Archive: February 2010

Lights, Camera, Catwalk!

09 February 2010
International model Kiera Gormley flies back into Belfast to launch the city's multi-award winning FASHIONWEEK event, which will take place from 09-14 March. Tickets and show information available at

FASHIONWEEK Welcomes a New Season With a New Shade… of Pink!

Belfast’s multi award-winning fashion event, West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, is back with a show stopping schedule of runway shows and style events which will kick off on 09 March 2010 in the heart of the city at the old Northern Bank building in Waring Street.

Keeping in tune with the new pastel colour trends for the season, FASHIONWEEK is going pink.  Audience members can expect fabulous pink runways, funky décor and of course the refreshing West Coast Cooler Rosé, which will add extra sparkle to the ever so stylish nightly catwalk shows and non stop cutting edge fashion, both on and off the catwalk.

This season’s retailer line up includes one of Northern Ireland’s largest independent multiples, Tempest-Menary’s, who will open the week, showcasing brands such as A Wear, Quiz, Oasis and Warehouse, with other high street leaders including Lipsy, French Connection, Benetton, Argento jewellery and Marks & Spencer setting the style stakes on the high street evening. Debenhams, Miss Selfridge and Vero Moda will be among those showcasing at the CastleCourt event, while local designers such as Una Rodden, Grainne Maher and Lizzie Agnew will show both static exhibitions and runway collections. Designer boutiques Cruise, Jourdan, Blush, Harrison and Candy Plum from Hillsborough will also have collections on the catwalk. Newry-based hot-young-thing Katie McGuigan, whose CCKT label is making waves with fashion industry big wigs in New York and London, will also showcase as will young Coleraine designer Bridgene Graham. Belfast Met students’ work will also shine in what is predicted to be a complete sell-out show. And sticking with the tradition of guest designers from abroad, BFW will this season offer a place to German-based designer Petra Tobias.

And as well as guest designers, the event also welcomes a guest model this season, in the form of Ireland’s only ever supermodel Kiera Gormley, who took part in the campaign photoshoot last week in between her busy schedule which often includes shoots with top photographer Mario Testino for UK & Italian Vogue. Her career CV also includes campaigns for Burberry, Agent Provocateur and MAC Cosmetics as well as catwalk shows for Vivienne Westwood and couture shows for Jean Paul Gaultier and Armani Prive to name a few.

The hair partner for this season’s event is Michael Quinn, while make up artist to the stars Paddy McGurgan has partnered with GOSH! Cosmetics to create the fab make up looks for the shows and shoots.

Organiser Cathy Martin said: “We are so excited about this season as we move to the edgy location of the old bank and usher in the season’s hottest colour, pink. We’re also welcoming back some retailers who have been with us season after season, as well as bringing on board some new collections and designers. And there will be other news closer to our show dates on master classes and style events with the industry’s top experts – both from here and abroad, so watch this space!”

Show tickets, which cost £10, are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre Box Office on 028 9024 6609 or online at . For further information on show schedules, tickets, links to participant retailers and designers as well as the season’s hottest trends, log on to


Spiral Threads, Northern Ireland's First Fairtrade Organic Clothing Store Officially Launches during 'Fairtrade Fortnight'

22 February 2010

Northern Ireland welcomes the launch of its first fair trade organic clothing store, Spiral Threads, during Fairtrade Fortnight. Spiral Threads, located in the cultural hub of Pottinger’s entry, is Belfast’s only store to offer fairtrade clothes for men, women and kids from a range of brands such as Hemp Hoodlamb, Sativa Bags and Pants to Poverty.

The launch of this unique store comes in the midst of ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ which is an annual worldwide event celebrating fair and ethical trading values.

Nick Todd, the owner of the store said; The idea of opening a store like this in Belfast came to me after I did a lot of travelling and realised the importance of sustainability for various producers  both here and in developing countries. Belfast is becoming more cultural as a city and our shop will allow people to buy and wear clothes from all over the world where producers have been paid a fair price for their products. And the bonus is, organic cotton and similar fabrics made from hemp - or even bamboo - are great worn next to the skin as they are natural and very durable.

The store officially launches on the 25th of February and reflects the earthy laid back vibe of the shop with a Peroni drinks reception and an in-house DJ blasting cool tunes from the decks.

