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Off the record, July 12 2014

The week’s hottest happenings.

High-flyers watch Westwood uniforms on Virgin’s runway

Dame Vivienne Westwood and Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson (centre, with Westwood’s husband Andreas Kronthaler) threw a celeb-packed bash at Village Underground in Shoreditch to unveil the designer’s uniform for Branson’s airline crew. Celebrating 30 years of Virgin Atlantic, Westwood’s red-hot designs took to the catwalk, followed by a rousing set from Debbie Harry (first right), who performed Blondie hits to a who’s who of tabloid stars including actors, singers and models.

A step into the future

London-based American designer Bryan Oknyansky has been working with 3D printing for about 10 years. He specialises in shoes and we were delighted to receive this mini example of his work. Made of a bio-plastic called PLA, these heels took an hour to print. His grown-up versions, available via

Tour de Textiles

With all eyes on Yorkshire as the Tour de France got underway last week, the UK Fashion & Textile Association and the Campaign for Wool drew crowds of their own to a special showcase of the best of the region’s textile industry. The Leeds event included catwalks and presentations from former The Apprentice contestant Francesca MacDuff-Varley, as well as a cycling-themed workshop.

Some hot Couture

The couture season started in style last weekend, with Atelier Versace sending some risqué designs down the catwalk. Intricately crafted dress designs revealed not just a flash of leg, but thigh and even hip for the autumn 14 show, leaving us wondering if this latest eveningwear trend will make for some particularly daring partygoers at the Drapers Awards later this year…

The stars come out for Marina Rinaldi opening

Luxury plus-size womenswear brand Marina Rinaldi, part of the Italian MaxMara Group, hosted a cocktail party to toast the opening of its Atelier flagship store on Albemarle Street in London’s Mayfair last week. Singer Neneh Cherry performed a DJ set, while rising star Elli Ingram performed to guests including TV star Miquita Oliver, and musician Kelis and Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher (pictured).

Facebook’s fashion friends

Designers and retailers descended on Facebook HQ for the launch of the government’s new strategy for supporting the British creative industries. As accessories designer Anya Hindmarch chatted to business secretary Vince Cable (pictured), it swiftly became apparent that even internet giants suffer IT glitches, as Facebook’s tech team struggled to get their video and music equipment up and running.

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