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!
My first post ever written for silverbrogues Fashion Blog was called ‘When I grow up…‘. Don’t get me wrong, I love my day job, but I also love where talking all things fashion through silverbrogues has led me.
When Belfast Fashion Week was launched in January, an announcement was made that stylists and bloggers would be taking part in a Charity Challenge. I was teamed up with Cancer Research and worked alongside staff and volunteers from the Lisburn Road, Holywood and two Lisburn stores. Cancer Research funds scientists, doctors and nurses to help beat cancer sooner as well as providing cancer information to the public. I must say a massive thanks to Alyanne and all the teams who allowed me to raid their stores and fill my shopping bags!
During the summer I tried to set myself a challenge to shop in charity shops. I walked in and out of a few stores with no purchases in hand. My first day for the charity challenge, I came out with about twenty pieces. Going in with a focus definitely helped me, but I also took my time actually looking at each piece. What I am most sold on, is that for a minimal price, you can completely go out of your comfort zone and try something new, or do your own bit of DIY on a piece without losing too much!
With a blog tagline of ‘style that works for you‘, my theme for this challenge was to mix S/S trends with an opportunity for the shopper to challenge themselves to try something different and mix up their personal style. So with that in mind, this is what I came up with…
The original model;)
Vest donated by Zoe Boomer – more to follow on all donations
I might just have had to buy these New Balance Nike trainers but unfortunately, the trainers didn’t fit the model! So here’s how the look was intended…
Ignore the white legs!
A 1980’s pleated plaid skirt becomes a dress…
Most items above have not been bought in model sizes. Clothes have been mixed and matched, worn from the waist instead of the hips, selected from the men’s department, rolled up, and any other trick I could think of to style them. Don’t just go into the charity store, look for your section and your size – mix it up!
Now to see the full silverbrogues show, follow this link…
Massive thanks must go to Cathy Martin at CMPR for the opportunity to style my collection for the catwalk. Thanks also to Brendan Gallagher, Norm Keilty and Ulster Tatler Magazine for the photos and to the local designers who donated a piece for the collection – a blog post will follow on this:)
Firstly apologies for my lack of posts – the plan was to write during Fashion Week, however as the week got busier, this became impossible!
But I’m back to round it all up now – this may take a few posts!
So first up, what was on the catwalk? The great thing about Belfast Fashion Week is that everything you see, you can buy now. When I went to be part of the audience, I came equipped with my pen ready to highlight the options for my new season wardrobe. Now backstage, the temptation to try is all on is quite overwhelming!
And here are my favourites from the High Street. The brights…
Next – Cigarette Trousers £28, Quilted Top £28, Necklace £16
Next – Lemon Shift Dress £25
Mexx – Coral Skirt £49, Acid Yellow Sleeveless Blouse £32, Beachbag 40
George at Asda – White Lion Swimsuit £12, Coin Necklace £8, Gold Bangles £5
Castlecourt – Lace Crop Top £14.99, Floral Shorts £14.99
Mexx – Pale Denim Jeans £49,Silk T-Shirt Dress£49
Miss Selfridge – Grey Printed Dress £45, Blazer £45
Next – Striped Tee £16, High Waisted Shorts £35
M&S – Limited Edition Blouse £35, Denim Shorts £29.50
George at Asda – Sheer Panel Tee £12, Jaquard Shorts £12, Sunglasses £3.50
The statement piece…
M&S – Limited White Shirt £29.50, Limited Cigarette Trousers £39
Argento – Necklace £18
Miss Selfridge – Top £35, Shorts £35, Necklace £12.50
Make-up by Paddy McGurgan
My ultimate high street favourites…
Benetton – Brown Linen Tee £29.50, Navy & White Stripe Jacket £75, Green Trousers £33
George at Asda – Powder Blue Dress £16, Round Sunglasses £3.50, White Jewelled Necklace £12
Now to the designers…
Goddess & Swift
The statement piece…
A touch of beauty…
Goddess & Swift
And my favourite…
Have you been inspired for Spring/Summer?
Thanks to Lisa at CMPR and Brendan Gallagher for all the photos.
Coco Chanel had it right. Each season bring a new array of trends, all walked along the catwalks of Fashion Week across the world, but how you add it to your wardrobe – that is style.
But of course, we do need inspiration from those catwalks, so local girls, listen up! West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK for Spring/Summer 2014 launched last week. This is a day I have been waiting for since the end of August – clothes without layers (I love how this has been made into a trend – more to follow!), colour, no boots, the sun is on its way!
When I created FASHIONWEEK at my kitchen table in 2004-2005, I could only have dreamed that it would become the much celebrated and anticipated event that it is today, and it is a pleasure to watch it – and all those who have been involoved, including designers, models and many other creatives – evolve and flourish over the years.
Cathy Martin, Director of Belfast FASHIONWEEK
Now in it’s tenth decade, what is in store for local fashionistas? Shows on 19 and 20 March will be back in my favourite location, the Ulster Museum. Wednesday will see independent boutiques and local designers of which I can’t choose a selection as they are all pretty amazing so here they all are – Harrison, Blush, Diamond Dolls, CRUISE, Nor Lisa, Grainne Maher, Larissa Watson and Rachel McKnight. Thursday night sees The OUTLET, Benetton, George at Asda along with other High Street stores.
The Great Hall in Stormont will be the location for Friday night’s show. Not only will award winning make-up artist Paddy McGurgan show a creative and dramatic make-up display, but twelve stylists and bloggers (including me!) will show their very own Charity Collection on the catwalk. The twelve charities linked to this challenge will be supported through this event with the opening of their very own pop-up shop on the night. Pretty ‘n’ Pink and Mencap are also supported through different FASHIONWEEK events.
And in case you haven’t had enough fashion, spend your weekend indulging in Fashion Teas on Saturday 22 March at Saphyre with collections from Cruise, followed by Style Sunday at SHU, where you can watch a fashion show, hear some seasonal style tips and enjoy a spot of lunch!
So, now all you have to do it to get your ticket and I will see you there!
Designs by Julia Sokele, M&S and Nor Lisa