Cancer Research Charity Dinner at Helen's Bay Golf Club On 6th February 2010 (in support of The Queen's University of Belfast Foundation)

02 February 2010
Paddy Johnston, Darren Clarke and Robert Sinclair

Golf legend Darren Clarke has launched a multi-million pound cancer fundraising campaign and charity event for the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen's University. Clarke, whose wife Heather tragically died of breast cancer in 2006 aged just 39, said he was ‘delighted’ to be supporting the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s.

Fundraising events will kick off at Helen’s Bay golf club next Saturday 06 February 2010 with a black tie dinner and auction organised by club captain and Queen's University of Belfast Foundation board member Robert Sinclair which aims to raise vital funds to support the work of the centre.  Professor Paddy Johnston, Dean of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University said the fundraising events were ‘vital’. Professor Johnston said investment in the Queen’s facility would not only help research into cancer, but also that into diabetes, public health and vision science. He added: With this facility, we have the opportunity to make Northern Ireland a world leader in medical research and to have the world’s best talent here in Northern Ireland. The Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s is creating companies and jobs, and really putting Belfast on the global map.

 Corporate support has come from many local companies including local medical insurers Medi Money, part of the Legacy Wealth Group of companies, as well as Bavarian and David Prentice.

 Campaign supporter Darren Clarke’s fellow golfer Rory McIlroy has also pledged to support the campaign by matching Clarke’s donation of hosting a four ball for the auction, and both prizes are expected to raise thousands of pounds each. Indeed many bids have come in already for the online auction at and Rory’s four-ball at Lough Erne has already had a confirmed bid of £3,000.00 from a Belfast based businessman.

 Several other ‘money can’t buy’ items have been secured for auction and bidders are expected to raise several thousand pounds on the night for hard-to-find sports and concert tickets, FA Cup tickets in the Bobby Moore Club and Grand Tier tickets for the opera Aida in Covent Garden. Other sporting auction prizes include trips provided by Paddy Power to see Ireland vs Wales at Croke Park, the Gold Cup in Cheltenham in November, and to Leopardstown, Dublin for the Paddy Power day at the races. For tennis fans there is also much sought after Centre Court tickets for this year’s Wimbledon Championships.  An exclusive luxury trip to South Africa has been donated by Wayne Pollock Exclusive Luxury and a dinner for eight people cooked in the winning bidder’s home by Michelin star chef Michael Deane is expected to reach at least £3000 at auction. On top of all of these ‘experience’ prizes, the event has also secured signed memorabilia including a signed gold disc of U2’s ‘Boy’ album, an autographed Michael Schumacher helmet, and a signed framed photograph of ‘Sea the Stars’, described as potentially the greatest race horse ever.

 Tickets for the event are sold out, however the online auction will continue to accept bids until Friday 05 February at midnight.

New BBC TV Cookery Series Looking For Amateur Cooks To Compete For Personal Glory and a Tailor-Made Treat!

01 February 2010

Who is the best cook in your family?  Which of your friends dishes up the tastiest meals?  Have you got what it takes to work with a celebrity chef and win the ultimate food fight?  An exciting new TV cookery show for BBC NI invites you to find out – it’s a cookery game and the oven gloves are off!

Under the guidance of celebrity chefs Jenny Bristow (acclaimed local good food ambassador, TV cook and author) and Kevin Dundon (owner of an award winning country house hotel and restaurant, author and TV chef), each episode will feature two amateur cooks going head to head in a fun culinary challenge. 

Working against the clock, the amateur cooks will have to prepare their own three-course meal for a gathering of family and friends.   Not knowing who has prepared which dish, the guests will be asked to secretly vote for them based on taste and appearance.  

In a final twist the cook who is declared the winner, will not necessarily be the one who earns most points from the dinner guests voting - stepping into the role of judge will be a pre-determined family member or friend who is willing to risk denting a few egos by declaring their own personal favourites and ultimately choosing which cook is the “dinner winner”. 

In addition to the personal glory of winning, the triumphant cook will be rewarded with a tailor-made treat; including delights such as tickets to an entertainment event or a luxury spa treatment.  So along with “bragging rights” our two competitors have everything to cook for. 

Casting for contributors is currently underway.  If you are interested in taking part please call us now on 028 90 573001 or email  Deadline for applications is 5th February 2010.

The series is produced by Green Inc Film and Television for transmission on BBC One Northern Ireland later this year.

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