I met so many lovely people and I love working with them all.  There is always gonna be one time, but as everywhere else and I just concentrate on the good ones and keep going.


May 2011 was a significant marker in your career history, you showcased your work at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Malta and shared a runway with Julien Macdonald what was it like?

Oh my gosh, seriously, that was the most amazing show! 5000 people I don’t think I could ask for anything else.  My collection was shown during Malta Fashion Awards, which is most fabulous event ever.  I was so privileged to be part of it, met some truly amazing artists and the show was the best I’ve ever been to.  And sharing the runway with Julien, what can I say! Amazing, and what an after party that was! I’m so in love with Malta, it’s a such a beautiful place, can’t wait to be back.

The 2011 LFS celebrated the 1st anniversary of Bo Carter fashion designs what was the inspiration behind your collection?

I wanted to do something new, hence the men collection.  The prints for it were designed by two talented ladies: Laura Rimmington and Charlotte Smith. They did a great job, we went for strong prints and strong colours and I made shirts in Victorian style which with modern prints added this extra twist.

 How would you describe your clothing range?

I would like to think it’s for everyone, I do love colours and prints, which appeal to a younger audience but at the same time I love unusual fabrics to create some more extravaganza dresses.

This year has seen the opening of your own shop located in the popular and respected Birds Yard, Leeds. What has helped your business most?

My friends and supporters, without them I wouldn’t be where I am.  I do network a lot and try to get my brand everywhere I go.

Is there anything you wish people would understand about fashion?

It can be really hard and sometimes people will try to ‘kill’ you and what you’re doing and all you have to do it is keep your chin up and enjoy it.  I love what I’m doing and that’s why I am doing it.

 What is next for you?

Another busy year, even busier. More shows, it will be hard to choose where to go as there are so many opportunities.  I’ll be Ccontinuing on with the mens range, opening the new shop, trying to sell my brand overseas and having lots of fun and even more energy drinks.

What advice can you offer to anyone wanting to start a career in fashion?

If you love it and believe it in it go for it.  Remember what Anjula Davidosn says: everyone got a chance.  But be prepare for hard work and be realistic.

So now we know a little bit more about Bo Carter and I think Bo will be one to keep an eye on as this lady is climbing higher and higher and at an mpressive rate.

Thank you for your time Bo and I look forward to more of your wonderful creations.

Photography services are provided  for by Michael Walker , join him on Facebook for the latest news and images. Also Underground Studios please do check out their website and keep up todate with their Facebook Page.

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Interview with Katie Newsam Fashion Designer

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to this years LFS in particular Katie Newsam one of my favourite designers, you can spot her designs a mile off. Her designs are so unique and inspiring. This year I covered one of Lara Ostertag’s events held in conjunction with LFS, it was here that I was lucky enough to get a sneaky preview of what could be expected at the 2011 ‘Dress Me Beautiful’ event and of course I really coudn’t wait to see what she would be showcasing(you maybe expecting more to say but literally had to wait like everyone else!!).

I managed to share some of Katie Newsam’s time and got to find out a little bit more about this fabulous designer…

Have you got a favourite leeds bar?

I’ve not really been to many bars in leeds I love Epernay though (classy, nice choice in bar lot’s of bubbles!!)
Have you got a quote of the moment?

Yes…“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” Coco Chanel

What inspired you to become a fashion designer?

I was always interested in art at school and then started to look more into fashion illustration and that’s what I based my final collection around, then when I started looking into courses at college I came across fashion studies and knew straight away that what I wanted to do.
What is the inspiration behind your collection?

The collection takes inspiration from the English equestrian dating back to the edwardian period. I exagerate basic shapes and lines and add a new depth and sophistication with a hint of androgyny ( yes and that means… Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words ανήρ, stem ανδρ- (anér, andr-, meaning man) and γυνή (gyné, meaning woman), referring to the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics. This may be as in fashion, sexual identity, or sexual lifestyle, or it may refer to biologically inter-sexed physicality, especially with regards to plant and human sexuality)!!!!

What were your first job experiences?

My first job experiences was my short work experience at Pollyanna in Barnsley whilst I was sudying at Lincoln University, even though it was more about fashion buying and retail it was a great experience to get to work along side Rita Britton who is hugely influencial in not just Barnsley but wordwide.

