West Coast Cooler Belfast FASHIONWEEK: Designer Boutiques!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Last week saw Fashionista's across Northern Ireland descend upon the Europa FASHIONWEEK Centre for West Coast Cooler Belfast FASHIONWEEK, now in it's 14th season to enjoy a week long series of Fashion shows & Fashion Events!!

FASHIONWEEK is an event I NEVER miss, and i'll always try to attend as many of the shows as possible, it's a very rare occurrence when I'm not there sitting FROW!!
Audiences are treated to a refreshing glass of West Coast Cooler while FASHIONWEEK showcases the very latest trends for the current season, which means that most of what you see on the night is available to purchase the very next day!! (Too much of a temptation for the likes of me!!!)

While I do love watching all the major shows online, truthfully nothing matches the atmosphere of actually being at a catwalk show........The lights dim & the LCD screen's at either side of the catwalk come alive with FASHIONWEEK's Behind the Scenes Promo video.....music fills our ears.....the perfect prelude to the main show. As anticipation grows, the lights come up.....the music is pumping and the first model appears!!

Tonight it was all about Northern Ireland's top Designer Boutiques!
What I love about this show that each boutique has its own distinctive style. If you want something that will make a style statement these are the places to shop, as you'll find styles and labels which are not readily available on the high street!

The show began with a bang as we were treated with looks from The Snooty Fox. Since I was a little girl i've lusted after Karl Lagerfeld's designs at Chanel and I was so happy when a few yrs back he released his own more affordable clothing line: Karl by Karl Lagerfeld!!! Turns out this line is now available exclusively in N.I. from the Snooty Fox! Seriously I nearly jumped out of my seat with joy as I saw his designs strutting down the catwalk!!

Karl's own personal style was mirrored in the designs, skinny jeans, white shirts & studded collars showing just how chic & sexy the androgynous look can be!!! Stand out looks for me were Karl's metallic jumper & matching snood, as well as a stunning sequin dress given a funky edge with a black stud collar and finally a luxurious shearling collar jacket. These are the clothes i'd love to wear everyday!!!

But the showstopper look from The Snooty Fox came in the shape of a Forever Unique lace ball gown!!! This dress would rock any red carpet event; in fact it would have been perfect for the World Premiere of Bond's latest film Skyfall!!! I still don't know what happened to my invite to that particular event.......*cough* (oh well a girl can dream!!)

Next out was Harrison Fashion. Layering with funky ponchos and tribal aztec style cardigans were the looks of choice, with many of these looks perfect for the school run or relaxed weekends. However you know me, it's all about glam looks and I particularly loved a colourblocked sequin dress they stock from French Connection and an amazing Forever Unique Pink Dress & Pink Fur Gilet!! Funky, brightly coloured fur was all over the AW '12 catwalks of Fendi and Blumarine & this gilet perfectly captures the look!!! Definitely on my wish list!!

Next up was Natoria & Diamond Dolls. With Natoria key was knits and fur, cashmere & fur were THE fabrics of choice, and they showcased dressed down looks that would fit perfectly into most woman's wardrobes. Diamond Dolls however was full of contrasts! We were treated to uber girly tutu style dresses with tight corseted tops, embellishments and feathers, cute, sassy and sexy!!! I could just picture myself in them as this style in particular is perfect for my tiny frame!

This was then contrasted by the most amazing customized dresses jackets & coats I've seen in a long time!! A strapless dress was covered with graffiti, giving it a rock chick feel whilst a simple leather jacket was given a funky edge when the model turned her back to reveal Batman painted on the back!!
However my favourite had to be a white leather, hand painted coat which on closer inspection had Woody Allen on it!!

Of course FASHIONWEEK wouldn't be the same without the inclusion of Grainne Maher and Una Rodden. After the massive success of Grainne's Pluck and Devour range over the last yr she has now introduced a new range, P&DELUXE! These creations truly are show stoppers, with my personal favourite being her clear perspex collar and perspex headpiece that had a ragged, almost torn finish to it!! The new collection has a futuristic feel whilst still retaining a femenine touch! I want them all!! Grainne continues to explore and push the boundaries with P&DELUXE, these are the type of accessories which really can take a simple LBD to a whole other level!!

Next up we have a firm favourite amongst N.I. Fashionista's, Una Rodden. Una's signature style of decadent fabrics and unusual draping were out in force, sure to please her legion of fans!! This collection is extremely wearable, not only has she created looks which work perfectly at Weddings/Black Tie Events/etc. But there were also dresses such as a plaid tailored polo dress and a fabulous pearl boat top paired with a high waisted skirt that would be perfect for a day out with the girls, or cocktails in the evening!! If you are someone who likes their style to make a statement in the workplace I could even see some of the pieces working well in that enviroment too and with prices starting from a modest £79 for a beautiful applique jumper, there's no excuse not to visit Una down in Upper Arthur St Belfast to buy one of her fab designs!!

Last but by no means least was Jourdan & Blush. Both of these boutiques are all about glam and this season was no exception: snakeskin, sequins, hats & the cutest leather driving gloves were all showcased by Jourdan. This is a boutique which love their old school glamour, think Sofia Loren, or the "Beautiful People" who inhabit St Tropez or Monaco and you will have a good idea of what you will find behind the doors of Jourdan!! I'm a firm fan of exposed zip detailing and I just loved their stunning navy sleevless dress with an exposed zip used as a ruffle around the neckline, gorgeous!!

If this self confessed single gal was ever to get married then Blush would be my first port of call!! Showing an eclectic mix of wedding gowns from Cara Couture, David Fielden, Ian Stuart & Jenny Packham the models looked every bit the blushing brides as they gracefully walked the catwalk!
But as anyone who has been to Blush will know, they're not just about wedding gowns, in fact their Lisburn Rd boutique is an Aladdin's Cave of stunning dresses & I can honestly say I fell hard for their sparkling electric blue sequin dress.....short at the front developing into a full length skirt at the back, this dress seriously had everything going for it!!!

I'm sure I speak for everyone in attendance when I say there was something which would have suited most women. Trends such as leather and fur, opulent fabrics and luxurious layering were all present, but in very wearable designs!

I very much doubt that I was the only one with a very long wish list that evening........!!!

Top Photograph courtesy of CMPR/Belfast FASHIONWEEK Photograph taken by Khara Pringle.

All other photographs kindly provided by Stephen Potter.

Video kindly provided by Norm Keilty.

You Might Also Like


  1. Another fab blog! Love your choice of outfits, great sitting beside you again on FROW! Loving hubby's pics. Gina x

    1. It was a fantastic show made all the better with sharing FROW with you!! It's not the same without you there!!
      Really glad you like the outfits I highlighted & I totally agree, Stephen's photographs from this season's BFW have been outstanding!!! xxx