Archive: March 2017


01 March 2017

From Italy to Ireland: one of the biggest events on Ireland’s social calendar in 2017 is set to be an exclusive fashion show by luxury Italian design house Max Mara, as it brings its full Spring/Summer 2017 collection from the catwalks of Milan to Belfast City Hall on 10 March in support of leading learning disability charity Positive Futures.

The event is being hosted by kind permission of The Right Hon. The Lord Mayor Brian Kingston who supports Positive Futures; and Chief Executive of Positive Futures, Agnes Lunny OBE, who remarked: “We are delighted to benefit from such a prestigious international show by one of the most exclusive names in fashion. The money raised will make a real difference to the people we support. We thank the Max Mara Belfast and Italy teams for their generosity and for allowing us to be part of what will be an exciting international event happening right here in Ireland.”

Positive Futures operates across Northern Ireland and provides support to people with a learning disability, acquired brain injury or autistic spectrum condition, and their carers.

Tickets for the show are priced at £35 per person or £75 for a VIP experience and are available online from Make up for the show will be by Charlotte Tilbury with hair by international session stylist Richard Phillipart for BaByliss.

Nina Walls, franchisee owner of Max Mara’s Belfast store commented: “The fashion on show will be inspired by architect, designer and intellectual Lina Bo Bardi in a fusion of creative, radical, passion. Bo Bardi was a woman with a vision years ahead of her time who embodied Latin America’s compelling take on modernism; at once rational and sensual, sleek and luxuriant, athletic and sultry, hi-tech and artisanal.

“For modern women with big ideas, the Max Mara Spring Summer 2017 collection proposes a new blend of voluptuous modernity - intelligent, audacious, sexy fashion with a lifespan as long as Bo Bardi’s designs.”

TREND NOTES: Tropical modern

Bo Bardi was connected to Tropicalia, the avant-garde cultural movement whose touchstone was the ultimate exotic icon, Carmen Miranda. The eponymous 1968 album “Tropicália: ou Panis et Circensis” by a group of artists including Bardi’s friends, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Gal Costa, was a landmark musical manifesto and makes for a soundtrack that swings to Max Mara’s chica boom beat.


Design is often said to be about pulling order out of chaos but Bo Bardi wasn’t all scared of letting chaos in. Her quasi-brutalist concrete and plate glass structures would be incomplete without the rainforest that grows around (and through them). The profuse flora and fauna that she adored inspire lush prints, sliced into patchworks that echo the precise geometry of her architecture. Torn layers of propaganda posters echo the tumult of design, culture and politics into which Bo Bardi threw herself.

Bo Bardi created some mouth-watering design classics. The ‘Bola de Latao’ chairs she installed in her home, ‘Casa de Vidro’, look as good today as they did in 1951, in well-worn tan leather, with restrained saddle stitching - which appears too on luxe suedes, double faces and the new BoBag.

Like Max Mara, Bo Bardi loved those traditional leather crafts, but she embraced new technology too. Max Mara borrows high performance jerseys and nylons from the sports arena for glamorous bodycon dresses, bodies and combinaisons with heat sealed construction. A structured mesh gives a hi-tech makeover to Max Mara’s own design icon, the 101801. Shiny new Lina sunglasses and Bardi-esque wooden soled techno-clogs complete the look.



Issued on behalf of ARDKEEN LTD Franchisee Max Mara in Belfast and Positive Futures by CMPR. For further information, pictures & show access for media, please contact Cathy Martin directly on +447823882095 or via

For Positive Futures PR, please contact Mike Philpott on +447736250195  

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK SS17

23 March 2017

MEDIA RELEASE: For immediate publication/broadcast


West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK returns this weekend for a sold-out, four-day fashion festival with an array of stylish events across Belfast.


Taking place at venues across the city, the busy schedule kicks off today (Thursday) at Life Church with the return of the sell-out designer and high street runway shows alongside popular fashion fringe events Sushi Saturday at Asian favourite Zen, as well as Style Sunday - which this season is held at Coco on Mother’s Day for the perfect day out for any mum interested in fashion, beauty and feeling good. Budding new events include the stylish Lavazza Coffee Style Saturday brunch at Robinson & Cleaver on Saturday 25 March. This event offers the ultimate fashion filter with key looks from across the fashion spectrum selected by some of the country’s top stylists including Courtney Smith and Cool FM’s Rebecca McKinney as well as London-based Jamie Russell and Lewis Cameron. There are a small number of places left for this event as well as Style Sunday.


Hair partners ALFAPARF Milano will ensure the models’ locks are luscious throughout all events by teaming up with some of the country’s best hair salons including Paul Stafford and Ben Close as well as Chrysalis and Scissor Sisters from Newry among others. Make up is provided by another Italian brand, KARAJA, and they have partnered with local artists Paddy McGurgan and Rebecca Bryson as well as their in-house artist Gill McCann to create the ultimate ‘dream team’ backstage.


Director Cathy Martin commented on the season’s key trends: “This season there is a focus on fun with playful colours and bold statements being made everywhere. My favourites among all the trends include the palettes of pinks and yellows, as well as gorgeous ginghams and loads of Beetlejuice-inspired stripes. For eveningwear, there are mesmerizing metallics and sassy sequins which will satisfy all the fashion magpies out there.  A feminine feel continues from AW16 with a tap into texture, so there’ll be loads more of romantic ruffles and playful plumes first seen on the Gucci, Chloe and Celine catwalks internationally.”


She added: “We’re looking forward to having some of our regular designers and brands on the runways this season, but we’ve opened up the catwalks to the likes of ASOS, Zara, River Island and TOPSHOP via our stylist picks at the high street shows and at our wonderful new Style Saturday event. It’s an exciting season for us and I look forward to wowing the audiences with the collections we’ll have on show.”


Laura Blair, Brand Manager for West Coast Cooler, which sponsors the event, said: “At West Coast Cooler we love to celebrate individuality and style, especially with the launch of campaigns like our #WCCStyleSquad which integrate our audience with our brand activity – we love the fresh opportunities to engage with a fashion conscious customer.  This sponsorship really is an ideal fit with the West Coast Cooler brand.”


For further information and links to the full show schedule, visit the Belfast Fashion Week Facebook page or .  Catwalk tickets for the main runway shows and Sushi Saturday are now sold out, but there are a limited number of places available for Lavazza’s Style Saturday brunch as well as the perfect Mother’s Day day out, Style Sunday, which can be booked directly with the FASHIONWEEK team at 02890421509 or via 



Issued on behalf of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK by CMPR. For pictures and further info, please contact Chris Wilson on 02890421509 or or Cathy Martin on 07823882095

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