Little black dress
|Dress to impress says Manchester designer Warren Bardsley
When you think of fashion, you think London, Paris, New York, Milan and
It's a little-known fact but Manchester used to be known as "Cottonopolis - the textile capital of the world".
And here in the northern quarter there's one young designer who is determined
to make Manchester fashionable again.
He's dressed everyone from Kylie Minogue to the stars of the city's favourite soap, Coronation Street, on red carpets all over the country.
Now he's taking the Manchester message all the way to America.
Inside Out's Jacey Normand spends a day with the daring dress designer in the run-up to an international competition which could shape his career.
Everyone knows if you want to stand out on the red carpet, you need a show-stopping dress to really get those flash bulbs popping.
That's why Warren Bardsley, the designer behind the up-and-coming Gorgeous Couture label, is really making a name for himself.
|Designed for success - a Bardsley success story
He's designed dresses for everyone from pop stars Girls Aloud to Coronation Street's Nikki Sanderson, and his motto is always for maximum impact.
Warren began his career from a stall in the city's famous Affleck's Palace, so he's come a long way since his humble beginnings.
He says, "Our biggest achievement was when we dressed Girls Aloud for the Royal Variety performance.
"They were on the front page of all the tabloids - it was great exposure for them and great for me, the phone never stopped ringing."
Having spearheaded the success of the label from his home in Manchester, Warren now has bigger aspirations in his sights.
He's off to Los Angeles to represent the UK in an international competition, where he'll aim to design to ultimate Little Black Dress - a staple of every party girl's wardrobe.
Dress to impress
With two weeks to go Warren's hard at work on his creation - all the sequins have to be hand-sewn and it will take hours of intricate work to make his vision a sparkling reality.
Just days to go all the hard work pays off, and the dress is ready in time for take-off.
|Is this the ultimate Little Black Dress?
Warren says, "I'm really excited - I can't wait to get out there and be involved".
The competition is being held in one of Hollywood's swankiest hotels, and Warren will be up against some of the world's top young designers vying for the title.
On arrival at the competition all the dresses are displayed on mannequins, not models, so the judges and other visitors can get a good look at all the entries up close.
Warren's clearly excited about the opportunity.
"It's quite unique - on a runway show you only get one minute but here people can come round and view the dress.
"There are 40 different mannequins here and when night falls and you've got the lights from the pool and the breeze, I think it'll work well."
The anticipation is building, but Warren's got one more thing to worry about - making sure Jacey looks the part for the big night.
"We don't have parties like this in North Manchester so I'm glad Warren's run me up a posh frock to wear.
"I wouldn't want to let the side down while I'm rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mel B, film producer and mate of Liz Hurley's - Julia Verdin, and that bloke from CSI!"
Now that Jacey's got her outfit sorted it's time for the big event, and this time it's Warren's turn to be treated like a celebrity as he steps on to the red carpet.
But there's stiff competition from nearly 40 other designers all hoping to scoop the prize, and with journalists from American Vogue and Elle in attendance, the pressure's on.
Hanging by a thread
Now it's time for the judges to make their decision, and Warren's really starting to get nervous.
He's done his homework though, and from the people he's spoken to today, he thinks he might be in with a good chance.
"I've been quizzing the organisers - they're really excited about the dress and there's a silent auction and I'm hoping for the highest bid.
"Everyone votes for their favourite dress, it'll sell itself - it's in a fabulous location and with the amount of diamante we've used it'll be the centre of attention."
But Warren misses out on the coveted prize by a thread, and it looks like Jacey's vote could have been the decider
"It was absolutely fabulous, the crowd had a huge reaction to the UK designers but Warren missed the vote by one," she says.
"Warren, I feel really bad but I forgot to vote for you!"
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