Archive: August 2015


25 August 2015
In a climate of continued cuts and difficulties in the arts sector which will limit future possibilities and access for today’s children, local drama school, Bright Young Things (BYT), has aimed to buck the downward trend by joining forces with international actor James Nesbitt to launch a scholarship programme for children whose circumstances might not normally allow them to avail of private drama and confidence building classes.
BYT Patron Nesbitt has compounded his belief in the importance of the arts for all young people by supporting a full year’s membership to BYT for two lucky young people, aged between 3-18 from across Northern Ireland; one in BYT Magherafelt and one in BYT Belfast.  Their time at BYT will be mentored by founder and director Lisa Duffy and their progress followed by James Nesbitt himself.  
Nesbitt said: "It gives me great pleasure to support the BYT scholarship programme. Drama and performing arts training from an early age can be key in developing personality, social skills, confidence, and of course, it is also a great way of nurturing a natural talent who may not have had the opportunity otherwise." 
Lisa, who is a professional actor, qualified teacher and performing arts lecturer, added: “The Arts provide skills not just for the stage, but more importantly they equip young people with skills for school, for home and for life. And there is a growing lack of arts in our schools’ curricula so it is vital that we encourage it out of home and school.”  
“Through games, improvisation, storytelling, music, movement, team-building activities, performance and more, our courses at BYT ignite curiosity and encourage self-belief in each and every one of our 3-18 year old members.  And we have an outrageous amount of fun doing it!”
Applications for the scholarship are available from the BYT website at . Young people aged between 3-18 can enter themselves or parents can enter on behalf of their child, depending on age and ability.
Lisa explained: “This is the first time that Jimmy and BYT have offered to support and fund two members for a whole year of award winning drama training and confidence building at both BYT schools.  We expect a huge response to Jimmy’s Scholarship and want to ensure that the most deserving young people are awarded this opportunity.  Therefore highest priority will be given to applicants who currently have financial barriers to attending a class like BYT.
“We’re all about opening up kids’ creative sides, so we’d like to encourage video entries: loads of fun for applicants to make on their phones and a great chance for us to see a creative sparkle that we might feel the need to ignite and encourage through BYT!
“Entrants can let their imaginations go wild with the 30 second clip: we’re hoping to some of them perform a funny poem or show us their best impression; pull some of their wackiest facial expressions or recreate a scene from a favourite book with puppets. They could make a crazy costume, shoot a documentary of their favourite place, show off a favourite party trick, or just tell us a wee story!  Most importantly we just want to see sparks of personality and lots of fun while they’re doing it!”
But while Lisa is all about fun for the kids, she also concluded with a serious note saying: “We know that there are children across Northern Ireland who really need a boast in confidence and self-esteem. We know there are children who are naturally creative but have nowhere to explore this talent.  With this scholarship, we want to open up the opportunities and invaluable benefits that drama can bring to children who currently face barriers to joining a class or school.”

Twenty-a-Plenty as Scores of Fashionistas Came Out for the Twentieth Season of Belfast FASHIONWEEK�

