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Archive: October 2015

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK sets a stylish standard for Autumn/Winter 15


18 October 2015

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK came to a close on Sunday 18 October with its highly accoladed Style Sunday event at top Belfast restaurant SHU.  The luncheon, in aid of Action Cancer and sponsored by M&S and Candy Plum Boutique, was a stylish finish for Ireland’s leading style event.

 

FASHIONWEEK’s busy schedule had included four main catwalk shows - the Menswear show really kicked off proceedings for the boys with a captivating catwalk appearance from the Lady Boys of Bangkok accompanied by a fabulous lingerie round from Belfast’s newest lingerie retailer Boux Avenue, along with a variety of looks from favourite menswear stores and designers.  Audiences then witnessed the return of the Designer and Designer Boutique Show which showcased the latest designs from some of Ireland’s most talented designers; Diana Mukushii, Deux Cara, Gordon Donaldson, Ariana Clothing, Grainne Maher, Cocoon Luxury Wear, Marky Marc, Nicola McLaughlin and Nor Lisa, as well as the most fashionable collections from designer boutiques Blush, Friendtex at Dashlin, Diamond Dolls, Designers at Dunnes Stores, Hanger 13, Jourdan, Spoilt Belle Boutique and The Style Retreat.

 

Up next was the popular High Street show, and the catwalk burst alive with colourful winter fashion from Next, M&S, George at Asda, Dunnes Stores, DV8 Fashion, Remus Uomo, Superdry, Tempest, Oasis, CastleCourt and Warehouse. Excel Clothing’s collections from brands including French Connection, Ted Baker,  Barbour, Boss, Armani, Calvin Klein and, exclusively, Paul Smith, finished the main catwalk shows in spectacular style.

 

These shows were complemented with a Fashion Souk, To Be Beautiful Body Image Symposium and of course the sell-out events Sushi Saturday and Style Sunday. Director Cathy Martin said: “It has been another exciting season for Belfast FASHIONWEEK, with a series of fabulous events and, even more importantly, some stunning fashion.”

 

“The catwalk was alive with a whole host of fabulous trends, including winter brights, suede, tweed and 1970s and 1980s blouse shapes as well as bell-bottoms and fabrics reminiscent of grandma’s sewing box amongst many others. Our audiences witnessed the very best fashion from independently-owned boutiques, local designers and high-street stores - from evening gowns to day wear and jewellery to hats - there truly is no better place to get the ultimate fashion fix. We had something for everyone in the schedule and our FASHIONWEEK shows cater to audiences of many different shapes, sizes and ages as well as budgets and tastes. I think it’s fair to say the style standard has well and truly been set for A/W 15.”

Cathy said:  “I’m so grateful for the level of support we have received across the board, from designers and retailers who continue to showcase with us, as well as those showcasing for the first time. Our audiences too make all the difference, we had sell out events right across the schedule and I was delighted especially at the popularity of some of our fringe events. The collective FASHIONWEEK team, including the hair and beauty teams and our army of 50 volunteers, has worked very hard to make it what it was and  I can confirm that our Spring/Summer 2016 dates have been set, so we look forward to announcing those in January.”

 

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

WEST COAST COOLER FASHIONWEEK CONTINUES ITS STYLE CELEBRATIONS WITH HIGH STREET HEAVEN


16 October 2015

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK continued to celebrate its twentieth season this evening, 16 October, with a sell-out show featuring affordable and accessible fashion from across the high street. On the runway, Ireland’s top models wore the hottest trends for the Autumn/Winter season, including winter brights, tweed and graphic prints as well as suedes and velvets plus retro style influenced by the 1970s and 1980s. 

Thursday’s two shows saw the latest collections from menswear designers and retailers followed by the local designers’ and independent boutiques’ show. And following on from the ever-successful designer night, style proceedings continued with the High Street Heaven shows tonight Friday 16 October, bringing the latest looks from the nation’s biggest and busiest stores including Oasis, Next, Tempest, Warehouse, Remus Uomo, Superdry, Marks and Spencer, Dunnes, George at Asda, and DV8 Fashion, as well as Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Designers at Debenhams and Miss Selfridge from CastleCourt.