How did you transition to being a designer? What was the process?

When I completed my degree I wanted to expand on my collection more and then decided to look into design jobs,that’s when I started working at moo part time, the boutique is really unique offering a bespoke service on clothing, bags and accessories .

Its’ been a really good opportunity working at moo because I get to see when a customer comes to me for a bespoke order and then they get the designers there to finish off the look with all the matching leather bags and accesories so the whole look can be truly unique.

You have started your own clothing range, how does designing your own label differ from working for a large corporation?

I’ve never worked for a large corporation I’ve worked on my collection ever since leaving uni. I knew I’d find it hard to get a job in the fashion industry where Iwould be able to work to my full potential so I decided to work on my portfolio, promote my self doing some shows, photoshoots and start selling clothes.

How would you describe your clothing range?

My clothing range is quite diverse I think my strong point is my creativity I love to design collections that have no boundaries but I also love to make ready to wear clothing. Also my clothes aren’t mass porduced  so I design and make every garment myself because most of my clothes are one offs which I think makes my clothes that bit more special.

So a short, sweet and informative interview with Katie Newsam for more information about Katie and to see more of her fabulous designs visit her website, Facebook page- Katie Newsam  and follow her on Twitter.

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Rewinding back to Leeds Fashion Show

So Leeds Fashion Show may well be over but it’s still very much the talking point in Leeds and other places across the country. The ‘Dress Me Beautiful’ event returned for its sixth successful year.

The charity event which took place at the Leeds City Museum raised over £400 pounds for Radio Aire and Magic 828’s cash for kids from a raffle and auction held on the night.

Now for a little recap on this years awards Ewa Domanska won Designer of the Year sponsored by Accent Clothing. Ewa Domanska is a Polish fashion designer who was sewing by the age of 8. Ewa comes from a creative background and grew up with a family in the tailor business which only encouraged and prompted her natural talent and flare for design. To start with it was just a hobby,  designing clothes for friends and family and then from being a teenager she has been working as a freelance seamstress and fashion designer mixing simple and eccentric forms.

Shi-Yuen Li collected her award for Emerging Talent, sponsored by Republic. Shi-Yeun Li is a successful fashion designer who graduated from Leeds University in 2010 after studying Fashion Design. All her graments are hand made and collections are inspired by the latest and forth coming trends which serve both males and females. Recently I heard a male recently say Leeds was pants for shopping…urgh do your research boy!!!

Photography: Mike Distras, to keep up todate with Mike please follow him on Twitter.

Crystal Padmore picked up her Ethical/Renewable award, sponsored by Magic Number Three. Crystal has created some amazing pieces mixing chunky and hand crafted knits with delicate bamboo jerseys to create soft flowing silhouettes with hand knitted features. Crystals strong ethical beliefs are refelcted through her amazing  bespoke pieces created with her own hands that are strictly green and sewing mean!!See below for picture.

LFS Top Model Male and Female Awards went to the stunning Parisse Williams and Mansa Brown pictured below in order of reference:

Another successful year and big thanks to the team that organised this event in particular co founders and co-ordinators of the Leeds Fashion Show Sherelle Davidson and Rhonda Richards who have been planning and organising this event for a long time, they’ve devoted so much time and effort to this as was reflected on the night.Great memories and I’m looking forward to the next one… no pressure!!

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Leeds Fashion Show, Meeting Michael Walker Fashion Photographer

(Featuring Katie Newsam Designs)

The Leeds Fashion Show kick started the weekend fabulously, I had my first press pass experience and I must say it was great though very intense. I took the opportunity to introduce myself to people holding professional looking cameras…they knew what they were doing!! I met Michael Walker who you will find lots out about shortly and Mike Distras a Photographer based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire – Covering anything and everything from Weddings, Portraits, Fashion, Events and much, much more! check out his site and keep an eye on him by following him on Twitter.

Now for Michael Walker  (mutantrock photography)one of those people who without perhaps realising it inflicts positivity in a similar way to Lara Ostertag who is always doing something constantly striving for more and ousing with motivation, and these are the type of people I love to be in communication with they really help to keep your goals in sight. Most importantly you don’t have to go to University to necessarily succeed in what you’re doing as we will find out.

