Tag Archives: Belfast Fashion Week

Belfast Fashion Week returns for its sixteenth season in the city!

The change of season from summer to winter is never a welcomed one, but there is one silver lining – the return of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK of course, which brings all the cosy winter fashion must-haves to help see fashionistas through the cold and miserable winter months. 

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Enthusiastic fashion fans were out in force at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast last month, for the launch of the city’s sixteenth FASHIONWEEK event. The brunch event showcased a selection of looks from participant retailers and designers while director Cathy Martin outlined key looks for the season ahead from Ireland’s favourite fashion event.

This season’s events will run over four days from 10-13 October across various venues in Belfast but with the key catwalk shows returning to the iconic Ulster Museum in Botanic Gardens.  Following on the success of spring/summer shows, the contemporary and minimalist atrium at the historic building will once again be transformed into a fashion haven as hundreds of fashion fans gather to celebrate winter style.

Cathy Martin, director of FASHIONWEEK added: “We have a very busy schedule this season – and we have teamed up with Belfast City Council’s Restaurant Week to share some events, which is great for the city as a whole – but ideal for foodies and fashionistas”.

“In terms of trends to look out for this season, the key colours and patterns include deep reds and burgundy, pale pink hues, plaid and leopard print.  Texture is important too and we can expect to see leather, velvet, lace and chiffon as well as lots of embellishments.  As for shapes, design and cut – the turtleneck and poloneck are both back, and new this season are sexy thigh high splits on skirts and dresses as well as large oversized coats and capes.”

The city’s independent retailers and boutiques will kick off FASHIONWEEK on Thursday 10 October with CRUISE, Liberty Blue, Blush, Helen McAlinden and Diamond Dolls in Banbridge all confirmed to take part. In a move off the runway this season, leading designer Una Rodden will also host an exclusive and intimate fashion installation that evening, where her fashion will become art, in an alluring display of fabric, textile and texture.

Then for the ever popular High Street catwalk show, which sees the return of Next, Jigsaw, Mexx, CastleCourt, M&S, Oasis, Heaton’s and George at Asda – among others.

Saturday 12 October sees a busy, jam packed itinerary of chic events.  The popular Fashion Souk at Spire’s Mall will be selling vintage and previously owned pieces from 10am – 2pm, swiftly followed by a delicious Fashion Tea at the Merchant Hotel where designer emporium CRUISE will showcase their high end collections from Victoria Beckham, Armani, Vivienne Westwood and Marchesa, among others. This up-close-and-personal look at the season’s top end designer collections is an intimate and indulgent way to enjoy fashion at its most elegant.

Saturday evening will play host to some unique creations from our local talent with the popular designer night.  This season Nor Lisa, Goddess and Swift, Ruedi Maguire and Grainne Maher, among others, will all take part; dazzling crowds with their creative and quirky designs which never fail to impress the crowd. Lucky students from across Northern Ireland will also feature on the catwalk with selected outfits from the secondary school competition Junk Kouture, which challenges students to create fashion art from junk and recycled materials.

Also on the Saturday schedule is the ever popular highlight of the Diet Coke Design Award, which is back for the fourth year running. The award seeks to reward aspiring design talent – from design students to style fans with a passion for fashion.  Three stylistas will be shortlisted to have their ideas and sketches made up by designer Una Rodden and showcased on the catwalk at the finale night’s show on Saturday 12 October, where judges will decide which lucky fashionista will go on to win a mini scholarship to the London College of Fashion plus a shoot with photographer Khara Pringle.

Last but by no means least is Style Sunday, which will take place this season at SHU restaurant on Sunday 13 October from 1-5pm in association with Mencap.  This glamorous four course gourmet luncheon accompanies trend forecasts, a mini fashion show and seasonal style tips from some of the country’s top style experts. It is very often sold out within days of being launched.  Tickets cost £45.00 per person. Places can be booked directly through the restaurant on 028 9038 1655.

Once again, hair partner Andrew Mulvenna and his team will be tending to the tresses of all the models throughout the week and if previous seasons are anything to go by, we can expect to be blown away by his creativity.  Andrew said, “This autumn/winter I’ll be focusing on four key looks for women. 

“‘The Lady Undone’ is a quirky asymmetric version of Dusty Springfield but with a fresher look; ‘The Woman Warrior’ is all about volume – high at the sides, with hair pulled back from the face, channelling the power blow-dry which was really popular in the 90s; ‘Church Girl’ is a sweet angelic centre parted look in the style of grace Kelly only sleeker and more modern.  Lastly, we’ll be exploring with ‘The Tuck In’ which is the practice of creating a shorter look by tucking length into collars as well as making use of braids to create necklaces and collars.”

