Often the weekend for me includes building dens, becoming a Lego man in a battle with Ninjago or playing football for as many hours as my little boy can push in the local football pitch. So as payback, he has to be my photographer when we head out for some essential coffee breaks;)
As spring approaches (it may be officially here, but today’s weather does not show spring at all!), we headed to Hillmount Garden Centre to pick up some new additions for the garden (and sneak in that coffee!). This lovely little dress from H&M is the perfect wardrobe staple for this time of year. The fabric is still heavy, but the sleeves are just above the elbow. The perfect balance for spring weather (and I still have two vests underneath!) – with of course the addition of tights rather than bare legs!
Mixing up my outfit with my trusty leather jacket. And (for anyone who follows on Instagram, you may have seen these once or twice before?!) wearing my well worn, very comfortable and sparkling silver Adidas originals. Matching up the metallics with accessories from local designers Gráinne Maher and Lines and Current.
Feeling rejuvenated, and spring garden ready, we layered up headed to Topshop to try on some new trainers..
I love the versatility of this dress. Bought for a mere £20 I have worn it casually as above, added brogues for work, added a shirt underneath to brighten, worn with heels at dinner, worn with a print cardigan for an afternoon with friends, and can see it being worn on many more occasions. Currently thinking of how to make it summer ready with a pair of sandals, maybe add a brooch or two…
What is your go to comfort outfit and how many ways can you wear it?
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!
I love to hear about local events, products and retailers, and when at a pop-up shop recently in Belfast, I discovered an inspirational collection from The Gallery Clothing Company.
Established in 2013, this is a company that aims to bring together art and fashion. With quotes ranging from ‘Fashion is a Canvas; You are the Artist’ to ‘We are the Dreamers, the Life Architects who shape our own destiny and live life the way it should be lived’, it is hard not be inspired! Managing Director Thom is clearly passionate about his brand – he managed to sell me two pieces;)
The idea is basically to exhibit art from local artists onto clothes – making it wearable fashion – in my favourite way, the printed t-shirt; my own living masterpiece! Designers include Emma Miller, an illustrator who specialises in portrait, Luke McClean, whose illustrations portray an attention to detail, Sara Bak, a photographer ‘with a big imagination’, Alastair Curran an abstract painter, Aoife Fox who specialises in printmaking and Peter Strain, an illustrator who takes inspiration from film, music and issues we deal with everyday.
And here is what I bought…
How I have been wearing my pieces…
And here is what I want to buy…
Lips £19.50 / Dark Night of the Sole Pocket Tee £29.50 / This is Art £19.50 / Flux £19.50
For an original piece of art/fashion, go take a look;)
Last week I had the opportunity to go to two shopping ‘markets’, filled with local creatives and entrepreneurs.
First up, the launch of Studio Souk. For any regular readers, you will know that I have spent many a Saturday afternoon browsing the second hand and local designer stalls and bought a lot of bargains and one off pieces. This concept recently developed to a Studio in Spires Mall where designers came together to work and sell their creations, and then to a store in the centre of Belfast where most of my Christmas shopping was done! Now, the new Studio Souk comprises both – shopping and design, and not just fashion but the perfect space for anyone interested in interiors, art and jewellery. A creative and inspiring space! And to top it off, you can grab yourself a snack as you shop at Cafe Souk.
Studio Souk, Castle Lane, Belfast
Next up, Kloth and Ko put together an event at Sixty6 bringing together local fashion designers, retailers and shoppers. The day event allowed time to shop the collections, while the evening, curated by stylists Orla Eastwood and Lewis Cameron, gave fashion lovers the opportunity to interact with models at a live fashion installation.
Kloth & Co
Fashion Installation by stylists Orla Eastwood and Lewis Cameron
And finally, this one is for you! A COMPETITION!! *competition now closed*
A local company got in touch to offer readers of silverbrogues the chance to win a handbag to celebrate Mother’s Day, well actually, anyone can enter to celebrate the need for a treat! Northern Totes is an online handbag store offering unique, stylish, affordable handbags for every occasion. If you live in the Belfast area, they offer same day delivery or Click and Collect – great for any last minute handbag dilemmas! Here are a few of my favourites…
Trouble in Paradise / Daytime Glam / Patterned Tote / Black Beauty / Joseph’s Coat. Main image – Classy Bird
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:)