This year at West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, I worked as a dresser backstage for both the Local Designer and High Street Shows, but decided to attend the Excel Clothing show, the final catwalk show.
It is always hard to see how collections come together as you catch a glimpse on the rail before the show, or you see the model rushing past, either on their way to the catwalk line-up or to change ready for the next run! So when the PR shots come in (thanks CMPR and Brendan Gallagher!), it’s lovely to see the final look. But that is also part of the reason I decided to attend a show.
Waiting for the show to begin…
Wedding Dresses by Blush / Scarf by The Sequin Cinderella / Dress by Sara O’Neill / Pegasus by Gráinne Maher / My backstage outfit – leather and brogues
And here are the pieces I loved on the catwalk and from the social pictures taken during all Fashion Week events. All catwalk pieces are ready to wear, get your pen and paper for the wishlist!
My favourite piece…
Amazing designs by Gordon Donaldson – I need this t-shirt in my wardrobe! Created by a local illustrator using Gordon’s previous designs!
Prints from our local designers…
Designs by Gordon Donaldson / Nor Lisa / Gordon Donaldson / Gordon Donaldson / Sara O’Neill/Gráinne Maher
Dressed in black…
All looks from Excel Clothing, Newtownards, Bangor and online
Deux Cara / Blush / Deux Cara
Fabrics and textures…
Diamond Dolls / The Sequin Cinderella / Excel Clothing
M&S / Warehouse / Oasis / Castlecourt / Excel Clothing
Cover-ups for Winter…
M&S / Carolyn Donnelly for Dunnes / Ted Baker at Excel Clothing
Tempest / Superdry
Tempest / Tempest / Oasis
What are your favourites from the shows, any pieces you plan to wear this season?
The end of the summer meant it was that time again in our little city of Belfast – the launch of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK! I love the A/W launch because I am off work and I get to attend!
So of course the first dilemma is what to wear. A quick stop off at my favourite one stop shop, Outfit on Boucher Road, a grab of any suitable items for A/W before a very wet trip to the zoo, and a try on saved for later! But unlike my usual quick grab (the one where I buy five things thinking I’ll keep one and keeping all five), nothing I bought was suitable. And so to the wardrobe raid, a raid which has ultimately made me re-think my buying and am planning to sell before I buy again! Let’s see how long that will last?!
So I started out the day with blogger and friend TJ from Ginger Snaps Vintage as we were chauffeured to the launch in the official Belfast Fashion Week Citreön car.
In the quirky surroundings of Life Church, the home of Belfast Fashion Week, fashionistas and media were introduced to upcoming trends for the season. I loved the colour blocking – no prints or embellishments – each look was really striking. Two pieces that really stood out were by local designers Deux Cara (top centre) and below (I’ll tell you when I get there!) by Gordon Donaldson. The hints of the 70’s shone through in the colours and fabrics. And coming back on to the catwalks again for the season, a favourite of mine and the look I took for the day, monochrome.
This red skirt and crop top is the look by Gordon Donaldson!
Designer Gordon Donaldson (left) and design by Nor Lisa (right).
Designers John Gerard O’Neill and Neil Coogan with a piece from their A/W collection for Deux Cara and Lewis and Jamie from Beyond Man who will also being showing their collection this season.
I wore my Zara midi skirt along with a vintage sheer top with metallic beaded collar detail (this started out as a dress but after cutting off the skirt it became a top. It also has an opened, layered back which I tried to photograph but the detail wouldn’t show through.). And to top off the look, my favourite gold sparkly heels – well for the car journey and event anyway!
Shows begin on Thursday 15 October with an early start for the Men at 6pm before Designer Boutiques and Local Designers show their collections on the catwalk at 8pm.
Friday is High Street night before an array of events at Life Church on Saturday. First up, ‘To Be Beautiful’, a discussion focusing on body image, then the floor will be opened up to The Fashion Souk where local fashionistas set up their stalls to sell their pre-owned, vintage or recycled fashion. Meanwhile, Sushi Saturday will take place in a venue yet to be announced. And to complete the days events, Excel Clothing will take over the catwalk to show what they have on offer for A/W15.
As always, Fashion Week finishes up at Shu for Style Sunday in support of Action Cancer.
Get your tickets here and before the events, remember to check out my social media for all goings on backstage!
Last weekend I headed to London for a weekend of fashion fun. The original plan was to go London Fashion Week, however schedules and dates not working together led to a trip to Fashion Weekend instead.
Having only ever been to Belfast Fashion Week, I wasn’t sure what to expect from our day out but to be honest, I love any day in the world of fashion! Opinions…it was a fun day out, but I don’t know if I’d pay to go again. We got a Silver ticket which allowed us entry, a goodie bag (which was pretty good) and one show – we opted for Designer. Looking back, my main reason for going was to see a show – but actually I would have sat through ten shows. The rest of the time could have been spent shopping – there was a lot on offer and at great prices; where I wanted to be inspired for the new season, Fashion Weekend didn’t really meet my needs.
