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Archive: August 2011

CREAM TEAS AND CATWALKS AT THE CULLODEN ESTATE AND SPA


31 August 2011

Northern Ireland’s premiere style event, West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, has joined forces with the 5 Star, Culloden Estate and Spa to offer ladies an afternoon of cream teas and catwalks on Saturday 15 October at 2pm.

 

The super stylish afternoon will give assembled fashionistas a chance to see the ‘best’ fashion offered by luxury retailer, CRUISE as stunning models showcase what’s available in their Victoria Square store for the coming Autumn Winter season.

 

Tickets cost £25 and include a West Coast Cooler cocktail on arrival, pots of aromatic tea and coffee, delicious finger sandwiches, tempting pastries and cakes, fluffy scones with cream and jam all served to perfection! 

 

Cream Teas and Catwalks at the Culloden takes place on Saturday 15th October, from to 2pm to 4pm.  To book your place or to make a group booking call the hotel direct on 02890 421066.

 

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK runs from the 13 – 16 October – for further details of the events happening at the Europa Hotel and James Street South log onto, www.belfastfashionweek.com.

 

Pictured at the five star hotel is TV presenter, Tina Campbell, who popped along to the Culloden Estate and Spa to sample the exquisite afternoon tea ahead of the October event.

BELFAST HAIRDRESSER HOPING TO BE A CUT ABOVE THE REST


26 August 2011

Celebrity hairdresser Michael Quinn, whose salon is situated in the chic Cathedral Quarter in Belfast, has reached the finals of the prestigious British Hairdressing Awards, which are being held in London later in the year.

The competition sees the best creative minds in hairdressing across the UK compete for regional titles, including Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year, in a glittering awards ceremony to be held in Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel, Park Lane, London on 28th November 2011.

“I’m honoured to have made the finals of this prestigious competition and I can’t wait to compete. We put a great deal of hard work into preparing the new collection of pictures which was entered” explains Michael. “This year I plan to take my fashion forward looks and cutting edge creative vision to the next level and this will hopefully set me ahead of my competitors.”

Michael is used to styling the heads of celebrities such as The Saturdays, Micha Barton, and our very own Christine Bleakley, and he even joined forces with Gok Wan recently for Channel 4’s Gok’s Fashion Fix.

“I’ve worked with famous people, housewives and top models for many years creating looks which are as unique to them as their fingerprints. I plan to use all of my hair know-how to make the Hairdresser of the Year competition a memorable experience for judges and spectators which will hopefully see Michael Quinn Hairdressing take home the title of Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year – that would be a dream come true for me!”

For further information on Michael Quinn Hairdressing, log onto www.michaelquinnhairdressing.co.uk or call the salon tel: 028 90434003.

SAFETY FIRST AT DRIVING MISS DAISY


23 August 2011

Belfast’s newest driving instructor is throwing open her doors to all ladies, and gents, looking for a professional way to learn how to drive but with that feminine touch.
 
Driving Miss Daisy is the brainchild of Belfast woman, Alison Allen, 36, who decided to create the company following a career change and having spotted a gap in the driving school market.
 
Alison said:  “I was in sales, driving all over Northern Ireland which was one of the aspects of the job I really enjoyed.  
 
“When I was made redundant last year I considered going back to study teaching, but because of my passion for driving I decided to look at the driving school market.
 
“After doing some digging I realised how few female driving instructors there were, so I decided to channel my passion for driving and choose a career I would be good at and enjoy, whilst filling a gap in the market.”
 
Driving instructors these days have a thorough test procedure they need to complete before becoming a qualified instructor.
 
“Today people expect their instructor to have all the relevant qualifications and police background checks as standard, which is something I feel learners need to be very aware of.
 
“The emphasis for me is to ensure my pupils are comfortable and relaxed in their ‘learning to drive’ environment so that they can take in the information coming his or her way.  
 
“It’s a bonus if my gender makes the process easier for them.”
 
The Driving Miss Daisy founder feels there aren’t enough female instructors available to people in the Greater Belfast and North Down areas.
 
“So far, my clients have been an even mix of men and women, and also quite a few people from the gay community.
 
