Fashion-Enter Wales, NPTC Newtown College and the region in general celebrated creativity, heritage, innovation and manufacturing at the day-long Made in Wales – The Fashion Event. After months of designing, printing, stitching and planning the event took place on Friday 8th July at the Pryce Jones building in Newtown, Powys.
The day-long event combined education, with local production, Kornit Digital print technology and celebratory fashion shows.
Fashion-Enter Ltd CEO Jenny Holloway commented: “The event was tremendous – not a word I use often! All the hard work and planning came together and the collaboration with Newtown College was a huge success. So much work had gone into this project which created a unique event combing education with industry. We took the design inspiration from the Newtown College students and first created the prints in fabric form. This actually took a few weeks to achieve as scales changed, fabric bases changed and there were then pattern amends for the garments; the prints had to be correct for the silhouette of the garments.
“We then had to grade the first fit garments and to reflect true diversity, we had models on the catwalk from size 6 to a size 18 – the garments looked amazing on each of the models. We also created a range of T-shirts too and in the main these were worn by the male models that really ‘got into’ the catwalk shows. It was a joy to see.
“The afternoon session was very much about dignitaries with the Government and Powys Council, so our grateful thanks to The Baroness Morgan of Ely, MS for Mid & West Wales – Minister for Health & Social Services and Diane Reynolds, Head of Economy and Digital Services at Powys County Council. As well as Catherine Lewis Deputy Principal / Deputy Chief Executive Officer at NPTC Group of Colleges.
“I personally wanted to reiterate the need for Government to invest in the right technologies for Mid-Wales and create a state-of-the-art Fashion Technology Academy that would combine Kornit digital machinery. This way the talented youth of Newtown can remain in Newtown – there is then no need to move to Manchester or London for jobs. So many students today want to work on their own with their own business and with a FTA this can be so easily achieved.
“I also gave a PowerPoint about Welsh wool and the Novelle Yarn project to both the afternoon and evening session which was excellently received, especially at the evening gala event where some of the students parents were farmers themselves. It is thanks to Jean Balmer, my friend who is a shepherdess, that the Novelle Wool program was conceived. If I had not seen the rotting wool at her farm I would never have known the plight of Welsh farmers.
“The support from Eluned Morgan and Diane Reynolds was phenomenal and both have pledged support to continue the wool program to look into woven Welsh wool, to support a Fashion Technology Academy and also review the demand for bringing a fully circular wool scouring, carding, weaving and dying industry back to Newtown.
“Equally supportive was Phil Oakley, UK Director at Kornit Digital and Simon Platts, Director of Responsible Sourcing for ASOS, who provided real context to relating the latest sustainable technologies and fashion with integrity for today’s consumer.
“It’s time to combine heritage with fashion for Newtown today!”
Annabella Lewis, Senior Administrator at Fashion-Enter Wales said: “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for their support with this event. We were all thrilled to see so many VIP’s at the event each doing their own speech which everyone listened to with enthusiasm.
“I’d also like to say a special thank-you to Jackie and Divya at FCFTA Leicester for their support. We all had a fantastic afternoon and evening finally meeting up face-to-face as opposed to on ‘Teams!’ We chatted, sipped Prosecco, ate delicious canapés and cake all made by the catering students from Newtown college. NPTC Group put on a great fashion show which we all loved, clapping as each model strutted down the catwalk wearing garments showcasing their own designs manufactured by Fashion-Enter. They were absolutely blown away to have this unique and fantastic opportunity! WOW – what a show!”
Made in Wales – The Fashion Event took place at Focus Enterprise Hub, 3rd Floor, Pryce Jones Building The Royal Welsh Warehouse, 17 Old Kerry Road, Newtown, Powys, Wales SY16 1BJ. A big thank-you to all that took part; students and staff at Newtown College, Fashion-Enter production staff in Wales and Leicester, Kornit Digital and all that attended.