And we are unbelievably excited! Oh yes, the Great Yorkshire Show 2019 takes place next week, Tuesday to Thursday, to be precise, at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. All of it is fabulous, of course – the bulls and tractors and pigs and the show jumping and the food – but best of all is the fashion.
The Kuoni catwalk on Tuesday afternoon will be a celebrity special and will see singing soprano Lizzie Jones dressed by Harrogate special occasion designer Jillian Welch, and her friend, paralympic wheelchair racing champion Hannah Cockroft, modelling outfits from Sandersons department store, Fox Valley, Stocksbridge, near Sheffield. Stephanie went along to see Hannah choosing her clothes at the store and can report that she has picked out a lovely outfit for the show.
We are also happy to report that one of our favourite designers, Mary Benson, returns to the Great Yorkshire Show fashion pavilion this year, ten years after she made her debut there. She will be joined by students from her alma mater, Leeds Arts University (which was known as Leeds Art College back when she studied there).
Aged 16 in 2007, Mary, from Seacroft in Leeds, opened a pop-up shop at Canary Wharf and in 2008, starred on BBC’s Mary Queen of Shops. Later that year she launched a Pieces of Eight, a collaborative design venture, with seven friends at Leeds College of Art, including York-based designer Matty Bovan.
In 2009, Mary made her catwalk debut at the Great Yorkshire Show and headed off for her Fashion Design BA at the University of Westminster, interning with Alexander McQueen.
Now she’s back with her gorgeous new collections including MARY Pre-loved, fashionably renewing clothes she finds and see potential in. “I was flattered to be asked back,” she said. “I still fondly remember my first fashion show at the Great Yorkshire Show. It’s incredible how much has happened since then and how my life has changed. There’s no denying taking part in London Fashion Week is amazing but there’s something special about returning to the Great Yorkshire Show.”
GYS fashion show director Bernadette Gledhill said: “Mary made such an impact 10 years ago. It’s been lovely to follow her success.”
The Great Yorkshire Show has been giving a platform to new designers for more than 20 years. This year’s Kuoni Catwalk will showcase designs from students at Leeds Arts University, with fabric from Alfred Brown in Leeds to create a collection of cutting-edge menswear. LAU Fashion Design student Kaytii Matthews will show her collection of aesthetic-led solutions for people with disabilities, especially women with colostomy or ostomy bags. It features a beautiful print she has created using microscopic images of the intestine.
John Lewis & Partners will show a collection of early autumn/winter staples, and there will be fine tweed capes from Yorkshire sheep farmer Sarina Dean and her brand Galijah.
The Great Yorkshire Show’s fabulous fashion offer gets a makeover this year with new presenter Christine Talbot and a new home and entrance at the heart of the Showground, next door to its former home, with more seating so that 7,000 visitors will now get the chance to watch the show.
* Mary Benson’s designs can be bought at www.marybenson.london. Instagram @marybensonlondon
* The 161st Great Yorkshire Show will be held from Tuesday, July 9 to Thursday, July 11 at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. Tickets for the show are on sale at https://greatyorkshireshow.co.uk/ticket-information
* The Kuoni Catwalk will take place on each day of the show at 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4pm, with a one-off celebrity special on the Tuesday at 2.30pm.
* The show will be produced by Bernadette Gledhill with hair and make-up by students from the White Rose Beauty Colleges from across Yorkshire.
* All the action from the Kuoni Catwalk will be on Twitter @greatyorkshow #KuoniCatwalk #GYSfashion