Colors: Pink Color
Colors: Pink Color

Join Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity on Friday 7 December for its annual Jolly Jumper Day.

The two much-loved charities are calling on local residents to do their bit in a festive knit to help each charity raise the vital funds needed to spread their magic around each hospital – ensuring the best possible experience for every patient.

Moments of magic happen every single day at each hospital – whether it be a ground-breaking piece of medical research or the sound of patients giggling as they’re entertained in their hospital bed.

Serena Daw, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Getting involved in Jolly Jumper Day is simple and the easiest way to do more for our patients and families this Christmas. Just pull on your brightest, wackiest or most ho-ho-ho-horrendous novelty pullover – either on your own or with family, friends or colleagues – and donate whatever you can afford to our hospital charity of your choice.

“If you’re yet to find a jolly jumper that takes your fancy, check out our charity-branded Christmas jumpers. We have sizes for all the family - from new born to nan and the best bit is, all profits come back to us!”


To find out more about Jolly Jumper Day or the Moments of Magic Christmas campaign at the children’s hospital, visit, call 0121 333 8506 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To get involved in support of the women’s hospital, visit, call 0121 335 8050 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Couples are invited to an autumn wedding fair at Lightwoods House in Bearwood.

Wedding suppliers will be exhibiting their wares and visitors can also look round the house and gardens, which is in Lightwoods Park, Adkins Lane, on Sunday 28 October.

Anyone who pre-registers by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. giving the couple-to-be’s names and approximate wedding date will be sent a voucher for a complimentary glass of Prosecco or soft drink on arrival at the fair.

Suppliers will include photography and photobooth suppliers, a venue decorator, wedding car supplier, cake baker, caricaturist, a DJ, singer, a dressmaker and florist.

Admission to the fair, which runs from 11am until 3pm, is free.

The stunning 18th century, Grade II-listed house and park have been restored thanks to a £5.2million project funded by Sandwell Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and BIG Lottery.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure Councillor Bill Gavan said: “The house is a fantastic venue for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and our wedding fairs are always really popular.

“Not only can couples choose to get married in the bandstand, the house has a beautiful ceremony room, space for a reception and catering options. I’d urge anyone who is planning on tying the knot to come along to the wedding fair and find out more about this fantastic venue."

Frida Kahlo was an expert at creating her identity. Nothing spoke of her identity as much as her clothing did, and Frida was masterful at using dress, both Western and traditional fashion, to create a self-portrait through clothing.  According to CNN, she was able to use her clothes to construct an ethnic and political identity that sent a political statement dealing with cultural identity, nationalism, and feminism.

For nine nights, from October 12-21st, award-winning, cultural travel tour operator, Tia Stephanie Tours will take participants on an up-close look at Kahlo's Mexican and European roots, highlighting her purposeful use of dress, including for her wardrobe, her self-portraits and still life paintings and for posing in the now iconic photographs of her, taken by celebrated photographers, such as Nickolas Muray and Edward Weston. As a national icon, Kahlo was inspired by her roots, which shined through in her dress, creating a unique identity all her own. Frida Kahlo:  Ethnographic Dress & Identity, a new title to Tia Stephanie Tours' lineup, will traverse not only the neighborhoods where Frida lived and frequented, such as Coyoacan and the Historic Center in Mexico City, but the itinerary travels to the regions from where Frida's clothing came, including Puebla, Oaxaca and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, birthplace of her mother.  Frida loved the “Tehuana” dress and often appeared wearing this “traje” in many of her self-portraits and photographs.

The tour includes a lecture on the Dress and Identity of Frida, a visit to the Museum of Modern Art, an insider's tour of the “Blue House”, now Frida Kahlo Museum, a fashion show in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to learn about the history and evolution of dress from this singular region of Mexico, and more. Frida featured the dress of Tehuantepec in one of her paintings, “My Dress Hangs There,” seemingly to place herself in an out of “dress”, out-of-body experience, living between two worlds and identities.

“I am honored to share such an immersive package that includes visits to meet the regional artisans who continue the craft of creating ethnographic clothing, a trip to Frida's childhood home, a special “rebozo” expo-venta to learn of the iconic garment of Mexico, which Frida often wore. We have offered other tours on other dimensions of Frida Kahlo, namely her art, but this is the first one and only tour that focuses on her dress and the regions where they came from”, said Stephanie Schneiderman, founder of Tia Stephanie Tours.

