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Archive: March 2014

A fitting end to FASHIONWEEK!


23 March 2014

Glamorous lunching ladies brought Belfast FASHIONWEEK’s ten year celebrations to a fittingly fashionable end at the very last of the five-day-long series of events which took place yesterday in Belfast’s SHU restaurant.  Around 80 women attended the Style Sunday lunch for a mini fashion show, and to hear all the inside hair and make up tips from official Belfast FASHIONWEEK hair and make up sponsors, Andrew Mulvenna and Paddy McGurgan. 

 

Style Sunday offered a relaxed round up of Belfast FASHIONWEEK and gave ladies a chance to catch their breaths after the jam packed catwalk shows and events which dazzled fashion fans night after night with the latest in chic, on-trend style from local designers, boutiques and the high street making sure we more than got our fair share of spring summer fashion.

 

Cathy Martin, Director of FASHIONWEEK said:  “This season I’m delighted to say, was another success for FASHIONWEEK and a wonderful kick start to our tenth year.  Every night was a sellout proving that when it comes to fashion, Northern Irish fans just can’t get enough.”

 

This season, FASHIONWEEK included three main catwalk shows; from a variety of local boutiques including Blush and Jourdan from the Lisburn Road, Cruise and Diamond Dolls in Banbridge; designers such as Larissa Watson (who launched her brand new Belfast studio and showroom for her brand Goddess and Swift), Grainne Maher, Julia Sokele, Rachel McKnight and Gordon Donaldson among others as well High Street fashion from Next, M&S, Jigsaw, CastleCourt and The OUTLET Banbridge. 

 

As if that wasn’t enough, trendsetters were also treated to an extra special ‘Charity Challenge’ catwalk show and theatrical make up display from Paddy McGurgan held at the imposing great hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.  As the lead make up artist at FASHIONWEEK since 2005 and a former performer himself, Paddy choreographed a full production entitled ‘Birds of Paradise’ which wowed audiences with a musical, dance and visual spectacular including dramatic feathered wings and headpieces.

 

The Charity Challenge brought together fashion bloggers and stylists who each paired with a charity and their retail stores to create a collection of ten catwalk-worthy outfits each, demonstrating great vintage fashion is available without breaking the purse strings and helping a good cause at the same time.

 

Following three fast paced electrifying catwalk shows, it was time to slow things down with a relaxing fashion tea held at Saphyre where attendees could enjoy delicious gourmet sandwiches, macaroons and cream scones whilst watching an intimate fashion show from Cruise all rounded up with the sumptuous Style Sunday luncheon held in SHU restaurant. 

 

Cathy said:  “I’m so grateful for the level of support we have received over the past ten years from everyone who has attended the catwalk shows and other fringe events.  Myself and the rest of the FASHIONWEEK team, including my staff, hair and beauty team and our little army of volunteers, have worked very hard to make it another raving success and I’m proud to say it was.” said Cathy.

 

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw.

 

MAGNIFICENT MAKE UP AND CHARITY CHALLENGE MAKE FOR A FUN FRIDAY
FINALE AT FASHIONWEEK


21 March 2014

Parliament buildings at Stormont had some very glamorous and fashionable visitors last night (Friday 21 March) as fashion fans, models and stylists from Belfast and beyond flocked to the Great Hall for the third and final catwalk show of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK.

 

Audience members were treated to not one, but two spectacular shows giving a double whammy of fashionable fun.  First up was the ‘Charity Challenge’ which involved thirteen bloggers and stylists teaming up with thirteen charities (and their stores) to style up a mini collection from each of their respective stores.  And they didn’t disappoint!  The style teams, which included popular fashion bloggers Niamh Kelly, Louise Vance and Nicola McLaughlin as well as stylists Rebecca McKinney and Eve Brannon - to name a few, each showed off their exceptional creative flair as the quirky and vintage ensembles demonstrated that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to look stylish and on trend.

 

Ruairi Murray, Regional Shop Co-Ordinator for Vincent’s said: “Vincent’s are delighted to be part of Belfast FASHIONWEEK’s tenth year. Working with Nicola McLaughlin from thesequincinderella.com, we aim to show that style and value go hand in hand at Vincent’s which supports the work of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. Vincent’s have 29 shops across Northern Ireland raising funds for the fight against poverty locally.”

The clothes were modelled beautifully by some gorgeous new faces as ten finalists from the iconic COVERGIRL competition in association with Belfast FASHIONWEEK, strutted their stuff for the first time on the Belfast FASHIONWEEK catwalk.  After whittling the models down to a final three and following a sun soaked photoshoot in Lanzarote, the winner is set to be announced next week and will walk away with £1,000 worth of Victoria Square goodies, plus two return flights to any jet2 destination in Europe, a year’s supply of hair treatments and make up at Andrew Mulvenna’s Hair Salon and Paddy McGurgan’s Make Up Pro Store plus a contract with CMPR models. 

