Oxford, Day 7: Brighton and Brighton Fashion Week

Originally published June 2, 2012, this blog post series is an undergraduate short-term study abroad trip in Oxford, UK in partnership with Salve Regina University and St. Clare’s Oxford. The blog post may have been edited for clarity and updated with relevant travel information and links.

After today, I could go back to the United States right now, because the visit to Brighton has already made my time here so special. I did not expect to become so enchanted or so amazed.

  1. What to do in Brighton, UK
    1. Visit the Royal Pavilion & Garden
    2. Explore the Brighton Pier
    3. Take in the views of Brighton’s beachfront
  2. Where to Stay in Brighton, UK

I wanted to go to Brighton for three reasons:

Reason #1: It was a free opportunity to see a place much different from Oxford or London.

St. Clare’s Oxford hosted an extracurricular trip to Brighton that was open to all students, so I figured it would be worthwhile to go.

Brighton is located on the coast, which is roughly two hours from Oxford, and three hours from London. King George IV’s Royal Pavilion in the downtown center is known for its decadent Oriental style and is definitely worth seeing just as much as Big Ben. I did not go inside the Royal Pavilion, but I took pictures of its exterior from the street. Instead of taking that tour, I went to the “Fashion and the Flag” exhibit at the Brighton Museum, which celebrates the Jubilee by reflecting on how fashion designers created pieces that were inspired by the country’s flag, the Union Jack.

Reason #2: I have always wanted to go to Coney Island…

Not only did the Brighton Pier resemble Coney Island, but the town itself was a combination of San Francisco and Newport. Seeing the old amusement park rising out of the coast and the pebble beach was truly magical. There is an infinite number of booths, each with different carnival games and stuffed animal prizes. The arcades are filled with bright lights, video games, and children’s laughter. Walking on the Brighton Pier, you cannot help but feel like a kid again.

 Reason #3: Today was the first day of the Ready to Wear collections for Brighton Fashion Week.

That’s right. Brighton Fashion Week 2012 started Wednesday, May 31st, and will end tomorrow, June 3rd.

Even though there were some big names in the show—Urban Outfitters and French Connection—some labels were smaller and local to the Brighton area. In addition to the fashion shows and boutique stalls, there were several speakers. Charlie Tuesday Gates, a former taxidermist, makes beautiful fascinators and headpieces and discussed how taxidermy directed her to fashion. Perry Curties, editor-in-chief of Photography 125 Magazine, talked about the importance of understanding photography through changing media landscapes and how to take the right steps to become a successful photographer. There were complimentary issues of 125 Magazine in the audience.

The Royal Pavilion
King George IV


Brighton Museum and Gallery

“Fashion and the Flag” exhibit
RedRoaster Coffee House
Cheddar and Tomato sandwich with Brown bread 

British Fashion Week 2012 at Brighton Dome (adjoined to the Brighton Museum and Gallery)
Boutique stalls
WALTERWORKs hats and fascinators
Oh My Honey! fifties style dresses
This one was my favorite–most of the fabrics are locally sourced around Brighton, but I was told this print fabric is imported from Hawaii.
Urban Outfitters
French Connection






Charlie Tuesday Gates of Mind Like Magpie


Editor in Chief of 125 Magazine Perry Curties 
Curties showcasing his portfolio during the presentation

I did take a ton of pictures, many more than are shown–think hundreds of photos more. I photographed almost every outfit during each fashion show, as well as took some black and whites of Brighton Pier.

I had to pay 2 pounds to sit on this chair…
but it was worth it



What to do in Brighton, UK

Visit the Royal Pavilion & Garden

Visit the Brighton & Hove Museums website to plan your visit and view the current exhibitons.

Explore the Brighton Pier

Besides simply strolling through the pier, there’s fun for everyone between the bars, restaurants, roller coasters, and arcades—just make sure that you eat at the Palm Court Restaurant and Bar after you finish your carnival rides!

Take in the views of Brighton’s beachfront

You can relax on the pebble beach like I did, or you can explore other attractions along the beach including the Brighton Marina, the Fishing Museum, and Hove Plinth. There’s plenty of activities to do in Brighton—you can get some more ideas on the Visit Brighton website.

Where to Stay in Brighton, UK

Based on reviews, these hotels in Brighton, UK have stunning sea views and personable service:

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A Francophile based in coastal New England

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