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The only way is Esher

With conditions strained and footfall down on high streets the length and breadth of the country, it was great to see a collection of fashion indies club together to participate in Esher Fashion Week last week.

I was lucky enough to attend to judge a visual merchandising competition showcasing the work of students from local schools and colleges.

I was joined by fellow judge, stylist Melanie Burdon from Frock Control, to critique the window displays of five Esher fashion retailers - United Colours of Benetton, Club, Lily & Bow, OKeefe, and Rock & Robes.

The standard was incredibly high and included pretty 1920s’/50s’ themed windows full of trinkets at OKeefe, a bold installation-like display at Benetton where the mannequins found themselves amid a web of dyed wool, a Victoria Beckham themed display at Club complete with gold crowns and everything, gothic style windows at Rock & Robes where embellished skulls were aplenty, and a more traditional but well executed autumnal scene at Lily & Bow.

A big well-done to winning four students - Sasha Miles, Adora Mehitable, Amanda Uliana, and Brenda Garcia – whose stunning window display emerged victorious, despite tough competition from the other competing students and in particular those behind the striking, on-brand windows at Benetton.

This competition is a great example of how with a little time, organisation and teamwork, fashion indies can get together to support and showcase local talent, create a buzz and drive footfall in their areas.

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