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?
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!
You may know my love of a good fashionable event – another reason I was gutted to spend time away from my blog. But before you take to the shops, have a look at the perfect Spring/Summer wardrobe.
Afternoon Tea is the perfect way to take in all the fashion! Thanks Victoria Square:) With Ruth from Willow Lane
I love the styling – we can only dream of summer!
Prints, block colour, pastels – which style works for you?
Prepare for all weathers this summer.
Plenty of inspiration from House of Fraser.
Okay. I’m off to do some shopping – next up, see what additions to my wardrobe I’ve had my eye on!
After giving a talk on how to wear this season’s trends, along with some style tips, I have been asked by a few people to share my synopsis on the blog. You can read about my season updates before the season began here and here. Now, here is your review as we step into the season…
First up, what are the trends, and how is it best to style them for the incoming season?
The great thing about Spring/Summer 2014 is that you will see many of the past seasons revisited, however, the final details and the style of how to wear each trend is slightly different. Take note of the detailed prints and embellishments, the pastel colours and metallics, the pleats and loose silhouettes.
This week has been a perfect introduction to the new season – the boots have been packed away, the woolly jumpers have been moved to the back of the wardrobe – but what to wear now?
The colour –
Pastels are the way to go to stay on trend this season. Unfortunately for me, pastel colours are not always a good look! I would love to wear them more, so instead of eliminating them from my wardrobe entirely, I mix pastels up through my accessories, maybe even in a print. If you are wearing pastels, add some chunky black jewellery to keep with the edgy Spring/Summer look. Monochrome is back again – I’ll be wearing the white shirt with black jewellery to update my look for 2014.
Florals are always perfect for this time of year, but keeping on trend for this season, the floral prints are large and embellished and more likely to be set on a black background. Other prints include safari, graphic, slogan and art illustrations, but if you really want to stand out from the crowd, wear a few of the prints together – clashing and customising is all part of this trend! If I’m buying prints, I would pay a little more to ensure I am the only one wearing the look!
The style –
Wide silhouettes are a key look for the season. Easily worn in tops or trousers and perfect for when the sun shines. Just be careful with the layering of this look, it’s often hard to get it just right.
Sports Luxe has been around for a while – add the bomber jacket or sports vest, the slouchy trousers or the gym style shorts when the sun appears!
Skirt length for the season is midi – I find this length hard to wear so rather than succumbing to the trend, I would stick to the skirt length I am comfortable with and add the trends to my top or through my accessories. Maxi length always goes through the summer months too. Not a look for everyone is the cropped top – but remember to wear in a way that suits your age and your figure!
The fabrics –
Sheer, denim and lace are all hot again this season, but of course try something different, maybe miss-matched hems, or with peek-a-boo detailing.
Unusually, and for me this is definitely a bonus, the catwalks were also full of black, leather and fur – maybe not the best option when the sun is out however!
The footwear –
On your feet, flats are key – not always easily worn, Birkenstocks are the shoe of the season, but if you are not prepared to go to this extreme just think casual with embellishment, heavy rather than dainty. Otherwise, the pointed toe is back for heels and flats.
The accessory –
Of course perfect for the summer, hats and sunglasses. But as for the rest, think oversized, statement and colour – just consider how your accessory keeps your outfit looking up to date; either use your accessory as the focal trend piece or add to your outfit with a subtle addition.
And of course the trends don’t just come out in your clothes and accessories – nail art is the perfect way to get the Spring/Summer look without spending too much money!
And now to the tips –
So my tips on updating your wardrobe for the season – first, raid your current wardrobe. What do you have already that either fits with the trends, or you love to wear? Where are the empty spaces in your wardrobe? Make a list of what you need, and prioritise based on how much you have to spend. And shop! But don’t just buy because something is ‘on trend’, make sure each piece either compliments what you already have or fills a necessary gap.
And here’s the trend I wore on the night…
What is your favourite trend of the 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!