This tour coincides with another opportunity to see Kahlo's intimate belongings up close which is through an exhibit at the United Kingdom's V&A Museum, which runs through Nov. 4. The exhibit, which includes artifacts never before seen outside of Mexico, showcases her possessions, including a cotton huipil with machine-embroidered chain stitch and a Guatemalan cotton coat worn with Mazatec huipil and plain floor-length skirt. For visitors to the exhibition, this tour offers a wonderful complement to see Frida's homeland in Mexico and the places that inspired her clothing!

Trousers worn by David Tennant, Ian McKellen’s floor length coat, doublet and hose worn by Judi Dench and Susannah York’s dress – all feature in eBay auction

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will auction 54 costume items to raise money for the Company’s Stitch In Time campaign, to support the restoration and redevelopment of its Costume Workshop.  The online auction will take place over Shakespeare’s Birthday for a 10-day period between Tuesday 17 and Friday 27 April. The auction will go live at 8pm on Tuesday 17 and end at 8pm on Friday 27.

Costumes worn by actors including Simon Callow, Sinead Cusack, Judi Dench, Anita Dobson, Jane Lapotaire, Ian McKellen, Antony Sher, Patrick Stewart, David Tennant and Susannah York, will feature in the auction (see partial listing of auction items at the end of the release). The auction includes items which date back to productions in the 1970s, including:

  • Simon Russell Beale’s waistcoat from Restoration (1988)
  • David Tennant’s black dress trousers from Hamlet (2008)
  • Anita Dobson’s grey blazer from The Merry Wives of Windsor (2012)
  • Susannah Yorke’s cream dress from Camino Royal (1997)
  • Patrick Stewart’s black trousers from The Merchant of Venice (2011)
  • Judi Dench’s doublet and hose from Shakespeare Live! From The RSC (2016)

All costumes will be listed on eBay with costume measurements and a certificate of authenticity.

The RSC, a registered charity, makes thousands of costume items each year in its Stratford-upon-Avon based Costume Workshop.  Once a production ends, most costumes are placed into the Company’s Costume Store and are available to hire. Some key items go into in the RSC’s Museum Collection and appear in exhibitions in the RSC’s theatres and around the world.

Stitch In Time is a £3m fundraising campaign and there is £1.8m left to raise towards the cost of restoring and redeveloping the Costume Workshop. Thousands of people from around the world have already supported the project including contributions from major philanthropists, trusts and foundations and businesses.  The redevelopment will:

  • Create improved facilities for costume making
  • Care for the RSC’s heritage Grade II listed buildings, including the 1887 Scene Dock, which will become a new entrance to the RSC’s offices
  • Create more space to enable new training and apprenticeship opportunities to secure the future of costume making in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Allow visitors to experience the Company’s world-class costume workshop for the first time through tours and online

David Tennant, RSC Board member and Associate Artist said,

“I have had the pleasure of wearing many costumes at the RSC, created in their workshop in Stratford-upon-Avon. I always think of the very first costume I had when I went there, which was Touchstone in As You Like It. I had this extraordinary, calf-length coat in the jesters’ motley. It was beautifully put together, and the amount of work that had gone into it took my breath away. The attention to detail, the sheer craftsmanship that is engrained in each costume impressed me then and continues to impress me at the company today.”

All bids for the auction need to be entered by the bidder independently via eBay. The RSC cannot facilitate bids for any individual.

University of Wolverhampton Fashion & Textiles students have been designing clothes and accessories from car interior leather donated by a local business.

Aldridge Trimming, based in Wolverhampton, donated 13 bags of leather cut-offs to the Wolverhampton School of Art’s “New Use” project which tasked students with designing and creating clothes and accessories from the material as part of Career Development Week.

Aldridge Trimming was founded in the 1930s and initially provided a local general trimming service for cars of the 1920s and 1930s era.  It now provides quality British-made interior trim fitting services for over 100 classic cars per year.

Jo Bloodworth, Lecturer in Fashion & Textiles in the Wolverhampton School of Art, said: “The Fashion & Textiles Degree course focuses the next generation of creative designers to learn about the impact they will have in the future and students are challenged to think about how they can instigate change by encouraging sustainability to be at the heart of everything they do.

“As part of Career Development Week, we offered students a two day workshop to allow them to study different techniques and to give them the opportunity to explore other ideas. Leather is a recyclable textile, and since it is a sturdy, long-lasting fabric, it can have a second life in a number of ways and students really engaged with the subject matter, being given the freedom to explore new ideas.”

Aldridge Trimming was founded in the 1930s and initially provided a local general trimming service for cars of the 1920s and 1930s era.  It now provides quality British-made interior trim fitting services for over 100 classic cars per year.

