Manchester has been at the height of stylefor decades.And the city’s young generation has often been leading the way.
Manchester Metropolitan University’s annual fashion show has functioned as the perfect platform for Manc students to rep the leading trends since the 1950s – as well as pioneering some iconic styles of their own.
The city’s fashion scene has evolved considerably over the past 60 years – and with the help of MMU’s runway archives, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to explore how style has moved with the times.
The elegant, lady-like dress pictured above was a key style for women throughout the country in the late 50s – and Mancunians were equally eager to embrace it.
It features a trendy nipped-in waist and full skirt paired with matching feminine accessories to create a truly glamorous garment.
We only wish that it was still acceptable to get dolled up in this kind of glamour these days!
From the eye-catching floral print to the unique cape detail, this flowery dress (above) would still feel at home in the likes of Retro Rehab despite being 60-years-old.
The full-length maxi skirt only came back into fashion around the late 60s as the ‘hippie’ movement emerged, but it’s no surprise that Mancunians were ahead of the curve with this style.
This outfit above serves as a reminder of the popularity of a-line dresses and skirt suits in the 50s and 60s, as well as the importance of matching accessories.
Rather than the typical pinafore or mini skirt of the decade, this dress transitions into a well-concealed trouser suited for the city’s dedicated working women. Because practicality shouldn’t hinder fashion, right?
MMU students also returned to the maxi style in 1966 ready for the emergence of this trend nationwide, although in the image above it is adorned with a very 60s flower-power mod print.
This is an eye-catching take on the current trend, and is another retro dress that we could definitely see Mancunians rocking today from a brand like Grey Milk.
The 70s saw bold colours and patterns take centre stage when it came to fashion, so obviously Mancunians were quick to follow suit.
This flashy polka dot outfit (above) from 1972 perfectly fits the disco and nightclub scene that dominated this era, as well as the figure-hugging fit making an appearance before it became a mainstream style.
This striped top pictured above from 1976 is another example of the glitz and glamour ready for the dancefloor in the 70s, complete with a flouncy skirt.
This was also an era of working handmade methods like crochet and embroidery into high-end garments – with the fabulous fruit print top being no different.
The 80s was a decade defined by its power dressing – but the Manchester students pictured here substituted blazers and shoulder padding for a loud print and vinyl jacket that meant business.
While the rest of the country started the decade in preppy outfits inspired by the likes of Ralph Lauren and the typical American boarding school look, Mancunians apparently weren’t afraid to try something different.
The dominant trend of the 80s was ‘bigger is better’, with brightly-coloured and coordinated looks screaming for attention.
Although PVC really came in style for young people in the 90s, Manchester was one step ahead of this look and not afraid to boast it!
While MMU’s students were eager to stray from the typical styles at this time, they also provided some iconic looks that couldn’t better summarise the 80s.
From the big hair to the influences from the 80s sportswear and fitness craze, it’s clear that Manchester had cracked the style of this decade.
The popularity of bright florals in the late 80s is on show in 1989 – although the quirky addition of fresh flowers on the floppy hat is an artistic touch from Manchester’s students.
The 90s generally saw a shift away from the larger-than-life styles that were popular in the 80s to more casual streetwear, but it’s clear that some Mancunians weren’t ready to ditch the bright colours just yet.
The sportswear influences of the 80s are also continued with these biker shorts and leggings, although we’re not quite sure that Manchester’s rainy weather would approve.
The rise of grunge fashion was also well underway in the 90s, with musical movements helping to put this trend on the map.
MMU students can be seen here pairing dainty mini skirts with chunky leather boots and stud details to provide a fresh new take on the style that was sweeping the country at the time.
While the noughties provided a variety of iconic new styles, leggings under dresses was a trend that we all remember (and miss the warmth that it gave us) – as seen above with this bold red pair.
Tunic dresses were another firm favourite of the decade that Manchester students were quick to get on board with.
This patchwork halter neck maxi dress from 2007 proves that Manchester students were still up-to-date with the top trends, even if our rainy weather couldn’t quite allow summer dresses like this to be worn outside the house.
A two-day sustainable fashion event is coming to the Trafford Centre
A two-day sustainable fashion event is coming to Manchester shopping complex the Trafford Centre this month,
The leading shopping and leisure destination will champion circular fashion, environmentally conscious fashion and new season trends with a selection of pre-loved fashion sales, ticketed live expert talks and spectacular fashion shows.
