UK Design and Fashion

An inspiring exploration into the tradition of fashion and design in the UK alongside a taste of the industry today. From silks, hats, clothes and accessories this tour presents fabulous designs from the past and a chance to put a finger on the pulse of fashion in some of the UK’s major cities. This tour is ideal for design students or those just plain curious about fashion and design who want to be taken to the best shopping locations. The itinerary can be adapted to include a fashion show or the raw, edgy new fashions of Edinburgh and London.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day Two: Manchester

  • Arrive at Manchester airport to be met by an experienced tour manager and guide with a deluxe, modern touring coach.  Transfer to the hotel for an early lunch.
  • Afternoon tour of this world famous city taking in the many highlights.
  • Evening fish and chips dinner at the award winning Harry Ramsdens.
  • An overnight stay in Manchester.

Day Three: Manchester’s Museums

  • The first visit of the day is to the Platt Hall Museum of Costume.  This collection covers the period from the 17th century to the present day, with peasant and workers’ costumes to those representing the high fashion of the day.
  • The second visit is to the Whitworth Art Gallery in the University of Manchester with its interesting collection of textiles.
  • An overnight stay in Manchester.

Day Four: Stockport’s Museums

  • A short transfer to Stockport and the Hat Works Museum with its collection of hats from all eras of the 20th century, including some of the finest couture millinery masterpieces.  Displays here show the development of hats and how they were and are made.
  • An afternoon visit to the Silk Industry Museum, complete with displays on the production of silk, the looms that were used in the factories and many examples of past and present fashion items made with silk.

Day Five: To Scotland

  • Travel north to Scotland.
  • A tour of Shambellie House to explore the origins of tartan, so closely associated with the Scottish nation.  See modern designs and fabrics using tartan. From kilts to catwalks; tartan has shown its versatility and adaptability for centuries. Highland regiments overseas and royal enthusiasm helped bring the colourful fabric to a wider audience. It has also influenced modern designers such as the creations of Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Jean-Paul Gaultier.  Rounding off the tour is a not to be missed opportunity to try on a kilt!
  • Continue to Glasgow for dinner in the hotel and overnight stay.

Day Six: Glasgow’s Museums

  • A morning visit to the Paisley Museum, with the world’s largest collection of Paisley pattern fabric shawls.  Made famous in the 19th century and copied all over the world this is an instantly recognisable pattern.
  • In the afternoon to the Burrell Collection, an eclectic collection of embroidery from Elizabethan sweet bags to 18th and 19th century samplers.

Day Seven: New Lanark Mill

  • A visit to the World Heritage site at New Lanark Mill.  Built in the early 1800s this was a development way ahead of its time, providing a good standard of accommodation and environment for the workers.

Day Eight: Glasgow School of Art

  • A morning visit to the Glasgow School of Art’s Fashion Department, including a Textile Archive tour.  If the tour is taken in March it can be combined with their Fashion and Textile show, showcasing the latest creations from the students.
  • Afternoon free to explore the shopping in Glasgow.

Day Nine: Shopping in Edinburgh

  • A morning transfer to Edinburgh for shopping at some of its great stores. Must sees include; Corniche by Vivienne Westwood, Belinda Robertson – knitwear design, cashmere, alpaca, Fabhatrix – a vast collection of hats from local designers and the wider world, from the fun to the bespoke, Godiva – unconventional, innovative, liberated fashions and Helen Bateman – shoes and accessories.
  • Afternoon train to London

Day Ten: London’s Hotspots

  • Make this visit on a Sunday and try out the raw edge of fashion at the Old Truman Brewery and the (Up)market.  Forget the mainstream here there is everything from one off designs to the latest trendsetters.  The whole spectrum is catered for; eclectic, modern, off beat – this is definitely the place to see what is and what will be happening in fashion.  For more retro tastes there is Beyond Retro, a vast warehouse of retro clothing, old skool trainers, 50s t-shirts and prom dresses!
  • There are lots more boutiques to explore; Glorias or Meteor Sports, both have vast collection of trainers from old skool to the modern to classics and limited editions with many more options for the urban or hip hop scene.
  • Additional visits can be made to The Laden Showroom in Brick Lane, home to cutting edge young designers, nearby Hoxton for stores like Wink with the latest in vogue items from around the world, or even Helen Rawlinson’s designer lampshades.
  • For those with time and money spare there’s the opportunity to get a bespoke suit from Timothy Everest – tailor to David Beckham, or perhaps some shoes from Emma Hope as well!

Day Eleven: Departure

  • Flight home from London.