“I’m really interested in working with people from all ages, whether it’s the young 17 year old first time learner, or someone older who has never had the confidence to learn to drive.                        
 
“I have all relevant ADI qualifications and extensive background checks have been done which I show to all new learners."
 
When asked about the age old women -v- men drivers Alison has her own views.
 
“If a pupil is taught safely and thoroughly, regardless of their gender, they should be equally good drivers.  It’s the person, not the gender, who passes!

“All too often I hear women being ridiculed for their driving skills but when it comes to road safety I feel women are in pole position.”
 
The road safety statistics from the PSNI for 2010 would appear to back this up with men involved in over *500 more accidents during that year.
 
“My style of instruction puts learners at ease, allowing them to feel more comfortable and start learning as quickly as possible.  This cuts down the number of lessons required to pass, which saves the learner money, and makes the process much more enjoyable."
 
You can contact Driving Miss Daisy on 07834 603 555 or via their website www.missdaisy.me.

WEST COAST COOLER FASHIONWEEK GEARS UP FOR ITS TWELFTH SEASON IN BELFAST


11 August 2011

Northern Ireland’s premiere style event, West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, is gearing up for its twelfth season of catwalk shows featuring glamorous ladies, elegant runway models and enough clothes and make-up to satisfy even the most passionate fashionista.

 

Cathy Martin, organiser of the series of catwalk shows and style events, which will take place over four days from 13 October, launched the show schedule on the rooftop of Belfast’s five star Merchant Hotel and presented the very best in the new season’s trends as well as the range of local and international designers and retailers taking part in the popular October event.

 

Cathy said:  “We are pulling out all the stops for this season’s FASHIONWEEK with some truly awesome days and nights planned for everyone who comes. The key trends this coming season include spice colours and jewel tones as well as tartan scarves and coats and trimmings in the form of feathers and furs. Masculine tailoring in metallic and silk fabrics will dominate work wear while tunics and fitted trousers will also prevail. There are nods to glamour and chic from several decades including the 1940s, 1960s and 1970s.

 

“Our catwalk will feature many of these trends with Autumn/Winter collections from high street brands including many FASHIONWEEK favourites - from French Connection to Firetrap, and Marks & Spencer to Miss Selfridge at CastleCourt as well as a range of looks from Jigsaw and affordable designer brands from The Outlet in Banbridge.

 

“In terms of local designers – who are always very well supported by the audiences – we’ll be welcoming Una Rodden, Grainne Maher and Jude Cassidy, among others, back onto the runway.  And the most popular night of shows, the designer boutique evening, will showcase boutiques from right across Northern Ireland including Candy Plum in Hillsborough, Rebecca Jane in Downpatrick, Silk in Newry, SJ Boutique in Magherafelt, Elegance in Lurgan and Paparazzi in Lisburn as well as Lisburn Road boutiques Jourdan, Blush and Orchid Lingerie.

                                                                                                                                                      The main catwalk shows for the multi-award winning fashion extravaganza are due to take place in the underground event space of one of Belfast’s most iconic buildings, the Europa Hotel, but there are also other fringe events happening in retail outlets throughout the city as well as the ethical shopper’s haven, the Fashion Souk on Sunday 16 October.

 

Speaking at the FASHIONWEEK launch, sponsor Sarah Fawcett from West Coast Cooler said: “The countdown has begun to Northern Ireland’s most stylish series of events. We hope everyone coming to the shows will kick off their night out with a West Coast Cooler – the bubbles and fizz will no doubt match the excitement and anticipation of the cool catwalk.  And with a refreshing West Coast Cooler to start the shows, audience members at any of the events over the four days will not be disappointed - it’s the perfect accessory to this fabulous fashion event!”

 

Following on from its incredible success in 2010, Diet Coke has once again teamed up with West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK to launch the Diet Coke Design Award, which will seek out and reward aspiring design talent from a student designer or a style fan with a passion for fashion.  

