Posts Tagged ‘Northern Ireland’

A Window of Opportunity

The day a shopping venture turned into a styling challenge. I had heard Goddess & Swift had opened, but I hadn’t made it in, until a sale alert couldn’t be ignored!  Local designer, Larissa Watson, designs, makes and sells her collections from a beautiful store, hidden in the very quaint Commercial Court in Cathedral Quarter, Belfast.

After discussing my love of styling, Larissa offered me the opportunity to have a go styling her window for Valentine’s Day.  Of course, I said ‘Yes!’.

First up, a look at the current window, to get an idea of how Larissa likes to display her garments for full impact.  Then to the clothes to be used in the new design.  The month of love called for some red and romance!

20140219-224113.jpgAnd then to plan the scene.  The story was based on Valentines – from getting ready, to packing for a weekend away.  The vintage style of the dresser fitted with the romance of the pieces used.

20140219-224119.jpgBut of course, the main aim of the window of any shop is to show a taster of the treats you will find within…

20140219-224126.jpgAnd here is the final window, what do you think?

20140219-224141.jpgOf course it looks much better in real life so why not drop in to have a proper look at the clothes and accessories on offer:)


My One Thing

As I chill out preparing some blog posts for the week ahead, I’m watching the rain trickling down the window, and am thinking I do not want to leave the comfort and warmth to head into the miserable weather…without a hat!

This may be on my mind as I recently caught sight on Facebook of local designer Grainne Maher’s latest collection, a felt trilby, in a variety of colours, with the addition of my favourite fabric, leather and also Grainne’s signature, Perspex, in the form of a feather.

Look at these little beauties! Which colour would you choose?


Trilby £125

And I may also need one of these…


Plume Pendant
I spotted this at Belfast Fashion Week – this will be the new addition to my Pluck & Devour collection;) Available in Pink, Silver or Gold mirror.

You know my love for local design – do you have a favourite?


A Fashion Designer, Winter Prints, and a Cup of Tea.

This week I had the opportunity to visit the studio of local fashion designer, Lisa McCabe, the face behind ‘Nor Lisa’.

I have seen fashion in a whole new light since completing my course this summer. The life behind an item of clothing has always been of interest to me, but I never quite got it – how trends make fashion, how a collection comes together, where designers find their inspiration. Having had a few opportunities to see behind the scenes this summer, gave me a whole new insight – the excitement was definitely bubbling!

Before looking at her new collection, I wanted to find out a little bit about Lisa and where her inspiration came from. Having studied at the University of Ulster, and interning in a variety of roles in London during a year out, Lisa began to identify her individual passion, born out of the symbolism she found from the Spitfire plane and her love of 1940’s womanly figure.


Where it all happens…



Her collections aim to capture movement with their straight, yet floaty designs. Through the use of print and texture, Lisa prefers to keep her accessories and hair and make-up to a minimum, allowing the fabric to speak for itself.

But Lisa’s main passion is print, and that is clear from this season’s collection. Using both digital and screen printing, Lisa experiments with different fabrics to get the best effect. A collection which set out to show Venice Style with the masquerade ball as inspiration, became one of my loves – the contrast of goth and floral.

For Nor Lisa Fashion, this season embraces the ‘moody blooms’ trend, which consists of lush colours in overripe hues, scattered across darker tones with elegant womanly charms. The glamorous collection embraces a dark winter romance, using high end luxurious fabrics including silks, silk chiffon, soft cotton and stiff linen. With this season comes the return of Nor Lisa Fashion’s custom designed in-house prints, which gives the new collection a completely unique look that won’t be found anywhere else.

from Fabulous Fashion Teas information leaflet

Described as an ‘up and coming Northern Irish designer’, Lisa is working towards showing at the final show of The Merchant Fashion Teas on Sunday 29 September (5.30pm). At a cost of £35 you will get to enjoy a glass of champagne, have a selection of delicacies during afternoon tea and go home with a goodie bag! And if you see something you love on the catwalk at the Teas, the collection is available to order or buy directly from the pop up boutique which is open for the whole weekend.


The New Collection – a little peek at one of the new prints.
The blue dress is one of my favourite pieces – the shade of colour, the pleats, the velvet lace, the style…
The pleats in this red dress are so heavy, they fall beautifully!

So I have chosen the Nor Lisa pieces I want to be wearing in A/W 2013, go buy your tickets quickly, you don’t want to miss out!

Tickets can be purchased by calling The Merchant Hotel’s events team on 028 9026 2717.

Lisa will also show pieces from her collection at West Coast Cooler’s FASHIONWEEK.


A Nor Lisa design – West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK


Walking away from fashion

Don’t panic, it’s just for a moment! On Saturday I had the opportunity to get my hiking boots on and head off on a Secret Ramble. Unfortunately the rain came and the wellies were unleashed, but besides the quick outfit change, we are well used to the rain here, so hoods up, and off we went!

I was surprised to hear the statistics about walking, and may be embarrassed to tell you which category I fall in to – 24% of adults in Northern Ireland rarely go for walks, 19% never venture more than 500 metres from their car! But I am also in the category of people who ‘described a feeling of euphoria’ with the achievement of reaching a summit and having that sense of beauty of our little land.

20130908-010522.jpgWe started the journey in Minnowburn carpark, Belfast. This was one of ten trails, selected by the National Trust for the launch of The Great NI Walk, that can only be accessed by foot.

20130908-010607.jpgWe headed up to Terrace Hill Garden where there was a short re-enactment of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. Then on to the Sandpit Field for a chance to relive the sixties music festival ‘Pop for Peace’. On towards the Giant’s Ring for some fascinating history on The Stone Age Story and finally, we followed ‘The Lagan Love Trail’ where a range of artists were developing a new concept of art, showcasing poetry, music and literature.


20130908-010612.jpgOur final leg of the Ramble took us to the Piccolo Mondo van for pizza and coffee – the perfect end to a relaxing day, just getting away from it all and appreciating our little country.

20130908-010618.jpgI am of the same mindset of the other 80% of adults in Northern Ireland who wish they got out and walked more, to make new memories, discover new places and to feel revived. After the reality of being back to work, and keeping on top of life’s others pressures (no matter how much fun they may be!) this was just what I needed – thanks National Trust!

You can join the Great NI Walk from 1 September to 3 November – find out more about walks in your area by going to


My Latest Challenge

I mentioned on Day 1 and Week 3, I was setting a styling challenge to find out more about Personal Styling.  Well, today is the day.  I’m off to London!

Tomorrow I start my first day of school, with me as the student.  I am completing a course in Fashion Styling for Beginners, with the hope of gaining a better understanding of styling for others.  And I’m excited, of course, I’m a little nervous too but it’s good to push those comfort zones!

I’ll be keeping you updated on my adventures through facebook and twitter, so if your not already following there, get on the case;)

And of course the round-up of my challenge will come through a blog post next weekend – you could follow by e-mail or with bloglovin to make sure you don’t miss it!

Follow the links at the bottom of the page…and wish me luck!


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