With the exception of Sarah Coggles, York didn’t used to be much of a fashionistas destination. Big sister Leeds was the place to go to for serious style and new seasons shopping. Looking around York this weekend made me think that things are quickly changing and that York is beginning to earn it’s fashion stripes at last.
This weekend saw two events being run concurrently in York. Audrey and Joans “York Does Vintage” and SOUK Fashion & Lifestyle Bazaar. We took advantage of my mother-in-law being in situ and had a pram-free walk into town, stopping in at both events. It’s refreshing to see ‘pop-up’ events being held like this in York; it provides a much-needed channel for local talent to spread the word and highlights York as a creative hotspot to locals and tourists alike.
We stopped first at the SOUK Fashion & Lifestyle Bazaar, at the Park Inn on North Street. It’s a bit of an unsightly building in my opinion, but occupies a glorious riverside location and inside it was buzzing. The inside has definitely been brightened up since it became a Park Inn. People we busying away at a corsage-making workshop and the stallholders all seemed to be chatting to people. I spotted quite a mix of locals and passers-by which was good to see. I didn’t buy anything but my husband was eyeing up an upcycled bag while I took some photos and dropped a few hints about it so at least I have his birthday present sorted.
We then walked through town and onto St. Williams College, which I thought was a gorgeous location to hold a vintage fair in. York Does Vintage took up the two upstairs rooms and was busy too with a slightly different mix of people to the SOUK fair. Lots of students trying on fake fur coats! I found a very enticing mix of stalls and cafe tables filled with people happily chatting and eating cupcakes from Curiositea.
I wanted to buy some vintage flower fairy curtains for my daughters bedroom but they were too small so instead I purchased a cute little sign for her room crafted by Notice My Name. They are based in Selby and sell personalised fabric designs, I will keep them in mind for new baby presents. I chose a flower fairy one again; think I’m a bit obsessed with them at the moment.
After quickly popping in to see my bessie friend, who was snooping around the PDSA charity shop, we had a walk around York, and I mentally put together the below list of all the lovely shops that are helping to redefine the City’s fashion credentials. In addition, Fashion City York is an initiative that has been set up to promote the City as a centre of fashion and are running a series of events in York over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd April. I’ll look forward to it.
So what is there here in York for fashion fans? There are lots of upmarket high-street stores, including a revamped Topshop, Whistles, Jigsaw and Karen Millen to get your teeth in to, but if you are looking for something a bit different here are a few of the brighter individual stars helping to raise York’s fashion profile:
Coggles. York’s answer to Browns Focus or Matches, Coggles has been on Petergate since 1974 and now occupies three shops and has a very successful online business to boot.
Mulberry York. It might not be an individual but this eponymous brand has an outlet in fashionable Swinegate.
The House of Avalon – a unique social enterprise vintage shop on High Petergate
SOUKFashionFairs – a fashion and lifestyle concept
Audrey and Joans – vintage wear
onfriday – high-quality, unique and ethical bags.
‘York Does Vintage’ meets ‘SOUK Fashion & Lifestyle Bazaar’ – a Fusion Fashion Fair on 14 & 15 May at St Williams College, York
Fashion City York is running a series of events over the 2 & 3 April; Fashion Village, Catwalk York and Shopping City.