20 August 2015
Twenty was a-plenty for Belfast’s leading fashionistas, as West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK launched its twentieth season today, 20 August.  Twenty of Ireland’s top models showcased the twenty hottest trends for the Autumn Winter season ahead, and with the trends presentation came the announcement of the ever popular FASHIONWEEK programme.   Returning from 15-18 October, with nightly catwalk shows plus the return of Sushi Saturday and Style Sunday, as well as welcoming a whole host of new additions including a menswear show, the Fashion Souk and a body image workshop, ‘To Be Beautiful’, this season will see a jam-packed schedule like none before.
Esther Small, brand manager for West Coast Cooler, sponsor of the event, said: “People here wear their style well, so we want to celebrate that. It is exciting to see such a fantastic programme of events for what will undoubtedly be a very busy season of show-stopping style.  There are some really cool additions to the schedule, which are exciting, fresh and an ideal fit to the West Coast Cooler brand.”
Speaking of the FASHIONWEEK programme, director Cathy Martin said: “Reaching a milestone like our twentieth season makes me think back to where we’ve come from, but looking forward, I have no doubt that today’s launch will whet the buds of Belfast’s stylistas for the season ahead. We’re delighted to showcase menswear exclusively and we’ll have some top international brands as well as a host of new designers to support, with some very edgy men’s collections. 
“The shows will return to our fabulous BFW HQ in the heart of the city, and we’ll showcase the very best of our local designers and independent boutiques along with the hotly-anticipated ranges from our most loved international high street brands. 
“As well as the fabulous fashion I am delighted to announce we will be welcoming Italian restaurant Fratelli to the FASHIONWEEK family, as the official hosts of our pop-up pre-show eaterie and cocktail bar, serving delicious chichetti to our stylish audiences while they explore the shop-the show boutique alley.”
And sticking with an Italian theme, Italian hair brand ALFAPARF MILANO was also announced as official hair partner for the event. The brand has brought together a veritable ‘dream team’ of Northern Ireland’s top hairdressers - including Paul Stafford, Bill Harris, Michael Quinn and Brenda Shankey -  to create the looks across all catwalk shows.  
Wenda Davidson from ALFAPARF said: “It is an absolute pleasure to be the new hair partner for Belfast FASHIONWEEK and an extremely exciting opportunity for our brand and the talented stylists we work with across Northern Ireland.  It is an honor to have FASHIONWEEK as a platform to showcase the capabilities of our stylists and our products. ”
As well as a new hair partner, FASHIONWEEK also welcomed a new make up sponsor in SENNA Cosmetics with local make up artist Oonagh Boman as lead artist.  Stylistas will see the latest Autumn/Winter trends come alive on the catwalk using SENNA’s hero products as well as Italian skincare range Domina, which will help to create flawless, catwalk-ready skin on the models.  
Speaking of the fashion at the launch Cathy advised: “In terms of trends for this season, fashion fans should prepare for a stunning palette of winter brights, particularly oranges and pinks, and these will be used a lot in modern, graphic prints as well as in bold, block colours. It’s also time to rummage through your Grandma’s wardrobe for inspiration, as tweeds and prints akin to chintzy interior fabrics abound. In terms of fabrics and textures, winter often brings more interesting tactile looks, and this season suede and luxurious velvet are celebrated as well as a bit of fluff and fur. 
“Also jumping to the fore are the 1970s silhouettes - flattering flares and 80s elbow and shoulder shapes are all acceptable, with a big focus on big blouses too. The 1980s influences can also be seen with an eclectic mix of metallic fabrics and glitz galore, prepping wardrobes everywhere for the party season.  As always, for Winter, layering should be the focus, not only to keep warm, but keeping wearers bang-on-trend.”
When it comes to the programme, Thursday 15 October will see the latest collections from local designers and independent boutiques on the runway.  Confirmed to return are Blush and Jourdan from the Lisburn Road, Akani, Diamond Dolls, Deux Cara, Spoilt Belle Boutique and The Style Retreat as well as designers Grainne Maher, Nor Lisa and Gordon Donaldson, among others.  FASHIONWEEK new-comers this season include a fabulous tweed collection from Cocoon Luxury Wear, Ariana Clothing, Hanger 13 in Portadown and Friendtex stocked by Dashlin in Newry.  Designers Marky Marc and Nicola McLaughlin will debut fresh new collections. FASHIONWEEK will also showcase a menswear show with local designers and the very best suiting from a number of national and international brands.  
Following on from the ever-successful designer night, style proceedings continue with the High Street Heaven shows on Friday 16 October, bringing the latest looks from the nation’s biggest and busiest stores including Next, Oasis, Warehouse, DV8 Fashion, Remus Uomo, Superdry, Marks and Spencer and George at Asda as well as Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Designers at Debenhams and Miss Selfridge from CastleCourt.