Halston Heritage Catwalk Show
Halston Heritage – sheer and layering
My outfit for the day had to be pre-planned due to booking in for hand luggage only on my flight. I decided to go casual – cropped tee, dungarees, denim shirt and my trusty fur gilet. I opted for my Bertie slip ons which I generally love and adore, but I just wasn’t feeling them on the day. However on a big plus, I met one of my favourite bloggers, Andreea from Dreaming of Chanel and I managed to find some new designers who I will come back to in future posts!
Fur Gilet by Biba at House of Fraser / Dungarees by H&M / Horizontal Stripe T-shirt by ASOS / Phoenix by Gráinne Maher / Denim Shirt by H&M / Slip ons by Bertie at House of Fraser
Shopping in London – mainly Cos and & Other Stories
Back to Belfast, and Fashion Week opens on Thursday 19 March with the finale of Sunday Life Covergirl Competition showing the hottest looks from Castlecourt. Friday 20 March sees collections from local designers and independent retailers taking to the catwalk – I am most looking forward to seeing collections from our local designers after catching a few shots on social media, and new stores, including fellow blogger Danielle’s new store, ‘The Style Retreat’. Saturday night sees the return of High Street Heaven where clothes shown are instore and ready to buy now – the perfect way to inspire your shopping! And for day events, Sushi Saturday at Shiro and Style Sunday at Shu are back showcasing the hottest looks from the catwalk. Check out current trends here, and buy your tickets here! I’ll be backstage again so keep an eye on Instagram for any updates!
Following on from fashion weeks across the world, Belfast stores opened their doors, local designers sewed their last stitch, models perfected their walks and make-up artists and hairstylists planned their styles – West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week set to the catwalk in the new location of Life Church, Belfast.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, stylists prepared their rails, made notes on their models outfits and basically ran around doing any other job instructed to help make the show run smoothly.
I love working backstage. Not only is it a complete change from my normal day-to-day life, but you are in the midst of a fashion frenzy! But the part I love the most is taking a glimpse at the collections going from rail, to model, to photograph. Seeing the trends evolve from magazine to store is the best part of Belfast Fashion Week – you can buy it all now.
So what is on trend for A/W 14 and how was it worn on the catwalk?
PRINT & COLOUR
The catwalk covered styles from George at Asda, to high street stores at Castlecourt, from Diamond Dolls and a new and exciting addition to Fashion Week, Excel Clothing, and finally to local design – it’s always hard to pick a favourite but I am loving Julia Sokele and Katie Wilson this season. Follow the links above to check out the full range of styles available to keep you fashion forward this Autumn/Winter!
Thanks to Sarah-Jayne at CMPR for the photos:)
A stay at home holiday really makes you appreciate your own surroundings – actually the sun being out also helps your appreciation! It allows the chance to get out and capture the little gems we often miss so close to home. While I will be spending my holidays enjoying the local environment, I’ll give you a taster of our local design talent.
First up, Goddess & Swift. You may have seen my previous post where Larissa Watson, the talent behind Goddess & Swift, gave me the opportunity to style her window for Valentines and Fashion Week.
While in her newly launched atelier I had the best opportunity, not only to browse her past and present collections, but observe and begin to appreciate the work that goes in to any design. I loved seeing the fabrics Larissa was using to inspire and create her pieces. I could only imagine the hours spent pondering over these as the roll was spread across the design table and we studied and touched! The studio area where she works manages to exude inspiration with colours and tools everywhere!
From studio to catwalk…
But my very favourite opportunity in the studio came when, thinking of her final catwalk piece, Larissa and her team began to drape fabric around the mannequin. A few tucks, pins and a little alteration produced a beautiful full length skirt. Again, knowing what she had in mind, Larissa hunted for the perfect piece of fabric to drape around the bust line and fall over one shoulder, adding those touches that make the look complete. And then I (with the fabulous TJ from Ginger Snap Vintage) had the privilege of dressing the model, Mairead, for the designer shows at Fashion Week – how amazing does this look!
Next on the list, Una Rodden. With her new collection ‘Usine’ which means factory or industrial space in French, Una has used luxurious natural fabrics including silk chiffon, wool, suede and leather with detailing of lace and crotchet and colours of cream, pink and delicate green alongside black and gold. I love Una’s signature drapery, however this time the look gets edgy going along with S/S 14 trends. Una has used exposed zips, fringing and bold lines, but in stark contrast, she has also collaborated with local fashion illustrator Sara O’Neill who has incorporated her ‘Love me to death’ collection to create beautiful and unique fashion art pieces.
Any thoughts on our local designs?
Thanks to Brendan Gallagher and Lisa Bell at CMPR for Goddess & Swift photos and Neil Kerr and Katrina Doran for Una Rodden photos.