I run Manchester's pink paradise in Afflecks Palace after arriving from the US and opening my shop at 21

Born in Nashville, Erin Taylor-Thomas is behind a major fashion show.
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The past, present and future of Mancunian fashion will be celebrated at a catwalk event later this month. 

The Science and Industry Museum will be hosting a sustainable fashion show on March 21 with the ‘After Hours: Forward-Thinking Fashion’ event also including a catwalk performance – ‘The Fabric of Us’.

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The brain behind the vibrant runway looks is Erin Taylor-Thomas, owner of independent thrift and swap shop Beg, Steal and Borrow. She said: “My experience in the city is I feel like people do dress exactly how they want to. There are people who love to showcase their fashion and I’m drawing a lot from the sense of freedom that comes with Manchester’s fashion. 

Erin Taylor-Thomas at Beg, Steal and Borrow in Afflecks Palace. Picture: Jody Hartley Erin Taylor-Thomas at Beg, Steal and Borrow in Afflecks Palace. Picture: Jody Hartley
Erin Taylor-Thomas at Beg, Steal and Borrow in Afflecks Palace. Picture: Jody Hartley

“We came up with a very loose idea for the story, so that gave us room to reference and use historical pieces and showcase upcoming designers for the future aspect – there’s also a personal journey aspect.”

After moving to Manchester in 2020 from her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, Erin set up shop aged just 21. Now, her pink paradise can be found on the second floor in Afflecks Palace where you can buy and trade in pre-loved clothes and accessories. She will be using clothes from her store to curate the stylishly sustainable catwalk looks. 

As well as fashion, Erin will also look to celebrate people’s differences as part of ‘Fabric of Us’. She said: “I think we talk a lot about diversity, but I don't think we focus on all aspects of diversity. I specifically wanted to focus on making sure there were models of different sizes as well, because that's something that's really important to me.”

Inside Beg, Steal and Borrow in Afflecks Palace. Picture: Jody Hartley Inside Beg, Steal and Borrow in Afflecks Palace. Picture: Jody Hartley
Inside Beg, Steal and Borrow in Afflecks Palace. Picture: Jody Hartley
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Alongside the performances, there will be textile machinery demonstrations, an exhibition of Manchester’s fashion history and a pop-up market provided by Beg, Steal and Borrow and  other small businesses. The ‘Fabric of Us’ will be performed by women-led theatre company, So La Flair, featuring immersive performances by the Night People. 

Lucy Laverty, artistic director at So La Flair, said: “It is a joy to create something that honours Manchester’s rich history and fashion identity. This show is going to be absolutely dripping in divine looks and adorned with fabulous performances as we celebrate Manchester’s slow fashion scene.”

The event is for over-18s only with tickets priced £10 for adults and £8 for concessions. You can buy them and get more information on the Science and Industry Museum website.

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