Aiming to inspire shoppers to reinvent their wardrobe whilst championing brands that are taking more steps to adopt greener practices, Trafford Centre will come alive with spectacular fashion shows and dance fusion performances whilst showcasing key A/W trends from the centre’s vast array of fashion retailers.
The public can also expect pre-loved fashion sales from We Are Second Life, whilst ticketed live expert talks will be hosted in-store by Selfridges. Meanwhile, styling sessions will be hosted by John Lewis, with support from charity partner, Smart Works, championing sustainable initiatives.
Zoe Inman, Centre Director at Trafford Centre, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting a 2-day fashion extravaganza at Trafford Centre; an opportunity to showcase the incredible range of fashion brands on offer, whilst highlighting brands that are championing sustainable initiatives.
“The centre will come alive with fantastic entertainment, inspiring shows, and informative talks, whilst also giving the public the opportunity to purchase pre-loved items – we are looking forward to delivering another huge-scale event that continues to escape the ordinary.”
Across the two days, specially-choreographed fashion shows will take place in The Main Dome, championing the themes of re-wearing and restyling whilst also showcasing the latest A/W trends.
A team of eight young dancers from troop Dance Fusion will also be on hand performing a high-energy routine to entertain shoppers alongside the diverse fashion shows.
Elsewhere, Selfridges will host X3 ‘in conversation with’ live talks focused on its Materials, Models and Mindsets pillars as part of the wider ‘refashioned’ event.
And Smart Works, a UK female employment charity that dresses and coaches women for interviews and job success, will partner with John Lewis to offer styling sessions in the department store’s dedicated styling lounge.
Tickets for the Smart Works styling are priced at £10 per person. As part of the experience, customers will be treated to a glass of prosecco on arrival, a John Lewis goodie bag and an interactive session of styling from both Smart Works Greater Manchester and John Lewis, with all funds going to support the Smart Works Greater Manchester charity.
Smart Works Head of Wardrobe Trustee, Kay Barratt said: “We use fashion as a force for good, with our dressing room stocked with pre-loved and new clothing to dress women in preparation for their interviews.
“Shopping your wardrobe, learning how to take pieces from one season to the next and mixing pre-loved and vintage has never been more in fashion. We look forward to sharing styling tips and tricks at Trafford Centre’s refashioned event that will not only save the planet, but also your pocket too.”
A huge new luxury trainer and menswear store has opened inside the old Paperchase
High-end men’s fashion retailer END. Clothing has just opened a new store in Manchester, taking over the old Paperchase site with two stories of luxury streetwear, high end sneakers and sought-after labels from Japan.
The stationery retailer closed its doors here in 2020 after the company collapsed into administration, leaving its old home vacant. Now END. has moved in, and following extensive refurbishments, it opened to the public this weekend.
Gone is the old mezzanine and the reams of wrapping paper. In its place, the store now boasts triple-height ceilings and a monolithic pallete of premium marble, concrete, stainless steel, glass, mirror and maple.
Inside, shoppers canl find a range of high-end menswear brands including Carhartt, Moncler, Rick Owens, Gucci, Off-White and Balenciaga, with selections spread across two floors.
With a large footwear section offering everything from high end sneakers and casual boots to sliders and sandals to high-end accessories, clothing and lifestyle items, this is the place to get your winter fits.
The ground floor houses END.’s contemporary menswear brands alongside a selection of sought-after Japanese labels. It will also feature an extensive lifestyle section alongside a ‘wellbeing space’ filled with premium skincare, fragrance and cosmetic products.
Upstairs, the first floor will house END.’s largest sneaker offering to date alongside a wide array of luxury, streetwear and skate labels, and a dedicated ‘launch zone’ events space.
The new opening is the first site in the north west for the brand, which already has two stores in Newcastle, one in Glasgow and another in London.
“Manchester has been high on our list for a long time.” Commented Parker Gundersen, CEO for END.
“We have a very strong community here already who have been asking us to build a physical store for many years.
“When we finally found this building, we knew we had an amazing space that would allow us to create a concept that would match the high expectations of both our customers and brand partners.
“To finally see the finished product has been really thrilling for our team and I’m so proud of what they have achieved.”
In addition to the Manchester opening, END. will open its’ first dedicated Women’s concept in Newcastle later this month, followed by a ground-breaking new flagship in the heart of Milan at the end of the year.