 

Rebecca McKinney, Charity Challenge stylist said: “I kick started my fashion career with an internship at FASHIONWEEK and have always been passionate about the event. Just this month I ended up going away to Lanzarote with the fashion week team for the Cover Girl competition and now to be styling a collection with a charity close to my heart – Age NI – makes me so proud.”

 

Next up was a theatrical show from multi award winning artist and FASHIONWEEK make up partner since the event’s inception in 2005, Paddy McGurgan, who wowed the crowd with his ‘Birds of Paradise’ colourful body art make up show.  Paddy’s dramatic show incorporated music and dance to make it a spectacular visual display which mesmerised the packed out audience.  Gorgeous models sported large feathered wings, rhinestones and gems as well as dramatic body art as they glided and fluttered their way down the catwalk in the imposing Great Hall.

 

Paddy McGurgan said: “I’ve been working as a make up artist with Belfast FASHIONWEEK for the past ten years and prior to that I completed a music degree and worked in choreography so it goes without saying that I’m really passionate about the arts!  It’s really nice to be able to combine both of these interests and put on a really artistic and colourful production.” 

 

Speaking at last night’s event, Director of Belfast FASHIONWEEK Cathy Martin said: “I was really impressed by the amazing show put on tonight first of all from our very gifted stylists and bloggers who put their heart and soul into creating ten fabulous looks each from the charity stores they teamed up with. I also felt like a proud mother hen as I watched the gorgeous COVERGIRL finalists walk the catwalk - for the very first time for some of them. 

 

“Tonight’s make up display by Paddy McGurgan was the cherry on top of the icing and offered an enthralling end to the main catwalk shows at this season’s FASHIONWEEK.”

 

FASHIONWEEK continues today [Saturday 22 March] at Saphyre with Cruise fashion teas – a sumptuous afternoon tea accompanied by a mini fashion presentation from luxury fashion brand Cruise.  FASHIONWEEK comes to an end on Sunday 23 March with Style Sunday, which offers a ‘best of FASHIONWEEK’ showing key pieces from a selection of the local designers and retailers followed by a three course luncheon, all in aid of Mencap.  Guests will also have the opportunity to pick the brains of the hair and beauty team for their advice and top tips on hair and make up trends which are big this season. 

FASHION HIGH AT NIGHT TWO OF BELFAST FASHIONWEEK'S TENTH YEAR CELEBRATIONS


20 March 2014
Armani Exchange Dress Was �88 Now �44, L.K. Bennett, Envelope Clutch Was �275 Now �75 at The OUTLET, Banbridge

It was another packed house at Belfast’s Ulster Museum last night (Thursday 20 March) as hundreds of stylish ladies and gents gathered to watch this season’s top trends from the High Street at the second night of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK’s tenth year extravaganza.

 

Proceedings got under way in the early evening with an intimate pop up store and mini fashion show by Argento.  Keen fashionistas hit the Ulster Museum early for a browse at the brand’s latest spring summer collections enabling them to add some gorgeous accessories to their wish list of summer garments. 

 

Later, collections from stores including Marks & Spencer, Mexx, Benetton, Jigsaw and George at Asda joined Next, The OUTLET in Banbridge and Belfast’s CastleCourt stores and took to the runway to wow the crowd with affordable chic fashion.

 

First to step up to the catwalk wasFASHIONWEEK regular, The OUTLET in Banbridge which presented high-end designs from L.K. Bennett, Jaeger and Armani Exchange, wowing the crowds with a chic display of designer wear at up to an incredible 70% off.  

 

Siobhan McKeown, Marketing Manager at The OUTLET Banbridge, said she was delighted to be back again and part of the event’s tenth year celebrations: “FASHIONWEEK has continued to bring a top quality fashion production over the past 17 seasons and the audience can’t get enough of the various trends walking the catwalk throughout the past nine years.  The OUTLET is showcasing looks from a range of stores for spring/summer and it is a great opportunity to demonstrate that you can be on trend without spending a fortune.”  

Next to dazzle the crowd was fashion label George at Asda which featured lots of pretty florals and bright colours in their collection, perfect for spring summer.  George was swiftly followed by Jigsaw and popular shopping centre CastleCourt - with collections from Designers at Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, GAP, Dune, Burton, Exhibit and many more, CastleCourt impressed with pieces from Designers at Debenhams newbie Jonathan Saunders as well as staples like Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins.

