Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the launch of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, adding a little excitement and glamour to my otherwise wet and gloomy Thursday afternoon. Greeted with a delicious glass of West Coast Cooler and treated to sweet treats from Miel et Moi and canapés from Deane’s at Queens, our reception matched perfectly with the beautiful surroundings of Belfast’s LIFE church. FASHIONWEEK, now in its twenty-first season, is always one to mark in your diary. Running from 10-13 March, there is a little something for everyone, from buzzing catwalk shows featuring high street, independent boutiques and local designers, to exciting workshops and the more intimate Sushi Saturday and Style Sunday.
Welcomed by the gorgeous Rebecca McKinney wearing Lavish Alice and FASHIONWEEK Director Cathy Martin, in a stunning ASOS sequinned jumpsuit, we were given a sneak preview of what to expect from FASHIONWEEK SS16. The models, looking absolutely stunning, showed off an array of gorgeous pieces, from delicate Amanda Wakeley at Lotus Boutique, to heavily embellished denim from Diamond Dolls in Banbridge. Of the coming trends Cathy stated, ‘Right now we’re seeing a return to colour popping and blocking from 2015, but contrasting fabrics as well as colours are used to create a bold and bashful look. For those a little more fashion shy, pale pastels are perfect, and this season they’re mixed with off-shoulder silhouettes plus lots of romantic ruffles and frills for a feminine feel. Florals abound again – they’ve been around for about four seasons now in various guises, but this time they’re also embracing frills and ruffles too. It’s quite a romantic and feminine season all in all. To counter this, there is a massive ‘death by denim’ trend, with all-denim-everything ensembles across most designer and high street collections.’
Make-Up artist Oonagh Boman and hair stylist Brenda Shankey were also on hand to tell us of their excitement at returning to FASHIONWEEK, with plaits and pops of colour both at the forefront of this season’s hair and make-up trends. Throughout the week we’ll also be treated to online Vlogs so we can emulate the on trend looks in time for the events themselves.
With all the incredible talent to have come from Northern Ireland, such as British Council Fashion Award winner J.W. Anderson, it’s only too exciting to see what’s on offer at the Designer Boutiques and Local Designers show from the likes of Grainne Maher and Nor Lisa. Further to that excitement is the High Street Heaven show, bringing the latest trends from fashion powerhouses such as Next, Warehouse, Remus Uomo, DV8 Fashion, Dorothy Perkins, Diamond Dolls, New Look, Designers at Debenhams, Miss Selfridge, Joules, Tommy Hilfiger and Guess.
Check out the packed schedule of shows and events below; a FASHIONWEEK not to be missed!
Schedule of Shows & Events:
THURSDAY 10 March, ALL DAY ‘Cutting It’ Workshops & Seminars. An all-day event geared towards those seeking careers advice or inspiration/information on careers in the fashion, film & costume industry locally. For more information, contact BFW on 02890421509
THURSDAY 10 March, 8.00PM – DESIGNER BOUTIQUES AND LOCAL DESIGNERS. Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via www.belfastfashionweek.com
FRIDAY 11 March, 8.00PM – HIGH STREET. Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via links on www.belfastfashionweek.com
SATURDAY 12 March, 2.00-4.00pm – SUSHI SATURDAY “The Director’s Cut” at ZEN. To book, call 02890421509 price £30pp.
SATURDAY 12 March, 8.00pm – FASHION AWARDS. Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via links on www.belfastfashionweek.com
SUNDAY 18 OCTOBER, 2.00-5.00pm – STYLE SUNDAY in support of Action Cancer at Deane’s at Queen’s. To book call 02890381555