Lauren Neville, 23 from Penkridge, who graduated with a Fashion & Textiles degree in 2016, now works as a Trimmer for Aldridge Trimming.  She said:  “We’ve developed a really good relationship with the University and we want to continue to build on this. As a former student I know how difficult it can be sourcing good, quality fabric for use on your course.

“As a business, we would have to pay for leather off-cuts to be picked up and recycled which is why we thought it would be a great idea to make a donation to the University in order to extend its life further.  We use the leather to trim centre consoles, door panels and gear gaters and it’s a real contrast to see the off-cuts being used to create handbags, clothes and even jewellery!”

Keith Makombe, 31 from Wolverhampton, is a final year Fashion & Textiles student. He said:  “I’ve been learning how to attach things to the leather garments I’ve been making and also learning how to cut it – it’s completely different to cutting fabric so it’s really interesting to be able to use new materials.”

London fashionistas were in shock as they discovered the trendy threads of one showgoer’s came straight from the aisles of Poundland.


The discount retailer’s fashion brand partnered with professional prankster, Zac Alsop to get PEP&CO seen by the most influential names in fashion – and it was all caught on camera.

The fashionable fella was decked out in Britain’s fastest growing fashion brand, PEP&CO, from the brand’s SS18 collection, and was strutting his stuff through London Fashion Week shows and events turning heads as he went.


Over the week, Zac infiltrated the Toga show, BFC Showspace, Designer Showspace and the highly anticipated Burberry Show, kitted out in top to toe PEP&CO.


Here he rubbed shoulders with fashionistas and chalked up compliments for his outfit which featured items such as a £2 all cotton T-shirt, £9 jeans and £9 trainers.


Whilst at the show, Zac also managed to fulfil the dream of every fashion up -and-comer by going backstage, walking the catwalk and partying with the most stylish people in the UK.


Everyone was keen to know who Zac was wearing with people complimenting the material, detail and acknowledging that PEP&CO really is the next big thing!

Whether you’re an activewear advocate, hot for hipster threads or a designer diva, the average Brit spends £572 a year to fit in with their fashion tribe, equating to a staggering £16.2 billion nationwide, according to new research from

Choosing a tribe

The study found that more than four in ten Brits (43 per cent) identify with a fashion tribe in the UK. Of those that belong to a ‘clothing cult,’ the majority see themselves as ‘High-street Hoarders,’ with 41 per cent regularly shopping for affordable high street fashion from the current season, while one quarter of Brits describe their signature style as ‘Classic and Preppy’ and 12 per cent identify with the ‘90’s Grunge’ look which has recently come back into fashion. Conversely, over half of individual Brits (57 per cent), claim they don’t have a signature style.

Brits fork out an average of £48 per month on buying clothing, shoes and accessories that relate to their chosen fashion cults, amounting to a substantial £572 per year. While ‘Designer Divas’ are prepared to spend the most on buying branded garments to complement their look (£164 per month), interestingly, fans of activewear are prepared to splurge significantly more than those who prefer high street clobber (£66 versus £41 per month), perhaps as a result of the rising popularity of fitness YouTubers and Instagrammers which has prompted a surge in people choosing to wear luxury leggings and gym gear day-to-day.

Signature Style

The study of over 2,000 UK adults, undertaken in conjunction with YouGov, found that most Brits are keen to stay safe when it comes to their signature style; nearly one third (32 per cent) admit they stick to just one timeless look throughout their lives, whereas 3.9 million fashion-focused Brits (six per cent) feel obliged to refresh their wardrobe every season. Many also admitted to changing their look depending on what day it is, with one in five (20 per cent) confessing they sport alternative looks on the weekend.

Fashion Icons

When it comes to influencing Brits’ signature style, nearly one fifth (18 per cent) say their friends inspire them to identify with a particular clothing cult, while 17 per cent admit their style is defined by the city they live in or plan to move to.

Nearly one in ten (7 per cent) of the UK take inspiration from browsing through their favourite fashion magazines and social media is also starting to have an impact on the clothes we wear, with six per cent of Brits looking to bloggers and Instagrammers for fashion pointers. Surprisingly though, half of the nation (50 per cent) have no idea what inspires their signature look, claiming that they can’t pinpoint what makes them dress the way they do.

Clothing Cult Counties

Wales was revealed to be the high-street hoarder hotspot of the UK, with over half of Welsh residents (54 per cent) identifying with fast, affordable fashion. Meanwhile, Yorkshire was found to be the Hipster capital, with 16 per cent of shoppers in the region admitting the trend best described their signature style, while those in the West Midlands are most likely to be seen in a pair of cut-out leggings, with more activewear fans than anywhere else in the UK (18 per cent).