Michael Walker shared some of his time to answer a few questions and here’s what I found out about him and photography…

Age:   47         Favourite food:  Shepherds pie, I cant get enough of it, bring me shepherds pie and I’ll give you anything you want.  (ladies you know what you have to do!!)

Favourite Leeds Bar:   I don’t really have a  favourite as I’m not a big drinker, if I’m in Leeds shooting I like to call in at The Bourbon Bar for a pint of bitter, it’s cheap and the sofa’s are massive…..I like big sofa’s !

Favourite Leeds Restaurant: I wish I had time to eat ! I’m often working till the early hours of the morning so its a quick snack is all I seem to manage these days.

Studied at:    I’ve never studied or had any training to be a photographer, self taught, trial and error.

What inspired you to become a photographer ?

All my life pictures have interested me, the more unusal the better. About 5 years ago a friend loaned me his film camera for the weekend so I thought I would take some macro shots of the flowers in my garden, these were not the normal flower shots like you see in your local diy store, I managed to get so deep in to the flower, the shots became almost abstract and with my limited Photoshop skills I created some really stunning artistic shots, that was it….I was hooked.

How did you become involved in the fashion industry?

After shooting macro images for about a year with a Nikon D200, a good friend of mine pushed….sorry asked me, to take some shots of her daughter, friends of friends started asking me and I found I was actually enjoying myself. Another photographer advised me to join a site called Purestorm, I did and the same night I was asked to shoot a local girl from Wakefield. This is when I realised I’ve never done fashion shoots so after a few days of searching through Flickr for inspiration I was ready to go. It’s now all I can think about, I’ve even subscribed to Vogue Magazine.

Describe what you do and who and what has influenced you to make you who you are right now?

As I’m a self taught photographer and still learning after 5 years, I take on board advise from many photographers, my images have been laughed at in the past and this I welcomed. Ive researched, watched videos and learned from my mistakes. My music/gig photography is something I never thought about doing until I came across a photogrpaher called Nick Pickles(Some amazing pics on his site find him on Twitter), Nick kindly gave me some tips and contacts and I now create some blinding shots that im very proud of.

As for fashion photography, so many people inspire me, recently it’s been a professional photographer from Leeds called Jay Mawson(I like this site!!), his work is just so creative and elegant.

How does having your own business differ from working for a large corporation?

I actually have a full time job too.

What has been most challenging?

Juggling work and photography has been a real battle, I’ve found myself working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week for months to get where I am today.

What are your favourite styles and looks?

I don’t have a particular style, having said that, I do still like the punk look.  I do enjoy going to Leeds and buying myself a sandwich from Greggs and just sit and look at what people are wearing. I do like to see people who have created their own unique look using high street clothing, a little imagination is all you need.

Do You Have A Favourite Walk round Lens…If So What Is It?

Haha that’s a good one, I cant leave home without my gear, I take 2 walk round lenses, a 24 x 70mm F2.8 & 70 x 200mm F2.8, the zoom lens is heavy and not really a walk round lens but you never know what you will come across.

Which one item of equipment would you say is the most important to you?

My Nikon D3x, it’s my baby !

In general, during a session, how many pictures would you say you take to find “the right one”?

A portrait sitting I can take about 300+ shots but fashion shows around a 1000, I get a little trigger happy sometimes.

Have you got any advice can you offer to anyone interested in fashion photography?

My advice is do it !  you meet some amazing people and gain a good insight in to the world of fashion.

Over the last year I’ve been lucky enough to shoot Katie Price, Big Brother contestant Stuart Pilkington, Calvin Klein model Neil Lumberg, several bands like Saxon, Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers & The Levellers.

For more photo’s check out his fan page. Now to share some of the night for those of you who were unable to make it…

OMG the items showcased were to die for, everyone had clearly been working so hard in the run up to this event and what a great evening it was.

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Independents Day in Leeds

Saturday marked a special day for the city and Leeds Loves Shopping festival as it celebrated its very own independents day with   an invasion of great fashion, great people, fun events and fab prizes.

