Fifty fashionistas had a fabulous experience at the London Fashion Week Festival, gathering a wealth of inspiration and ideas to ensure Lincoln Fashion Week 2017 – which is being masterminded by Lincoln BIG – will be just as amazing!

Despite an early photo call, the group hosted by the Business Improvement Group, was in high spirits. The travellers boarded Virgin Train’s East Coast direct 7.30am service from Lincoln to King’s Cross, and kick-backed for a free First Class ride.

Excited conversation, yummy breakfast treats, on-board calls from journalists and plenty of social media action added to a fun journey and everyone arrived in the capital relaxed and festival-ready.

Retailers, buyers, stylists, and University of Lincoln fashion and media students then melted into the Underground or headed for the taxi ranks, keen to catch the action at The Store Studios in The Strand.

Inside the atmosphere was electric. Rails were bursting with the latest looks and browsers and shoppers were also being tempted by quirky, eye-catching accessories, including sparkling jewellery, fabulous shoes and bags.

In addition to the pop-up “shops”, there was a photographic booth, a Toni & Guy mini salon, an amazing range of sunglasses, a make-up studio and the chance to visit nail technicians.

Naturally, the professional catwalk show – compered by TV presenter, chef and author Laura Jackson and featuring the latest trends from top designers – was also a must.

An eclectic mix of new season’s designs revealed plenty of off-the-shoulder looks, with a creative play on straps. Hot styles include floaty, micro-floral and plain fabric designs incorporating tiers and sexy ruffles.

The Festival also included a variety of talks. Some Lincoln retailers made the most of the opportunity to hear Eleri Lynn – Curator of Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace – which they found really fascinating.

Lincoln Fashion Week 2017 models Darcie Townsend, Chanelle Harrington, Jay Alcock and Stephen Lonsdale also made the most of their day.

Chanelle said: “We had a fantastic time and have come back with lots of ideas and inspiration for our own Lincoln Fashion Week.

Stephen, who was spotted checking out men’s fashions, sunglasses and watches at the Festival said: “I was really excited to experience this. It was an event I’d never been too before. As a man, it was an exciting opportunity to see fashions that are on the up and other new developments.”

Steve Drew, from Stormfront in the Waterside Shopping Centre, went one better and snapped-up a Gandy’s jacket. Gandy’s brand was created by British brothers Rob and Paul Forkan, who lost their parents in the Boxing Day Tsunami.

“I found a fabulous, and affordable, jacket by these designers who tragically lost their parents in the tsunami.  I think they have done all right!” said Steve.

Goldsmiths Jewellers’ Supervisor Hilary Fox, Waterside Marketing & Promotions Co-ordinator Mary-Jane Booth and Roman Manager Jessica Oates were also spotted checking the fashion rails and swapping notes about the latest styles.

Jessica (Oates) added: “It has been a brilliant experience and it was nice to meet so many different people, from different backgrounds. The clothes were all unique and there were lots of funky designs.

Donna Green from Vision Express tried on a luxury furry jacket at The Day Rooms, but managed to resist buying it. However, she still returned home saying she had had “a great day.”

Lincoln Head of Fashion Week Jess Wickham said: “It was a really brilliant. We’re now raring to go and determined to make the second Lincoln Fashion Week an outstanding and memorable event for the city and its visitors.”

Lincoln BIG Events & Promotions Manager Michael Armstrong added: “We took Lincoln Fashion Week banners with us, to make more people aware of our event, which runs from April 28 to May 5 and culminates in a spectacular catwalk show at Alive Church in Newland on May 5.

“Once more, our thanks go to Virgin Train’s East Coast which made our First-Class transport to London extra special, and to our headline Lincoln Fashion Week 2017 sponsor the Waterside Shopping Centre and key supporter St Marks Retail Park.”