 

Cathy said: “Fashion lovers and design students from colleges throughout Ireland have been invited to enter this prestigious competition which will bring one lucky winner some fantastic opportunities in fashion including having their design made into a commercial garment by leading couturier Una Rodden; as well as seeing it on the catwalk at Belfast FASHIONWEEK and having it photographed by top fashion photographer Khara Pringle. On top of this, the winner will also win a scholarship to attend a course at the London College of Fashion which will further develop and hone their design talent.

 

“We’ve been assessing some of the competition entries already but people can enter right up until 10 September and the great thing is that you don’t need to have any design experience to win this prize.  All the details are on the www.belfastfashionweek.com website.”

 

The winning design will be showcased on the finale night’s show at the Europa on Saturday 15 October and then rounding off the overall schedule is the ever popular Style Sunday event, which will take place in James Street South restaurant on Sunday 16 October. This glamorous three course gourmet luncheon accompanies trend forecasts, a mini fashion show and seasonal style tips from some of the country’s top style experts and is very often sold out within days of being launched.  The chic event, which supports charity Mencap, runs from 1-5pm and costs £45.00 per person. Places can be booked directly through the restaurant on 028 9043 4310.

 

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 £15.00, (or £20 for a limited number of exclusive front row seats) are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 02890246609 or via the website. Ticket price includes a fabulous goodie bag from hair partners including Matrix and a refreshing West Coast Cooler. 

Global Vodka Brand uses QR technology for consumer promotion


04 August 2011

 

ABSOLUT vodka, well known for its innovative, creative collaborations and campaigns continues the trend this summer by using QR technology for a consumer competition to promote its third year of sponsorship for the Belsonic 2011 music festival.  ABSOLUT music fans are invited to scan the QR code, which can be found on adshels or on point of sale material in bars throughout Northern Ireland, to take them to a micro site where they will be asked to correctly identify an artist’s face hidden in a distorted image for a chance to win.  
ABSOLUT’s brand philosophy states ‘doing things differently leads to something exceptional’ and it is this ground-breaking attitude which has led to this pioneering competition mechanic.  The use of this technology firmly puts the vodka brand a step ahead of the competition in the Northern Irish market.  
The competition launched on the 18 July 2011, will run for 31 days and has already received a phenomenal amount of exposure from a target market hungry for technological advance, and of course the coveted Belsonic tickets on offer!
Esther Small, brand development manager, said, “The competition market is fairly saturated at the moment and we wanted to do something different that would stand out to our target market. It’s important that we keep moving with the times and take advantage of improving technologies. QR has been used extensively in countries such as Japan, the Netherlands and South Korea but is still in the growth stages in the United Kingdom, so we wanted to utilise the tool before our competitors, and what better way than to link it with an ABSOLUT competition”.
To enter the ABSOLUT competition visit www.facebook.com/absolutvodkani or look out for the ABSOLUT QR code. 

ABSOLUT vodka, well known for its innovative, creative collaborations and campaigns continues the trend this summer by using QR technology for a consumer competition to promote its third year of sponsorship for the Belsonic 2011 music festival.  ABSOLUT music fans are invited to scan the QR code, which can be found on adshels or on point of sale material in bars throughout Northern Ireland, to take them to a micro site where they will be asked to correctly identify an artist’s face hidden in a distorted image for a chance to win.  

ABSOLUT’s brand philosophy states ‘doing things differently leads to something exceptional’ and it is this ground-breaking attitude which has led to this pioneering competition mechanic.  The use of this technology firmly puts the vodka brand a step ahead of the competition in the Northern Irish market.  

The competition launched on the 18 July 2011, will run for 31 days and has already received a phenomenal amount of exposure from a target market hungry for technological advance, and of course the coveted Belsonic tickets on offer!

Esther Small, brand development manager, said, “The competition market is fairly saturated at the moment and we wanted to do something different that would stand out to our target market. It’s important that we keep moving with the times and take advantage of improving technologies. QR has been used extensively in countries such as Japan, the Netherlands and South Korea but is still in the growth stages in the United Kingdom, so we wanted to utilise the tool before our competitors, and what better way than to link it with an ABSOLUT competition”.

To enter the ABSOLUT competition visit www.facebook.com/absolutvodkani or look out for the ABSOLUT QR code. 

 

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