The study also revealed that those from the North-East are the biggest fashion spenders, forking out more than the rest of the UK on their chosen style at £63 per month, while Yorkshire was found to be the least materialistic, setting aside an average of just £35 per month on conforming to their chosen fashion tribe.

They may be tiny shoes to fill but family footwear retailer Charles Clinkard is looking for the UK’s next top model to showcase its range of first shoes.

It may be baby steps to a full time career on the catwalk but new parents are invited to put their children’s terrific tootsies forward to feature in the company’s marketing campaign.

The award-winning North East-based company is launching a nationwide campaign to find a tiny tot aged between ten months and 18 months.

All parents or carers have to do is send in a fun snap showing how much their children love their first shoes – it can be anything from trying them on to putting them under the pillow at night.

Managing Director Charles Clinkard said: “First shoes are probably the most important ones you’ll ever have in your life – the start of a lifetime journey,

“We’ve been providing children with their first shoes for generations, and there are many people who will remember having their feet measured at Charles Clinkard as they grew up.

“So as we prepare to launch our new first shoe experience, we thought it would be lovely to see one of our very own customers as the face - or should I say feet - of our campaign.”

A talented Shaheen Khan, of Khanz, a social entrepreneur and fashion designer represented Pakistan at the Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WVEF) organized by the ITC where 42 countries participated and was held at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel and Conference Center in Turkey.

Starts with a parallel session that prepares women vendors to take advantage of trade opportunities and achieve commercial success. Women vendors receive mentoring and training from sector specialists in advance of facilitated business-to-business meetings.

Established in 1964, the International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. The theme of this year’s conference was to empower Women Vendors in order to bring greater economic benefits to women and their communities.

(ITC) International Trade Centre is based in Germany and Arancha Gonzalez is the Executive Director. It is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC’s main focus is to facilitate SME success in international business. Having worked with SMEs for 50 years, ITC is familiar with the unique needs of SMEs, including women-owned enterprises, and has vast experience in improving their international competitiveness and connecting them with markets.

Master milliner Stephen Jones will be discussing his most famous designs and opening his extraordinary archive as part of a special event at Blenheim Palace at 7pm on Monday, March 20th. The royal hat maker, whose work is currently on display as part of the Oxfordshire stately home's 'A Passion For Fashion' exhibition, is hosting an exclusive event in the Long Library. Guests will be welcomed with champagne before enjoying an entertaining evening in the company of one of the world's greatest hat makers.

Local fashion designer, Paul Burbridge from Burbo K’Ture, was on hand to give University of Wolverhampton students cutting edge industry advice recently. First year Fashion and Textiles students based in the Wolverhampton School of Art were tasked with an upcycling project as part of their course - fashioning new garments made from unwanted shirts by creating new designs and reusing the fabric, buttons, cuffs and collars.

Miss Caribbean UK 2016, was held at the Broadway Theatre, Catford, SELondon on 3.12.2016. The event was very well attended, with a near capacity crowd enjoying a night of culture and entertainment. The contestants showcased one of their many talents with a fantastic  chroegraphed opening dance section, which had a surprise ending with the founders joining the girls onstage and dancing to a few bars of the “electric Boogie”.

With Christmas fast approaching, men across the UK are set to receive their annual present of novelty boxers, however research released today by Bullring shows that 13% of Birmingham men confess to returning underwear bought for them and 1 in 3 leave them in the wardrobe unworn to gather dust. The reason for this negative reception appears to be family and friends buying the men in their lives the wrong style of underwear, with findings showing that boxer briefs are the most popular pants style, whereas the risqué thong is a favourite for the brave few.

A leading West Midlands designer of wedding shoes is hoping to expand her brand across North America and beyond when she attends a major bridal fair in New York next month. Rachel Simpson, of Rachel Simpson Ltd, is heading to the trade show, as part of International Bridal Week (8-10 October), thanks to support from the Department for International Trade team in Birmingham.

Wolverhampton based Vaal & Vaal and Birmingham based Barberology had both been short-listed in the category of Barbershop of the Year, at this year’s Barber Awards. The barbershops are two of only three establishments from across the country to be shortlisted for the honour, marking a turning point for gents grooming and style in the West Midlands. The award recognises institutions that have performed exceptionally well in 2016 and those that have pushed the boundaries in male grooming and customer services.