Chapters

Cabba Consultancy Highlights 2018

2018 proved another successful year for Cabba with our consultancy work.

Directing the Fashion events of Leeds International Festival (www.leedsinternationalfestival.com) was a highlight of year ( I didn’t think it could beat last year but it totally did ….and was another ‘ pinch me’ moment). I still can’t believe that I am lucky enough to be working with so many talented and amazingly creative fashion people, LIF is of course, supported by the amazing Leeds BID.

The event program that Cabba curated included;

4 days of fashion shows with Leeds leading retailers including Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser, The White Company, Pretty Green, Diesel (to name a few of the 30 fantastic retailers and people that we worked with). These were again hosted in “The Fashion Space’, two converted shipping containers housed on Briggate Leeds.

The amazing fashion industry experts included Fashion East ( so fab last year that we wanted them back and they were more than happy to visit again). This time the lovely Lulu Kennedy brought designers Per Gotesson, Tom and Eden of Art School, Mimi Wade and the fabulous, York based Matty Bovan to Leeds. It was a joy hearing of their work as labels and their success in this notoriously difficult industry.

Adam Murray discussed the recent Somerset House exhibition he curated with Lou Stoppard; “North: Fashioning Identity”, an exhibition examining representations of the North of England and Northerners in photography, fashion and art. It was fascinating. Having also visited the exhibition when in situ at Somerset House, if you get the chance, this exhibition is a must.

The delightful Christopher Raeburn returned to run one of his ‘off cut’ animal workshops. Which animal ? the owl of course - it is Leeds!

He also ran a bespoke CR T- shirt workshop for those less able with a sewing machine. It was great to see him again and we are so grateful for his continued support. AW Hainsworth, a Yorkshire based textile manufacturer that have been manufacturing woollen cloth in Leeds since 1783 kindly supplied the fabric for this event.

Claudia Croft, Vogue (did you see her recent interview of the Beckhams in Vogue ?), curated a collection of Marks and Spencer clothing from their archive. This archive is housed at the University of Leeds and is phenomenal. This was then presented in store alongside a modern curation, a fabulous talk with Claudia and Marks and Spencer ensued. It was wonderful to hear. She also spoke with John Vial ( Global Ambassador L’Oreal) about Men’s fashion, it was fascinating and they are such good friends, a joy to watch - much fun.

Harvey Nichols Leeds are a delight to work with and they hosted Marques Almeida ( SUCH a lovely couple and team), it was a super evening with Marques girls ( models) showing their latest collection and a very engaging Q & A session with Marta, Paulo and Rita from MA.

Sadie Williams visited, a wonderful young designer and of course we had shows from the regions independent designers showing, all in The Fashion Space on Briggate.

The universities; University of Leeds, Leeds Art University and Leeds Beckett as always, were great to work with and their students showed their impressive graduate collections on a beautiful bank holiday. It was so hot the runway was moved out of The Fashion Space onto the pedestrian area, the atmosphere was awesome and the clothes even more so. I think for me a highlight is always seeing the creativity of the students from such strong academic institutes - we are so blessed to have such fashion departments in the city. Thank you also to all the students that interned with us - it is appreciated !

Cabba will be working with Leeds BID again for 2019 on LIF, both on the steering committee and doing some events. The format for 2019, as with any city festival, evolves and will consist of a programme of CORE and OFF events. Cabba are delighted to be working on some events for this festival again.

Other highlights….. Cabba continues to work with the AW Hainsworth and had the pleasure this year of designing their staff jackets. Made out of their stunning, quality wool, each member of staff now has their own bespoke jacket for them to go to trade shows, appointments etc. I think it’s safe to say they are very happy with them as I recently saw Adam Hainsworth wearing his at a meeting we were both at, he’s a lovely ( and very smart ) man.

I have had the honour of working as a validator for a BSC Fashion Course at Leeds Art University as the industry expert on the panel, lecturing at the universities and working with the marketing students of Leeds Beckett University. It’s so inspiring to see students and their work and this is an area of my consultancy work that I relish. New talent and the support of this talent in the industry is very important to me, bridging the gap between academia and industry is a continued focus of my consultancy work.

All this is in additional to some private business mentoring to a wonderful young design label and how could I forget the wonderful Fashion After Party curated by the amazing Suzy Mason and Mikkel Ullah. link here - Princess Julia DJ’d - amazing!

So, with all this consultancy work, which I love, and some unfortunate time off due to ill health, I didn’t produce a clothing collection in 2018.

However, they say every cloud has a silver lining and mine certainly does. I am fit and well, most importantly. I have also had some time to review where I want to go with my label. I love fashion ( really !?) and I love designing clothes so very much, fashion is something I’ve loved all my life. The beauty of social media and the world we live in now days means we can have flexibility in how we work, I will be selling directly to the customers moving forward with a small selection of curated pieces. This means I can still manufacture in Britain but I can also keep costs down for the customer. I’m excited to be working on my label again in 2019, watch this space.

What a year, thank you to everyone that continues to support Cabba and the work I do, it is sincerely appreciated xx

Please click through the image slideshow below and super video of The Afterparty by Suzy Mason and Mikkel Ullah.