 

These high street retailers, together with M&S which took to the catwalk after CastleCourt, all provided a display of key summer trends including pleated skirts, summer tweeds, metallics, pretty pastels and block colours all featuring strongly in their collections with lots of classic pieces from M&S too.

It was a fast paced flurry of colour from Benetton and Mexx as delicious fondant colours including bright coral and lemon were shown heavily in Mexx’s collection as well as lots of sheer material, another huge trend this season.  Benetton showcased flattering tailored blazers as well as the classic spring summer combo of navy and white.

 

The collection from Next brought the show to an end, and dazzled the crowd with a selection of florals, neons and sports luxe.  Chantelle Craig, PR Manager from Next said she was delighted with the response from the audience: “We’re really pleased with the positive feedback from audience members and at how stunning the collection looked on the catwalk.   There are some really gorgeous pieces in this year’s spring/summer collection which are sure to be a hit with stylish fans.”

Director of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, Cathy Martin said of the event:  “The atmosphere tonight was electric as each outfit paraded down the catwalk!  I could see lots of women circling items in their programmes, so I think there will be a lot of fashionistas hitting the high street on their next payday!”

 

FASHIONWEEK continues tonight, Friday 21 March, with an extra special ‘Charity Challenge’ catwalk show and theatrical make up display from Paddy McGurgan.  As the lead make up artist at FASHIONWEEK since 2005 and a former performer himself, Paddy has choreographed a full production entitled ‘Birds of Paradise’ to wow audiences with a musical, dance and visual spectacular including dramatic feathered wings and headpieces.

 

The Charity Challenge brings together fashion bloggers and stylists who are each paired with a charity and their retail stores to create a collection of ten catwalk-worthy outfits each.  Cathy said: “I can’t wait to see what classic, quirky and vintage ensembles our exceptionally creative stylists will come up with.  All the outfits shown on the catwalk as part of the Charity Challenge will be available to reserve on the night at each charity’s pop up store, so as well as exposing what great finds there are in store at some of these gem shops, we’re hoping that the charities will sell the entire collections to make some much needed funds.”

 

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw.

BELFAST FASHIONWEEK KICKS OFF ITS TENTH YEAR


20 March 2014

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK kicked off the start of its tenth year celebrations last night (Wednesday 19March) with the launch of designer and entrepreneur Larissa Watson’s new studio and showroom for her luxury fashion brand Goddess and Swift.  Guests enjoyed drinks and watched in awe as the stunning FASHIONWEEK models beautifully showcased the latest collection from the talented designer, giving lucky fashion fans a sneak peak before it made its debut on the Belfast FASHIONWEEK catwalk at the Ulster Museum just a few hours later.   

As the catwalk lit up under the bright spotlights, the very best of local designers and designer boutiques impressed the crowd with their delightful designs.  Goddess and Swift was joined by other home-grown designers and designer boutiques including Harrison, Blush, Jourdan, Diamond Dolls and Cruise. Other talented designers including Grainne Maher, Gordon Donaldson, Julia Sokele, Nor Lisa, Rachel McKnight and a guest design house from Italy called Fashion Gossip together got  the week’s fabulous catwalk shows under way.    

Following the stunning display of local talent, Director of FASHIONWEEK Cathy Martin said:  “Our local designers and independent retailers have truly got our tenth year celebrations going with a bang, or, in keeping with our colourful campaign this season, I should really say with a splash! What a beautiful array of colour, luxurious fabrics, prints and shapes we saw on tonight’s catwalk; the runway really was a stunning visual display of what extraordinary talent we have here.  Our independently owned stores and designers have proven that they have a remarkable eye when it comes to selecting and creating high end fashion which is internationally chic and stylish.  Over the years we’ve worked with such a variety of designers - some of which have made some incredible achievements going on to work in top fashion houses in New York and Paris, so I’m delighted that our local boutiques and designers opened our show tonight.” 

Over twenty of Northern Ireland’s up and coming models put on a show of their own with their elegant physiques and perfectly groomed hair styled by Andrew Mulvenna with make up looks applied by Paddy McGurgan’s Academy team.  

Key trends on the catwalk included bold summery brights and prints as well as monochrome and chunky styling all over. Pastel metallics also abounded, as did a very sophisticated ‘sports luxe’ look from many collections.  

Larissa Watson of Goddess and Swift said “I’ve been taking part in FASHIONWEEK for a number of seasons now and I’m thrilled to be here tonight among all the fashion conscious ladies of Northern Ireland.  It’s a double celebration for me as I welcomed guests along to the opening of my new Belfast studio the same night, which is very exciting for me.  The show’s been going from strength to strength and I’m so pleased to be here for its tenth year.” 

