York Fashion Week was lucky enough to host York-born, international fashion designer Scott Henshall this year. As former Creative Director of luxury brand Mulberry and turned ‘King of the Red Carpet’; York was honoured to welcome Scott back to the place he calls home for fashion week.
Scott’s aspirations to make it in the fashion industry all began in York he told me:
“When I was a teenager dreaming of being a designer I would go into Liberty, Mulberry Hall, Laura Ashley, and Mulberry loving the products thinking about what I would do for them. Fortunately, with hard work and a pinch of luck, I have worked with all of them. Liberty allowed me to use their prints and was my first ever stockist, I became Creative Director of Mulberry and posed in the windows of Mulberry Hall with my Halcyon Days Collaboration.”
“Dreams can come true.”
Scott’s highlight of being involved with YFW this year was collaborating with some local brands, he created his ‘Valour candle’ with the Little Yorkshire Candle Company and a Valour Gin with Cooper King Distillery. The fashion designer wanted to work with the best of Yorkshire and even designed a jewellery collection with master goldsmith, Mark Lloyd.
Scott was given the window of the famous Browns Department Store.
“I have visited Browns since being a child, so that was definitely a pinch me moment.”
One of the main events at YFW was the runway show at Mansion House showcasing Scott’s favourite pieces alongside his good friend Lady Victoria Hervey who showed her swim collection.
“It was great to do the show with my best friend of over 20 years Lady Victoria Hervey, who showed her LADYSHIP swim collection (of which I love every piece). I enjoyed the after party at Cut and Chase even more! They created the Henshall and LADYSHIP cocktails using my Valour gin which was definitely a highlight.”
In 2004 Scott designed the world’s most expensive dress for the Spider Man 2 premiere, and Lady Victoria Hervey was lucky enough to arrive at the fashion show in Mansion House sporting it very well.
“The Mansion House was the perfect venue to showcase my archive collection and it was great to arrive with Victoria wearing my works most expensive dress and she rocked it as she always does.”
The story behind the construction and design of this glamorous dress is extraordinary.
“I love diamonds so I approached the diamond trading council in London and they told me that Dali Diamonds in Antwerp had created a new cut of diamond, so we cut the diamond with 49 facets in the shape of a cobweb! It was meant to be!
Then I went to Antwerp and designed a spider ring with a massive 40 carat diamond at its centre. I had mini spider brooches and chains made which were fixed to the dress. Sadly the dress is now minus its diamonds as they had to go back. As for the design I had a shape I had used before and hand drew all of the cobwebs myself and worked out which areas I wanted to cut out etc. The dress was then sent to Armayesh Global in Mumbai who hand beaded the dress they have done embroidery for the likes of Valentino Givenchy and Gianfranco Ferre. Then the rest is history!”
The diamonds used for the world’s most expensive dress were even exhibited in the Natural History Museum.
“A funny story is, this dress and the ring were part of a diamond exhibition at the Natural History Museum in 2005 and I only just got around to collecting it last month! At least it was safe in there!”
Scott has since dressed Caprice for the Spider-Man Premiere In 2007 and Donna Air in 2012. His love of northern brands was also highlighted when working with W Hammond in Whitby to create an amazing Whitby Jet Spider-Man dress.
From a young dreamer in York to a famous fashion designer, this wasn’t enough for Scott. His fantastic personality was released when he appeared on the gutsy television programme I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in 2006. His work at York Fashion Week was immensely popular from his talk in The Ivy restaurant to his incredible fashion show at Mansion House, what a way to return to his hometown in utter style.
Scott cannot wait to see what next year brings.
“YFW is going from strength to strength, I am sure it will be even bigger next year!”