Throughout the week, breast cancer charity Pretty‘n’Pink will collect funds at all shows to support women who need to feel better about themselves after undergoing debilitating breast cancer surgery or treatment.

The full show schedule and design competition details are all available online at www.belfastfashionweek.com along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  Catwalk tickets, which cost £20 (or £25 for a limited number of exclusive front row seats), are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609 or via the website. Ticket price includes a fabulous goodie bag and a refreshing West Coast Cooler.

Schedule of shows:

  • Thursday 10 October 8pm, Designer Boutiques show
  • Friday 11 October – Fashion Friday Lunch demo – James Street South Restaurant
  • Friday 11 October 6-8pm Fashionweek at the Fitz! Private cocktail party with prizes up for grabs
  • Friday 11 October 8pm High Street Fashion Show, Ulster Museum
  • Saturday 12 October 10am – 2pm –  Fashion Souk at Spire’s Mall
  • Saturday 12 October 2pm – Fashion Tea, CRUISE designer emporium at The Merchant, showcasing Victoria Beckham, Armani, Vivienne Westwood, Marchesa etc 
  • Saturday 12 October 8pm NI Designers show and winner announcement of the Diet Coke Design Award, Ulster Museum
  • Sunday 13 October 1pm – 5pm Style Sunday, SHU Belfast

THIS SEASON’S FASHIONWEEK MAGIC KICKS OFF IN MARCH!

Yesterday I was invited along to the Launch of Belfast’s very own S/S 2013 West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK. I am always excited to get a sneak peek of what the next season is to hold and even more excited because it’s Spring / Summer (so that means brighter and warmer days ahead, right??)

3.	Get ready for Spring!  Models pictured at the launch of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK in the latest spring/summer fashions from CastleCourt, George at Asda and Una Rodden at the Ulster Museum.

The models at the launch we all sporting key trends for Spring/Summer 2013 with plenty of Pastels, Neons and Floral Floral Floral!

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As much as I get so excited to see what Fashion is there for the upcoming season, I always look forward to seeing what is to come in terms of Make-up. Paddy McGurgan, Make-up Artist for FASHIONWEEK never disappoints. Yesterday the models were showing off a natural luminous make-up with complexions of perfection! I love S/S Make-up and the freshness it brings to the season!

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This season’s event will take place from 21-24 March across various venues in Belfast with the key catwalk shows moving to the exciting new home at the iconic Ulster Museum in Botanic Gardens.  The contemporary and minimalist atrium at the historic building will be transformed into a fashion haven as hundreds of fashion fans gather in March to celebrate all things style.

Cathy Martin, Director of FASHIONWEEK

Cathy Martin, Director of FASHIONWEEK

Cathy Martin, director of FASHIONWEEK said: “Key looks this season include pretty pastels, striking stripes, flirty florals and eye catching graphic prints.  In terms of colours it’s all about the bright neons, monochrome and also white and neutrals are big for spring/summer too.   Shows always sell out so we’d encourage anyone who wants to come along to any of the events to snap up their tickets!”

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The High Street fashion show is always popular and will take place on Saturday 23 March at 8pm.  Retailers from the high street taking part include, Marks & Spencer, Oasis, Warehouse, French Connection, Jigsaw, Benetton and Internacionale as well as Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams, Miss Selfridge, Quiz, Blue Inc, Gap, Republic, Wallis, Laura Ashley, New Look, Burton and Exhibit from CastleCourt.  Once again the OUTLET Banbridge are returning for a third season to showcase their various collections. 

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Siobhan McKeown, Marketing Manager from The OUTLET said they’re thrilled to be back again for another season: “The OUTLET is delighted to be a part of Belfast Fashion Week for a third year running. This amazing event showcases the best in retail in Northern Ireland. Our brands, Oasis, LK Bennett, M&S Outlet, DKNY Jeans and many more, relish the opportunity to feature the latest high street trends.”

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George at ASDA will showcase a major spring 2013 collection on Thursday 21 March as one of the opening events that week and Maggie Jardine, regional manager of George at ASDA NI said they’re thrilled to be taking part in the biggest fashion event of the year: “FASHIONWEEK is a fantastic opportunity to show off our upcoming trends to customers both old and new.  We’re dedicated to keeping on top of the latest looks to ensure customers remain stylish without breaking the bank.  We’re very pleased to be showing off some of our lovely spring/summer pieces on the great platform that FASHIONWEEK offers – an audience of stylish and glamorous ladies who I think will be very impressed with our latest collection.” 

