Monday saw the final of ‘Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland 2013’, held in the Europa Hotel, Belfast. Twenty six hand picked finalists have had the chance to demonstrate the reason they should win, not only this title, but an array of prizes to make anyone jealous! Before the event, organiser Alison Clarke said, ‘So much time has been spent selecting the finalists and already we can see a spark in each if them..Our current title holder Tiffany Brien..has put a very positive and friendly face to Northern Ireland this past year.’
I love to promote local and of course I love a bit of local shopping, so when I heard Miss NI was sponsored by The Outlet, Banbridge, I considered taking a visit. On a side note, a few months back I was devastated to hear Oasis was closing at The Outlet. I love a good discount, and you always found one in this store. We would go down to Banbridge, get our take out coffee/baby chino and wander from shop to shop and end up with a bag full of goodies from Oasis. However, when they were closing, I picked up a few items for £5 each!! Bargain!! Oh, and a pair of bikini bottoms for 50p!
The Maxi Dress looks much better on, but we’ll leave that for a sunny day! A few missing buttons on the green dress but the Assistant allowed me to pinch the extra buttons on two other dress tags – still to be sewn on!
Many of the shops I would have gone to have closed here recently but when I was sent a few ‘Sneak peek’ pics from Miss NI grand finale I was keen to check out some of the stores showing on the night.
Jaegar Outlet – white linen shorts £49 Jaeger Outlit – navy button detail blouse £65 Armani Exchange – white lace dress £60 Chantilly Lace 2 – monochrome evening maxi dress £80
And to the winner..congratulations Meagan Green, who ironically started out as ‘Miss Banbridge’ and comes from Lisburn. My locals ☺
Keep supporting local – your community needs you to wear the crown!
I don’t often shop in charity shops, I’ve never really got into that habit, but I love shopping at a fair, where local girls sell their unwanted clothes. I’d love to have a stall at one of these fairs myself to get a good clear out, but I haven’t got to grips with the fact that an item is no longer worth what I originally paid for it. I love to pick up a bargain from others however!
The Fashion Souk was held in Spires Mall, Belfast last Saturday. Of all the locations the Souk has been held, this is my favourite – great space, reasonable lighting and it’s spread out in a way for you to take everything in. There is even a changing area with mirrors to check out your possible purchases!
First off, let me tell you about a few local designers who were there. A stall at the end of the first part of the mall held beautiful prints and fabrics created by ‘Goddess & Swift‘. Larissa Watson, the creative director, designs her own prints and sews each garment to make it an individual piece. Using the same fabric, she created a beautiful tea dress and a similar maxi dress. My eye was also drawn to a nautical scarf, perfect for any season!
Another local girl, Susan Black was also there presenting her range. T-shirts with original designs were the first item to draw me in, however her jewellery pieces were detailed and unique – they could definitely make an outfit.
On the day I managed to pick up a few bargains…
My £12 coral jacket
£2 each – bargain!
Topshop shorts – perfect fit! £3
For less than £20, I managed to pick up three outfit changers. I can see these items being worn many times! How do you feel about buying second hand? Any good bargains picked up along the way? Maybe see you at the next Souk!
*Thanks to Larissa and Susan for allowing me to access their photos!
Last weekend included many activities for an active three year old child, and one activity for a fashion loving adult. Frock Around the Clock vintage fair was being held in Castle House, Lisburn.
On arrival I had cut a deal, first the fair, then bikes at the park. Fifteen minutes in it was clear this meant nothing to a child in the midst of their egocentric stage of development! Thankfully the beautiful Castle Gardens was just across the road, and Nana lived nearby.
Second time lucky, in I went with my bag over my arm, a note or two in my pocket and my eye on a collection of vintage treasures. I own a few pieces of vintage costume jewellery and once picked up a dress from Oxfam Vintage (which my mum with her handy sewing skills turned into a top), and was now ready to look and maybe get some inspiration!
The fair was spread throughout the building, different stalls in each room. I love to look at the household items, and I browse through the clothes, but I’m quickly drawn to the jewellery. My first find had been a delicate pearl bracelet with a bird charm, but on my second visit, another lucky shopper had picked it up!
On to the next room and to Emily Loves Vintage, a stall full of handmade treasures using pieces sourced from around the world. Here I bought a beautiful pair of dangly earrings, not my usual choice, but as I said, I was looking for inspiration! This stall had an array of items I could have bought in an instant, and was beautifully presented to draw you in – I’m most definitely a ‘DO judge a book by its cover’ girl! I also got a bonus ring in colour popping coral.
The dangly earrings theme continued as I found a little set with silver birds. These were purchased from ‘it’s the liitle things…‘, another local girl making her own pieces.
The rest of my time was spent browsing, no more money was spent! I saw a stall of jewellery made from spoons, upcycled furniture, handmade cards and beautiful photographs taken from around Northern Ireland. A cupcake was also enjoyed along the way!
A great event, free entry (a definite bonus!) and lots of items to browse and buy. Are you a vintage shopper or do you prefer the brand new?
Belfast Fashion Week began last night with shows held in the Ulster Museum. This was a great venue – a beautiful white, modern layout with a dash of the BFW floral theme sprinkled about! As we hadn’t purchased front row seats we arrived early enough to get a good seat, although the size of the venue and the layout allowed for pretty good viewing all around.
The opening show was from George at Asda with items from their Spring/Summer collection. Not having an Asda particularly close to home, I haven’t seen much of their range in the past. However I love to find a little gem, regardless of where I’m shopping! I was pleasantly surprised with many of the outfits on show, in particular, loving the prints and neons – both definitely a summer essential (and easy to accessorise with if you don’t want a complete look)!
A few favourites from the show included a palm print play suit, and from their beautiful collection book (included in the goodie bag), stripe leggings – at only £8 they are perfect to bring a touch of current trend monochrome to your wardrobe!
After this opening show, I can’t wait to get to the high street show on Saturday night, weather permitting!
Palm Print Jumpsuit (£16 – a little shaky I’m afraid)
George at Asda Spring/Summer collection book -Stripe Leggings
Me attempting my first pose (this, along with my photography must be worked on!) in Oasis denim dress, pearl/diamanté collar from Primark £5 (best buy!!) and cream brogues. Accompanied by my goodie bag;)