The popular fashion showcase returns this weekend with eight events over four days including nightly catwalk shows plus the return of Sushi Saturday and Style Sunday, as well as a whole host of new additions including the menswear show, the Fashion Souk and a body image workshop, ‘To Be Beautiful’.

Speaking of the FASHIONWEEK programme, director Cathy Martin said: “The high street is usually the first show to sell out – we know it’s our most popular of all the shows because the fashion is so accessible. What features on the catwalk tonight can be bought in store straight after the shows.”

Laura Blair, brand manager for West Coast Cooler, sponsor of the event, said: “We have been delighted with the shows so far and we have a busy Saturday and Sunday ahead of us. Twenty seasons is a great milestone to achieve, and it is wonderful for West Coast Cooler as a brand to be a part of that. ”

Today 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. Kicking off at 10am is the new body image symposium and workshop ‘To Be Beautiful’ featuring nutrition and body image experts as well as performer and ‘To Be Beautiful’ body image campaigner Katie Richardson.

Running alongside this, fashionistas can make their way to the uber-chic Sushi Saturday event, hosted at authentic Asian restaurant Zen.  The perfect event for those who cannot make the catwalk shows, the “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.

Tomorrow evening the FASHIONWEEK catwalk will once again burst into life with the latest collections from Ireland’s largest online designer fashion retailer www.excelclothing.com.  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.

Last, but definitely not least, the schedule will close in sumptuous style with the flagship Style Sunday luncheon atSHU 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 have worked 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 and make up artist Oonagh Boman, will speak on how to make hair and make up look fantastic throughout the winter.  Fashion will include labelsMilly, Pimko and Marc Aruel from Candy Plum boutique in Hillsborough as well as some key pieces from the luxury M&S Autograph range.

The full show schedule is available online at www.belfastfashionweek.com along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  Limited catwalk tickets, which cost £20, 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. 

Adding Another String to their 'Boux'�


02 October 2015

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK is delighted to reveal that Theo Paphitis’ lingerie brand Boux Avenue will showcase its latest collection as part of FASHIONWEEK’s Autumn/Winter schedule, ahead of the brand‘s official store opening in Victoria Square on Thursday 22nd October.  The luxurious yet affordable lingerie, nightwear, swimwear and accessories will add a glamorous ‘boudoir-inspired’ touch to both the Menswear and High Street Heaven eventson 15 and 16 October, allowing audiences to catch an exclusive preview of their designs on some of Ireland’s hottest models.

 

The full show schedule is available online at www.belfastfashionweek.com, along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors. Tickets are available now from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609 or via the website.

WEST COAST COOLER FASHIONWEEK LAUNCHES IN SPECTACULAR STYLE


15 October 2015

Scores of fashionistas and stylish gents saw West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK kick off its twentieth season this evening, 15 October, with a much-awaited menswear show followed by a stunning showcase of work by Irish designers plus collections from locally owned designer boutiques. On the runway, Ireland’s top models wore the hottest trends for the Autumn/Winter season, including winter brights, monochrome and graphic prints as well as suedes and velvets plus retro style influenced by the 1970s and 1980s.  

Tonight’s two shows saw the latest collections from menswear designers and retailers including Remus Uomo, Jamie Russell and Steffe McNeilly to name a few. The menswear show started with a Victoria-Secret-esque lingerie opening featuring sensuous satin and lace numbers from new Victoria Square store Boux Avenue.  At the later local designers and independent boutiques show, the catwalk came alive with eighteen collections from independently owned boutiques as well as locally based designers. Returning participants included Blush and Jourdan from the Lisburn Road, as well as Akani, Diamond Dolls, Deux Cara, Spoilt Belle Boutique and The Style Retreat plus designers Grainne Maher, Nor Lisa and Gordon Donaldson, among others.  FASHIONWEEK new-comers this season include a fabulous tweed collection from Cocoon Luxury Wear and Dashlin in Newry as well as Hanger 13 in Portadown.  Designers Marky Marc and Nicola McLaughlin also debuted fresh, new collections.