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Boutiques from right across Northern Ireland will also be highlighted in the designer/boutique night on Friday 22 March.  Boutiques including Jourdan and Blush from the Lisburn Road will sit alongside key pieces from local designers Una Rodden, Reudi Maguire, Grainne Maher and Lisa McCabe among others.

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Andrew Mulvenna, who is returning for a second season to make sure the models are sporting the latest hair trends, says ” In terms of hairstyles for this season I’m looking forward to showing off some gorgeous looks and will be experimenting with texture and volume to create a mixture of commercial and high fashion runway hair.  Deep side partings, low ponytails, 60s beehives and controlled waves are all big looks for hair this spring/summer, giving an urban but easily managed edge to your look.” 

DSC01951Tickets for the main catwalk shows (priced £20) are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre Box Office on 02890246609 or online via the links on www.belfastfashionweek.com For the latest information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.facebook.com/belfastfw  & look out for updates.

THIS SEASON’S FASHIONWEEK MAGIC KICKS OFF IN OCTOBER

Fourteen seasons is a long time in fashion, but since its inception in 2005, Belfast’s West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK continues to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to providing the latest looks and hottest trends for fashion conscious stylistas.

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The event, which will take place from 13 – 21 October across various venues in the city, will include kids’ shows and workshops sponsored by The OUTLET at W5 as well as chic afternoon teas at the Merchant Hotel, the Diet Coke Design Award, the Fashion ReFound project and the super stylish Style Sunday event at James Street South restaurant as well as the main catwalk shows in the Europa FASHIONWEEK Centre.

Cathy Martin, director of FASHIONWEEK said:  “This season we will feature the finest established and up-and-coming designers as well as the best boutique and high street brands from all over Northern Ireland to create a fast-paced, exciting and irresistible slice of fashion in the city. We sell out every season and hopefully above all trends, that one will continue as we look forward to seeing what is making style queens weak at the knees for Autumn/Winter.

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She added: “What will we see on the catwalk? Well, in terms of fabrics we’ll be seeing lots of Jacquard weaves, brocade and felting and, as far as shapes go, there will be a lot of military coats and capes. Looking at colours, it’s all about red or royal blue as well as pyjama prints and a lot of monochrome and hounds tooth this winter. These looks, and many more, have all made their mark on the international catwalks and with our sense of style and adventure here, we hope to offer some amazing days and nights of fashionable fun for all ages.”

Karen Anderson from West Coast Cooler added: “The fashion buzz really begins once FASHIONWEEK launches and this season seems to be no different with fashionistas already keen to snap up the limited edition front row seats and sit back with a West Coast Cooler to enjoy the shows. There’s such a variety of shows, events  and workshops that there really is something for everyone, no matter what their budget or fashion favourites are.”

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Retailers from the high street taking part include Benetton, Marks & Spencer, French Connection, Exhibit, George at ASDA and Jigsaw; with Designers at Debenhams, Miss Selfridge, Warehouse and Dorothy Perkins also showcasing (among others) as part of the CastleCourt shows. Then Oasis, Next Clearance, L.K. Bennett, Olsen and Staccato will all be part of the OUTLET’s collection on the main runway as well as at the ‘yummy mummy’ shows at W5.

Designer emporium Cruise in Victoria Square will host a stunning Afternoon Tea at the Merchant Hotel on Saturday 20 October. The stylish afternoon will include an array of teas, delicious sandwiches, pastries and chic cakes, as well as an intimate fashion show and a sparkling welcome cocktail from sponsor West Coast Cooler.  Seasoned stylists from Cruise will talk through this autumn’s key looks from top designers including Victoria Beckham, Amanda Wakeley and Armani as well as answering personal styling dilemmas for ladies of all shapes, sizes, and shopping budgets.  Places cost £30.00pp and are available at the Merchant Hotel directly on 02890 234888.

Boutiques from right across Northern Ireland will also be highlighted with Natoria in Larne and Diamond Dolls in Banbridge leading the way in the boutique show. Jourdan, Blush and Harrison from the Lisburn Road will also sit alongside key pieces from Una Rodden and Grainne Maher at this show on Thursday 18 October and then a full selection of home grown designers – from Derry milliner John Paul to new fashion graduate Saba Akram will showcase at the NI Designer show on Saturday 20 October.  Ones to watch out for on the catwalk include very edgy  designers Reudi Maguire and David Henderson as well as Fermanagh’s Lisa McCabe with her silk prints, weaver Jude Cassidy with luxurious hand woven scarves and Katie Wilson who has been quietly working and selling under Una Rodden for three years since graduating. Knit designers, Sean Henry, with his Van der Simon label and Mary Callan will showcase the best in wools while former stylist and retail manager Stephen Mageean takes to the catwalk in a stunning debut of evening gowns and says he intends to ‘wow the audiences’.