No stranger to FASHIONWEEK, marketing director Camila McCourt said: “We are delighted to be on board again for what is truly an unmissable event in CastleCourt’s diary.  Our retailers have been involved in FASHIONWEEK since 2006 and it has been incredible watching them grow alongside it.  With a whole host of fantastic retailers all under one roof, we can’t wait for our customers to see what is in store when the fashions of CastleCourt hit the catwalk in October.”
Saturday 17 October will see the busiest day in the FASHIONWEEK schedule with the addition of the original Fashion Souk at BFW HQ, an event hosting stalls and pop up stores for vintage and previously owned clothing throughout the day from 11am-4pm. Also kicking off at 11am is the new body image symposium and workshop ‘To Be Beautiful’ featuring nutrition and body image experts as well as performer and body image campaigner Katie Richardson.
Running alongside this, fashionista’s can make their way to the uber-chic Sushi Saturday event, hosted at Belfast’s hottest new venue, The Perch.  The perfect event for those who cannot make the catwalk shows, this “Director’s Cut” showcases  the best looks from across all shows at Belfast FASHIONWEEK, while guests enjoy West Coast Cooler cocktails and a sushi-filled, Asian afternoon tea - all for the bargain price of £30 per person. 
Following on into the evening the FASHIONWEEK catwalk will once again burst into life with the latest collections from Ireland’s largest online designer fashion retailer  Audience members can expect to see the latest fashions from top designer names such as Armani, Calvin Klein and Boss Orange and some of Britain’s top fashion brands including Barbour, French Connection and Ted Baker for men, ladies and children.
Proprietor William Gilliland said: “This will be our second time hosting a full show at Belfast FASHIONWEEK and, looking at the collections from our designer brands for Autumn/Winter 2015, I have confidence in saying that this show will outshine our last.  We have some fantastic new brands on board including Paul Smith, Cameo and Hugo by Hugo Boss, and of course audiences can expect to see the return of fashion favourites Ted Baker and French Connection as well as Armani and Michael Kors among others.  It’s always exciting to see Excel Clothing’s fashion come to life; from the shop floor to the catwalk.” 
Last, but definitely not least, the schedule will close in sumptuous style with the flagship Style Sunday luncheon at SHU on 18 October. This glamorous four course gourmet luncheon, which is run in association with Action Cancer and food partner Marks and Spencer, accompanies trend forecasts, a mini fashion show and a mini masterclass from FASHIONWEEK’s hair, style and make up partners. SHU chefs will work with M&S to choose the very best of locally sourced produce and deliver a delicious meal while experts including British Hairdresser Hall of Fame member Paul Stafford will speak on how to style hair to last throughout the Winter.  Fashion on the day will include labels Milly, Pimko and Marc Aruel from Candy Plum boutique in Hillsborough as well as some key pieces from the luxury M&S Autograph range. The charity lunch costs £45.00 per person and places can be booked directly through the restaurant on 02890381655.
The full show schedule is available online at along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  Catwalk tickets, which cost £20 (or £30 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. 
Notes to Editors: 
• The event is called West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK in the first instance & FASHIONWEEK or Belfast FASHIONWEEK thereafter. 
• Please also ensure FASHIONWEEK appears in capitals as one word where possible.
• Throughout the week, breast cancer charity Pretty‘n’Pink will collect funds at all shows to support women after undergoing debilitating breast cancer surgery or treatment. Action Cancer is the official charity partner for Style Sunday and funds raised with go towards their breast screening for women aged 40-49 and 70+ 
Schedule of shows:
THURSDAY 15 OCTOBER, 8.00PM - DESIGNER BOUTIQUES AND LOCAL DESIGNERS. Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via links on
THURSDAY 15 OCTOBER, 6.00PM – THE MENSWEAR SHOW featuring the very best from local and international brands and designers. 
FRIDAY 16 OCTOBER, 8.00PM - HIGH STREET. Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via links on
SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER 11am-1pm ‘To Be Beautiful’ The Body Image Symposium at BFW HQ in Bruce Street. FREE 
SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER 11AM-4PM The Fashion Souk at BFW HQ. Vintage, pre-owned, pre-loved and recycled clothing & accessories from some of Northern Ireland’s most stylish fashionistas. 
SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER, 2.00-4.00pm - SUSHI SATURDAY “The Director’s Cut”. To book call 02890421509 price £30pp.
SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER, 8.00pm – EXCEL CLOTHING.  Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via links on
SUNDAY 18 OCTOBER, 2.00-5.00pm - STYLE SUNDAY in support of Action Cancer and sponsored by Marks & Spencer. To book call SHU on 028 9038 1655, price £45pp.