The popular fashion showcase returns this weekend with eight events over four days including nightly catwalk shows plus the return of Sushi Saturday and Style Sunday, as well as a whole host of new additions including the menswear show, the Fashion Souk and a body image workshop, ‘To Be Beautiful’.

Speaking of the FASHIONWEEK programme, director Cathy Martin said: “The schedule is one of our busiest ever, and it is condensed into just four days, with lots of variety in terms of styles, interests and budgets, but there’s still so much more I want to do and we’re already planning new additions for next season.”

Laura Blair, brand manager for West Coast Cooler, sponsor of the event, said: “There are some fantastic additions to the schedule which are exciting, fresh and an ideal fit to the West Coast Cooler brand. We’ve been looking forward to this weekend of fun fashion for a while and have spotted some super stylish people on the streets over the past few months. ”

Italian hair brand ALFAPARF MILANO, the official hair partner for the event, saw the first of its creative ‘dream team’ of Northern Ireland’s top hairdressers take the lead backstage.  All hair at the first two shows was styled by Michael Quinn and other events throughout the long weekend will see a veritable who’s who of hairdressing – including Paul Stafford, Bill Harris and Brenda Shankey - take the lead to create the looks across all catwalk shows.  

As well as the fabulous new hair partner, FASHIONWEEK also welcomed a new make up sponsor in Oonagh Boman’s Make Up School.  Stylistas saw the latest Autumn Winter trends come alive on the catwalk using Senna Cosmetics and Domina Skincare, to create flawless and stunning looks and Oonagh has packaged up all products into show bundles so audience members can ‘get the look’ at home.

Following on from the ever-successful designer night, style proceedings continue with the High Street Heaven shows tomorrow Friday 16 October, bringing the latest looks from the nation’s biggest and busiest stores including Oasis, Next, Warehouse, Remus Uomo, Superdry, Marks and Spencer, Dunnes, George at Asda, and DV8 Fashion, as well as Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Designers at Debenhams and Miss Selfridge from CastleCourt.

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. Kicking off at 10am is the new body image symposium and workshop ‘To Be Beautiful’ featuring nutrition and body image experts as well as performer and ‘To Be Beautiful’ body image campaigner Katie Richardson.

Running alongside this, fashionistas can make their way to the uber-chic Sushi Saturday event, hosted at authentic Asian restaurant Zen.  The perfect event for those who cannot make the catwalk shows, the “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.

On Saturday  evening the FASHIONWEEK catwalk will once again burst into life with the latest collections from Ireland’s largest online designer fashion retailer www.excelclothing.com.  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.

Last, but definitely not least, the schedule will close in sumptuous style with the flagship Style Sunday luncheon atSHU 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 make your hair look fantastic throughout the winter.  Fashion will include labelsMilly, 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 www.belfastfashionweek.com along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  Limited catwalk tickets, which cost £20, 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. 

TEN SQUARE NEW OWNERSHIP INVESTMENT


08 October 2015
City centre hotel Ten Square has this week confirmed plans for a 71 bedroom extension to its property on Linenhall Street and Donegall Square South. The extension, which is subject to a change of use planning application for the office building Lancashire House next door on Linenhall Street, will bring a £3m investment creating in excess of twenty new jobs at the hotel; and this is on top of a £1.5m refurbishment to the main building which is currently underway by new owners Kilmona Holdings. 
 
Stephen Perry, the newly appointed General Manager who is overseeing the hotel’s revamp, said:  “The current works include a total refurbishment of the existing hotel – from entirely new kitchens to a re-modelling of our front of house, as well as a complete modernisation of every bedroom to provide guests with in-room Smart technology and a fresh, new and classic modern décor. 
 