Shoppers from independent retailers including Culture Vulture, Jumbo Records, Kiosk 78, Mummy and Little Me, Teddy and Co, Bird’s Yard, Mad Elizabeth and Leeds Kirkgate Market claimed prizes from Capital FM’s Street Stars team and Leeds Guide, who were also out style spotting trendy Leeds shoppers!

Fashionpony and Capital FM also joined forces with a grand fashion show on Briggate, ‘The Fashion Stop’, which showcased independent and emerging designers.

If you couldn’t make the weekend do not fear as the festival fun continues, here’s what’s going on…

  • Leeds Shopping Plaza’s week of  fashion and style events from 17th October, culminating with the Style Pod and Fashion Show event on Saturday 22nd (10:30am – 4:30pm) and Sunday 23rd October (11:15am – 4:30pm). Enjoy store offers and promotions on the mall, plus hair and make up demonstrations and advice from the experts.

Leeds Loves Shopping is part of a suite of city festivals hosted in Leeds that celebrate the city’s diverse sector-specific offers and follows on from the successful Leeds Loves Food festival, which attracted over 40,000 visitors to Millennium Square and other city venues for a weekend of food and drink in July.

Leeds Loves Shopping is organised and delivered by Marketing Leeds and Leeds City Council’s City Centre Management and is supported by the Leeds Retail Association, City colleges as well as retailers and traders.

For more information and to view an updated calendar of events, visit

If you are interested in Leeds Loves Shopping, and would like to speak to festival partners/retailers in the city to find out more, please contact Natalie Gibson, 0113 214 5203, to arrange an interview.


Please visit for an update on events and feel free to contact Natalie if you would like a press pass to any of these.

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One Big Fashion Festival, one big party in Leeds

Last night set the exciting, glamourous, glitzy and fashion conscious free into the streets of Leeds. If you weren’t there you can just imagine all the dolls as well as guys rushing to their favourite stores, visiting their favourite designers and fighting their way to the prize possesions! Clothes, Shoes, Makeup, amazing bits for the home as well as tasty treats for you and your friends.

The city came to life more so than usual and Leeds is lively alright so last night was the ultimate party frenzy, combining the shopping with our favourite bars and restaurants…you can’t go wrong!

Last night was the ‘BIG SHOPPING NIGHT OUT’ a great marker of the UK’s only retail festival, the evening coincided nicely with most shops launching their late night shopping in the run up to that festive time of year.

The Victoria Quarter’s annual shopping extravaganza  always attracts an impressive crowd and this year was even better perhaps the Pirates of the Carribean Theme had soemthing to do with it?! a shame Johnny Depp was unable to make the event, he sends his apologies!!! The VQ had a real buzz about it  maybe it had something to with the VQ  putting on quite a show with unique offers and discounts from brands including as Harvey Nichols, Reiss, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry, Kiehls and Wolford.

Other stores, including highstreets Top Shop, Primark, House of Fraser and Debenhams as well as independent retailers, Accent, OK Comics and Mad Elizabeth opened late with a host of customer events as part of Leeds Loves Shopping, the UK’s only festival dedicated to retail. Briggate came alive too with street entertainment including fire breathers and Capital FM tour bus.

There was so much going on and so much to do on the Big Shopping Night Out, events included:

  • Complimentary makeovers at Topshop plus top tips for what to include in your beauty bag this season
  • A factory flea market with shopping, music and refreshments at American Apparel, with discounts of up to 75% off, plus a complimentary Nail Bar featuring unique nail lacquers.
  • Discounts, music, drinks and light refreshment at Accent’s charity event raising money and awareness for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF). Donations were raised through a raffle.
  • OK Comic’s Batman: Arkham City launch night.

What fun and the best part the fun hasn’t finished Leeds Loves Shopping continues in the city with a full calendar of events, offers and promotions throughout 14th-23rd October including the incredible Leeds Fashion Show on Friday 14th; farmer’s market on Briggate on Sunday 16th;a fashion extravaganza at Leeds Shopping Plaza from October 17 to 23 and will include hair and makeup demonstrations; Look Good feel great at the Merrion Centre- an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary and dedicated to fashion, beauty and nutrition.

So everybody don’t deny yourself that little treat you deserve, eeekkk!!!


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