14 August 2015

Belfast FASHIONWEEK today revealed that a touch of Italian glamour will be added to this season’s shows - which will take place in October - as Italian hair brand ALFAPARF, the new official hair partner of FASHIONWEEK, brought together some of Northern Ireland's most skilled and highly accoladed hair stylists to create a hair 'dream team' for the event. The Hair Maestros - including Paul Stafford, Bill Harris, Michael Quinn and Brenda Shankey - have joined forces to bring the very best of Northern Irish hairdressing to the leading style event which will run from 14-18 October.  


Pictured here are hairdressers Paul Stafford, Brenda Shankey, Bill Harris & Michael Quinn with Wenda Kerr (ALFAPARF) and FASHIONWEEK Director Cathy Martin, centre.

LW Tan

03 August 2015
The grey skies and rainy days which so often feature in our summers – especially this one! – can leave us longing for sunshine, while summer style tends to mean exposed skin; but after months of grey skies, a natural tan can be difficult to come by. Enter tan queen and TOWIE star Lauren Goodger, who has now launched her LW Tan range here in Ireland//Northern Ireland - and beauty aficionados are loving the shades, the smooth finish and the scent of her affordable but effective product range. 
The team at LW TAN has developed a shade for everyone with a go-to guide for first timers and experienced tanners alike. Many people are often confused over which shade is best suited to their skin tone, but Lauren explains: 
“Our LW Medium range is perfect for first-time tanners or fair skin. If you’re nervous about trying tanning, then this is the shade for you. Products in our Medium range include: MEDIUM BRONZING LOTION; MEDIUM BRONZING MOUSSE; INSTANT WASH OFF GLOW and GRADUAL TAN. 
“Our LW Dark range is perfect for medium/dark skin tones as this will leave you with an instant, bronzed glow - adding glamour to any look. We carry products such as DARK BRONZING LOTION and DARK GLAM TAN in this range. Not forgetting our LW MAN TAN too. 
“Our LW ‘Darker Than Dark’ range is ideal for olive/dark skin tones, providing instant colour and leaving a deep, bronzed, intense colour after just one application. Our products in this range include DARKER THAN DARK BRONZING LOTION; BRONZING MOUSSE and DARKER THAN DARK GLAM TAN. 
“Our NEW RAPID LW Solution 60 range is suitable for all skin tones, the light and hydrating solution leaves a holiday looking tan that develops within only 1-3 hours! No more waiting 8 hours for that luscious, luxurious tan you’ve always wanted. Available in both SOLUTION 60 BRONZING SPRAY and MOUSSE, Solution 60 is paraben free and specially formulated with tanning agent dihydroxyacetone to speed up the tanning process providing flawless coverage and a sun-kissed colour which is suitable for all skin tones and which lasts up to five days. 
“Like all our products, it is infused with citrus and fruit extracts for a gorgeously fresh aroma. It’s the perfect tan for last minute parties and those who don’t have the time to wait for their tan to develop.”
Lauren also advises that for a streak-free application with all tan products, the LW BODY POLISH should be used prior to application to buff away dead skin. The tan products should ideally be applied with a LW TANNING MITT, and to maintain a golden and fresh colour, the LW TAN ENHANCING MOISTURISER can also be massaged into the skin daily. All LW products are long-lasting, luxuriously hydrating as well as being quick and easy to apply, plus the colour guide allows you to see exactly where you are applying it. Simple! 
Notes to Editors: 
If sharing the story online, or via your social media channels, we’d love you to use the official hashtag #lwireland 
We’re also on social media at: 
Product Description
- LW TAN Dark range is fab for medium/olive skin tones
- Dark gives a deep, bronzed colour in just one application
- Silky smooth, rich formula that leaves skin looking radiant
- Self Tan Lotion dries instantly
- Provides a citrus aroma without that fake tan smell
- LW Darker Than Dark range is fab for olive/darker skin tones & experienced tanners!
- Darker Than Dark gives a deeply bronzed, intense colour in just one application
- Velvety soft
- Light self-tan formula
- Easy to apply with a silky smooth glow
- Blended with cocoa, rose petal, jasmine and passion flower
- Provides a citrus aroma without that fake tan smell
- LW Medium range is fab for fair skin and first-time tanners!
- Medium gives a professional sun-kissed colour in just one application! 
- Hydrating tinted lotion provides a natural looking tan on the go
- Wash Off Glow is so easy to remove - simply wash off with soap and water
GRADUAL TAN - £13.95 
- Build a beautiful glow every day
- Nourishing body moisturiser with a healthy touch of bronze for fabulous, tanned skin
- Gives you smooth, supple skin whilst developing a gradual, golden tan
- From a Medium glow to a Dark bronze-over
- Apply as often as you like to achieve the shade you desire!
- Provides a citrus aroma without that fake tan smell
DARK GLAM TAN - £18.95 
- LW Dark range is fab for medium/olive skin tones and lovers of a spray tan
- Dark gives a deep, beautiful bronzed colour in just one application
- Self tan spray formula
- Spray technology allows for easy and even application
- Enjoy the benefits of a spray tan from the comfort of your own home!
- Provides a citrus aroma without that fake tan smell
- LW Medium range is fab for fair/medium skin tones and first-time tanners!
-  Medium gives a professional sun-kissed colour in just one application! 
- Lasting self tan formula
- Instant bronzed glow
- A thick, liquid consistency, meaning it glides on skin easily
- Blended with cocoa, rose petal, jasmine and passion flower
- Provides a citrus aroma without that fake tan smell
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