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April 2004
Sex, Shopping and Nottingham City
Stockings (ladder free!)
Nottingham's fashion scene has many influences - Carrie Bradshaw, for one, has a lot to answer for.

Rachel White
A NTU Platform article
Fashion hunting in Nottingham

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Platform: NTU Newspaper
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Supermarket Fashion Degree:
Nottingham Trent University has launched a new custom made degree in association with George at Asda.

The new degree, BA (Hons) Fashion Retail Management for George, allows 13 employees of the company to study on day release at the University.

George has also joined forces with Westminster University in order to educate their employees up to such a standard that they will be able to push ahead in today's extremely lucrative fashion market.

George has invested nearly £360,000 into the first year of the scheme. The course is broken down into three 18-month sections, allowing for up to 12 members of staff to study on the course each year, although the intake may increase if the scheme is found to be successful.

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The fashion world as we know it has been turned on its head over the past few years with shows such as Sex and the City redefining the term 'fashionable'.

Hundreds of Carrie Bradshaw's walk the streets of Nottingham searching for accessories and clothing not devoid of the show.

Women's fashion magazines adopted Carrie and her New York girlfriends Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte as the styleometre of current and future fashions. Carrie fever hit the UK in a big way and Nottingham was not missed off the map.

Emma, 21, studying at Trent University quips: "I liked Carrie's mix of old and new, I remember her wearing pearls in an episode before they came back in style and I managed to find some in Debenhams."

Sarah Jessica Parker
Let's blame Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker)

Caroline, 18, student at People's College confides "Miranda and Charlotte are the only well dressed characters. Carrie is impossible to imitate."

Justine, 21, studying at Trent University says, "I looked everywhere to find name necklaces, I eventually settled with an initial necklace from Claire's Accessories. It's really sad how much I wanted one, but I think everyone did even if they didn't admit it."

TV style inspiration isn't unheard of; many High Street stores are quick to pounce on the trends.

Fashion via art forms is also having profound effects on young, up-and-coming Nottingham designers. Susi Henson, managing director of Nottingham based Eternal Spirits is an ex-Trent University fashion student and believes that fashion isn't just restricted to London, and decided to create business for herself.

Eternal Spirits specialises in corsetry. Susi's inspiration seeps from expressionist poetry, gothic architecture and industrial rock-inspired song lyrics. Religious iconography is apparent in many of Susi's designs.

Sample is a thriving boutique in King John's Arcade, off Bridlesmith Gate. Young designers Heidi Butler and Emrys Plant take their inspirations from storybooks, the range Frogman is from a book of the same name and has a quirky aesthetic appeal that would entice any consumer looking for art-inspired tops and T-shirts.

Nottingham students play a huge part in the Nottingham fashion scene they are, along with the many other consumers, treading the Nottingham boards each day as models, many inspirational simply to other shoppers walking past.

"Nottingham (is a) very multicultual place, in fashion generally there's so much 'street' influence, with all the 'bling thing' happening, and as always people (maybe especially students) want to be individuals in their fashion, so there's a lot of mixing of layers and colours. I think for something to be 'vintage' is a quite a cool thing at the moment, you know then that not everyone's got that same piece of jewellery or the same bag, and you are truly individual."
- Chloe Hutchinson, 2nd year fashion marketing and communication student at Nottingham Trent University.

The student fashion scene is huge, and with fashion show a-plenty, from City Light's own modeling competitions to Nottingham Trent's annual show there isn't much more room for clean cut talent.

"With Nottingham being full of students I think everyone influences each other. Trent obviously has a very broad scope of fashion students, who are all influenced by a wide variety of themes; from each other and designers to what is going on in the media and the country in general. I do think we have some amazing shops here and a wide variety of resources, which used to their full potential could be highly prosperous."
- Jenna, Fashion Student , Nottingham Trent University

I caught with Trent Uni newspaper Platform and spoke to editor Rachel Dybeic who told me about her favourite Nottingham haunts.

"There are so many places to shop in Nottingham it's almost impossible to choose my favorite but the ones I really love are Zara and Faith. I could spend hours looking round Zara and I love the variety and constant turnover they seem to have in there. All the clothes are well made and they look more expensive than they are. I'm also a big fan or department stores because there are so many shops under one roof. Perfect if you're a lazy shopper!

Next and Gap are good for basics like trousers and coats but if you want something a bit out of the ordinary I'd head into Hockley to the smaller boutiques."

With style inspiration not just from national media but also from homegrown designers or local features that substitute forms of artistry, it seems that Nottingham has that infamous fashion-bug that every city strives for - with a variety of shops that cater for every taste and a pool of talent that offers everyone the opportunity and aspiration to step into.

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