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New talent will also feature in the form of the Diet Coke Design Award which celebrates its third season at FASHIONWEEK, and three is a magic number for the competition this year, as not one, but three designers will be shortlisted to have their ideas made up by Una Rodden and showcased on the catwalk at FASHIONWEEK, where judges will decide which lucky fashionista will go on to win a mini scholarship to the London College of Fashion plus a shoot with photographer Khara Pringle. But before the judges decide, fans on Facebook will also be able to vote to help bolster support for entries, which are already flooding in. Entry forms are available to download from the Belfast FASHIONWEEK website and entrants don’t have to be designers or from a design background –

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In addition to the catwalk shows, some of the local designers have also teamed up with ReFound, a unique and chic-onomic platform to promote local creative talent and design, while offering furniture buyers an eco-conscious alternative in home styling.  For the first time, ReFound is hosting a bespoke ‘FASHION REFOUND’ show at the ReFound building in Wellington Place. Taking place throughout FASHIONWEEK, this exhibition, where Fashion meets Furniture, will  see up to ten up-and-coming fashion designer/makers apply their designs and creativity to a home interior piece, exclusively for ReFound.

Closing up the week’s events is the ever popular Style Sunday event and private show, which will once again include the best hair, beauty, make up and fashion advice from top experts including make-up artist Paddy McGurgan and hair stylist Andrew Mulvenna. Places for this event, which supports NI’s leading learning disability charity Mencap, can be purchased directly at James Street South for £40.

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International hair stylist and salon owner Andrew Mulvenna will take care of styling the hair throughout the week-long event and he is very excited about the prospect saying: “My artistic and creative team headed up by Judith McKay has worked on lots of fashion events in the past including London Fashion Week and the Central St Martins fashion show, but we are all looking forward to getting our hands on some of Ireland’s top models at FASHIONWEEK. We’re planning some show-stopping styles as well as some beautiful and easy-to-create looks for the audience.”

To buy tickets online for FASHIONWEEK go to http://gotobelfast.iristickets.co.uk/tickets/search.php5?searchword=fashion

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw  & look out for updates.

‘Planely Peculiar’

‘Planely Peculiar’ is the latest Spring / Summer collection by Fashion Designer Nor Lisa. I had the pleasure of being involved in the photo-shoot to capture the essence of the 1940’s inspired print collection which definitely captures your eyes with its beautiful mix of bright and pastel colours.

I worked with both Lisa McCabe (designer behind Nor Lisa) and extremely talented photographer Przemek Czaicki of Creative Distortion Photography for Nor Lisa’s Autumn/Winter 2011 collection and was so excited to get back out there with them again for this new collection.

The Beauty Cloud caught up with Makeup Artist Nuala Campbell, here is what she had to say about the latest look for Nor Lisa S/S 2012; “For the make-up in this photo-shoot, it was so important to bring out all the bright colours in the clothes and scarves. I had search high and low for lip glosses coloured and pigmented enough to stand out, but failed. Therefore I set about creating my own. Using clear gloss and my never ending pigment case I mixed up 6 of my own very bright and colourful lip glosses. My idea for the look for this shoot was for the hair and makeup to look artificial – no naturals to be found here! I think we captured it!”

A very welcome addition to the team this season was renowned session stylist Gillian Douglas-Rea. The hair and wigs in this photo-shoot really set the whole look off.

The photo-shoot took place at Filthy McNasty’s in Belfast – It was the perfect backdrop with such elaborate colours and focus points to go along side the gorgeous pieces from the Nor Lisa S/S 2012 collection.

Here are some of the official photos from the photo-shoot. Watch out for Nor Lisa’s Spring/Summer collection making an appearance at the next Belfast Fashion Week taking place March 14-18. (For tickets to Belfast Fashion Week, please contact the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609)

The team involved for this photo-shoot were:

Photography: Przemek Czaicki
Make-Up Artist: Nuala Campbell
Hairdresser: Gillian Douglas-Rea
Models: Seaneen Heaney, Bobbie-Lee Gregg, Diona Doherty, Chloe Anderson
Wardrobe: Nor Lisa (Lisa McCabe)
Location: Filthy McNasty’s Belfast

For a sneaky behind the scenes video from the Nor Lisa S/S 2012 Photo-shoot, click the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USk9guqmxJw

See below for more images from Nor Lisa’s collection.