“Our popular events suite will also have an increased capacity for up to 250 guests and this will allow us to widen our reach for seminars, conferences and wedding bookings. We are still very much open for business and we will have all works complete by 07 November, well in advance of the busy Christmas season, so we’d ask our customers to bear with us during this period of transition.”
 
Perry, who spent ten years in the USA with the Hilton Hotels Group, as well as having experience locally at Hastings Group and Titanic Belfast, added: “The multimillion pound upgrade of this property will further enhance all aspects of our guests’ experience and will ensure that Ten Square will maintain its position as Belfast’s leading city centre hotel.” 
 
Patrick Kearney, Managing Director of Ten Square’s new owner, Kilmona Holdings added:  “Ten Square has been a landmark in Belfast city centre for many years, but increasing numbers of tourists and a more competitive hotel market mean it’s time to invest in the future. We now have an excellent management team in place and the ability and willingness to revamp and expand the hotel with at least a £5m capital programme over the next twelve months, in addition to our recent purchase. This first application to create a new bedroom block at Lancashire House is just the start however, and we have even more ambitious plans to expand further which we will be revealing in the near future.”

KAREN DALY JOINS THE KARRO FOOD GROUP TO LAUNCH THEIR NEW RANGE OF WOW PRODUCTS


06 October 2015
Health food entrepreneur and busy mum Karen Daly has this month joined forces with the Karro Food Group (owner of Cookstown and the ‘McGee’s - Your Butcher’ brands) to create and launch WOW.  WOW (which stands for ‘war on weight’) is a new range of high protein, low sugar and gluten-free meat products aimed at those who are time poor and dietary conscious. Karen herself is testament to the products’ success as she has maintained a four stone weight loss for over six years after shifting her dietary focus to a new way of eating.
 
Available from this month in McGee’s butchers, the range includes delicious sausages, burgers and meatballs as well as chicken dishes which are convenient, quick to prepare and healthy – a winning combination in any slimmer’s armoury.  
 
Karen, who is in her final year of a Masters in Weight Management, said the venture with the Karro Food Group made perfect sense as they already provide their customers with high quality meat solutions and WOW will expand that offering for people with specific dietary and lifestyle needs.  With the rising demand for gluten-free products, coupled with an obesity epidemic, this move was a natural one.  
 
Describing the product range itself, Karen continued:  “The range includes succulent pork sausages made from extra lean pork with only 2% fat and 46 calories.  Already incredibly popular are the sweet chilli and garlic sausages which come in both pork and turkey varieties.  Everyone loves a burger, and with only 122 calories and 3% fat, ours can be enjoyed guilt-free. Included in the fresh meat offering the Meatballs Italiano are proving incredibly popular as they’re made with extra lean steak mince, herbs and spices in a tomato and basil sauce – all WOW! 
 
“Our WOW range also has four ready-to-cook options for meals which can be on the table in less than ten minutes. Two stir-fry dishes - one chicken, one pork – both with a fab gluten-free soya, garlic and ginger sauce and are ideal for a lunch or a quick meal after work.  Our Chicken Arrabiata is a delicious and flavoursome meal based on a traditional spicy Italian sauce which cooks in less than half an hour in the oven”.  
 
It has been predicted that sixty-four percent of UK women and 74 percent of men will be overweight in 2030 (World Health Organisation).  Karen is passionate about making a difference to these frightening statistics through educating people to eat and enjoy more real food and adds that all WOW products sit well within all slimming plans and healthy lifestyle regimes.  
 
She added:  “In the same way that I wanted to make changes to my own lifestyle and have reaped countless health and well-being benefits from doing so, I would love to help others do the same. Being healthy can be easy, and even fun, so if we can empower people to lead healthier lifestyles by making food convenient and tasty, then perhaps we can start to win the war on weight. 
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