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?
I love the buzz of backstage! On the night of my styled Charity Collection, I could hardly sit, I wanted to be backstage! From seeing the clothes tried on during the fitting, to the hair and make-up, to the final piece as all the above came together, to the perfection required to get the model on the catwalk, I love it!
And here is my experience in a collage of pictures…
This is my favourite bit – the clothes have been organised, the make-up and hair finalised and now we dress for the first run on the catwalk. On designer night, the local designers come to add their finishing touches.
And of course the fun had, and the friends made…
Admittedly, when styling backstage for a fashion show, there is a bit of waiting around, and you are often doing jobs that have nothing to do with fashion, but that is all part of what makes the experience – throw yourself into it all and have a go at each aspect of Fashion Week!
From all the photos taken during FASHIONWEEK, I have picked out my favourite pieces, here we go..enjoy the quality of these pictures! Let’s see what inspires you…
A touch of elegance with a little glamour from the Designer Boutique Night.
Cruise – Forever Unique Black and Nude Floral Gown
Blush – Cream day dress with fan detail, Gold Fur
Diamond Dolls – Black dress with pearl encrusted bodice. Accessories Marie Claire Millinery, Melanie Bond
Liberty Blue – Horse Print minidress
Grainne Maher Millinery/Pluck & Devour – Black felt cloche with oversized patent bow, black perspex bib with gold studs and feathers
Grainne Maher Millinery – Navy Felt Pork-Pie with Merry Widow Veil and Navy Patent Loops
And off to the High Street stores…
Love the mix of print from Heatons.
Castlecourt – Preparing for the winter – fur and vinyl looking glam!
Print and colour mix from Heatons.
Local designers showcase their collections in the Designer Show.
Goddess and Swift prints – love how the print tops mix seamlessly with either the PVC pencil or full tulle skirt.
Riona Treacy Neoprene Blood Shibori Kimono Dress (adore neoprene at the moment!)
Ruedi – I LOVE this dress!! So beautiful:)
Nor Lisa – I love these quirky prints!
Top – David Henderson and Marie Claire Millinery.
Bottom – Grainne Maher. Loving the introduction of perspex feathers this season.
And a few pics from the Style Spotter booth…clearly my love of monochrome and colour pop is still strong!
Melanie Bond wearing her jewellery and dress made by local designer Anne Louise Designs.
Any favourites for the season ahead??
Thanks Lisa from CMPR for the photos:)
So while behind the scenes, I had my camera on hand to document my experience. Now I have never claimed to be a photographer, but hopefully this will give you a little snapshop of the action!
Front of house preparation…
Behind the scenes preparation…
Getting ready for the catwalk.
The models in their ready to wear collections.
Stepping out in style…
Fashion with Cruise at The Merchant
Next BFW post will be my favourites – from the official photographers!
Last week life became a little busier than normal – I was beginning my new 3 day job backstage at Belfast FASHIONWEEK. Normally during fashion week, I am happily sitting in the audience, checking out all the ready to wear style, having a peek in my goodie bag, checking out the local personal style.
This time however, I had the opportunity to work as a stylist behind the scenes. Well actually, I had the opportunity to do a lot of new things. So from the audience seat, where it all looks so easy, the hours before the show told a different tale!
On arrival I was assigned to a model. As this was my first time, I was working beside another volunteer stylist. Together we checked the lists of clothes, sorted the outfits into running order, which accessories go with which piece, fitting the models, and general preparation for the beginning of the show.
The next job was to prepare the main room where it would all happen – from carpet laying, to seating arrangements, setting out goodie bags – and then squeezing in a quick gingerbread latte before it all began!
I had two jobs – front of house and styling. As the guests began to arrive I was armed with a clipboard and with the help of the CMPR team, we showed the guests to their seats. As the lights dimmed, I rushed to the dressing room, ready to see the models in their first outfit. As the music began, the first steps were taken onto the catwalk!
The buzz behind the scenes was unreal – the changes were fast paced and of course the clothes looked even better on the models than they looked on a rail! Following each change, the previous outfit was rehung and labelled to ensure all pieces were returned to the correct designer or store exactly as they were found.
At the end of the show, the models, wearing their casual clothes and catwalk styled hair and make-up quickly left the building as we returned the venue for the shows back to a museum! The chairs were re-stacked, the rails sorted into stores and the floors cleared of rubbish – not all glamorous I’m afraid!! But for me, it was an amazing experience:)
Working backstage I didn’t have to think too hard about what I was wearing – black and comfortable was the rule. So here are my backstage outfits…
Killah High tops, River Island vest, ASOS leather mini, Cardigan
Soaked in Luxury long shirt, Oasis wetlook leggings, Aldo boots, Aztec necklace
Vintage shawl, Dorothy Perkins stripy tee (as seen here), Oasis leather look trousers, Vagabond silver brogues, Warehouse bag Pluck & Devour Ampersand
So this is post one about my fashion week adventure – next up fashion and tips as blogging routine resumes (apologies for the sporadic posts!).