New designers Julia Sokele and Gordon Donaldson also wowed the crowd with their work and showed they are definitely ones to watch for the future in the growing design industry here. Julia said: “Fashion Week provides such a great springboard for someone like me to help launch a career. Seeing my collection on professional models in such a cool setting is wonderful and I am really happy to be here among established designers.”  

Pat Jordan-Scott of Jourdan on Belfast’s Lisburn Road, who has been in retail since the 1960s said: “Tonight we showcased Joseph Ribkoff soft animal prints along with a selection of stunning cocktail dresses and of course our red carpet evening wear.” 

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK continues tonight (Thursday 20 March) with the massively popular High Street Heaven catwalk show which sold out weeks in advance.  Those who were lucky enough to snap up a ticket will enjoy high street summer fashion from CastleCourt, The OUTLET, Banbridge, Benetton, Next, Jigsaw, Mexx, and M&S. 

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw.

Goddess and Swift Atelier's New Studio Launch to Kick Off Belfast FASHIONWEEK


19 March 2014

 

Belfast designer and entrepreneur, Larissa Watson is getting ready for the launch of her brand new city centre studio and showroom at this season’s hotly anticipated Belfast FASHIONWEEK with her luxury lifestyle brand Goddess & Swift.  Her beautiful high-end collection will be available to buy from the studio at Belfast’s Commercial Court and will be showcased as part of the popular designer and designer boutique night on Wednesday 19th March. 

 

 

 

With over two decades’ experience under her belt, Larissa boasts some of the top, well-known international retailers as clients on her impressive CV with her collections having been stocked in Harrods, Brown Thomas and various other high end boutiques across Europe.  But now the Belfast woman is looking forward to launching her own studio and showroom on the same night she will showcase her collection on the catwalk at Belfast Fashionweek.

 

 

 

Larissa said, “I can’t wait to welcome all my clients, old and new to have a browse at my latest collections at my new city centre studio.  Guests are invited along to an exclusive and intimate reception to enjoy drinks and nibbles as well as a sneak preview of what they can expect to see on the catwalk later that night. 

 

 

 

“This season’s collection incorporates pretty and feminine pastels and metallics.  There will also be lots of beautiful printed silks and linens, statement prints and elegant lines.   The collection is feminine, luxurious and timeless and I think people will really like it.”

 

 

 

Environment conscious Larissa is passionate about using locally sourced materials, she said:  “I source and manufacture my materials locally as far as is economically possible.  It’s important to me to use the highest quality materials whilst keeping the label accessible.  Producing clothing of the highest quality which is both classical and creative and offering timeless appeal is of the utmost importance to me and the brand.”

 

 

 

Goddess and Swift’s studio and showroom will open on Thursday 20th March with an exclusive preview and private drinks reception held on Wednesday 19th March at 5.30-7pm.

 

Belfast designer and entrepreneur, Larissa Watson is getting ready for the launch of her brand new city centre studio and showroom at this season’s hotly anticipated Belfast FASHIONWEEK with her luxury lifestyle brand Goddess & Swift.  Her beautiful high-end collection will be available to buy from the studio at Belfast’s Commercial Court and will be showcased as part of the popular designer and designer boutique night on Wednesday 19th March. 

 

With over two decades’ experience under her belt, Larissa boasts some of the top, well-known international retailers as clients on her impressive CV with her collections having been stocked in Harrods, Brown Thomas and various other high end boutiques across Europe.  But now the Belfast woman is looking forward to launching her own studio and showroom on the same night she will showcase her collection on the catwalk at Belfast Fashionweek.

 

Larissa said, “I can’t wait to welcome all my clients, old and new to have a browse at my latest collections at my new city centre studio.  Guests are invited along to an exclusive and intimate reception to enjoy drinks and nibbles as well as a sneak preview of what they can expect to see on the catwalk later that night. 

 

“This season’s collection incorporates pretty and feminine pastels and metallics.  There will also be lots of beautiful printed silks and linens, statement prints and elegant lines.   The collection is feminine, luxurious and timeless and I think people will really like it.”

 

Environment conscious Larissa is passionate about using locally sourced materials, she said:  “I source and manufacture my materials locally as far as is economically possible.  It’s important to me to use the highest quality materials whilst keeping the label accessible.  Producing clothing of the highest quality which is both classical and creative and offering timeless appeal is of the utmost importance to me and the brand.”

 

Goddess and Swift’s studio and showroom will open on Thursday 20th March with an exclusive preview and private drinks reception held on Wednesday 19th March at 5.30-7pm.

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