Day 1 NI Designers & Independent Boutiques at Belfast FASHIONWEEK SS14!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Day One of West Coast Cooler Belfast FASHIONWEEK began with the launch of Goddess & Swift's new studio (you can read all about it HERE!) then it was time to travel across to the iconic Ulster Museum for the first of FASHIONWEEK's main catwalk shows, the NI Designers and Independent Boutiques!

This is one of my favourite shows as it not only celebrates the creativity and design talent of our local designers, it also features some of my favourite independent boutiques such as CRUISE and Blush! Upon arriving I picked up my glass of West Coast Cooler and caught up with my fellow fashion bloggers and friends then before I knew it, it was time for the models to take to the catwalk!

The show began with a new face on the FASHIONWEEK catwalk, a guest design house from Italy called Fashion Gossip, think chic, minimal, Italian style! A cool collection, my favourite look was a bold Italian silk scarf style print made into a cool and funky top!

Fashion Gossip.

Then it was onto one of my favourite stores CRUISE!! I especially fell in love with a red body con dress from Amanda Wakely, and a major show stopping pink and orange Vivienne Westwood Anglomania XXX print dress! There were also some strong pieces from the Forever Unique label stocked by CRUISE which included an über chic and edgy crop top and sleek pencil skirt, and a relaxed St Tropez style chiffon coral tunic!

CRUISE: Vivienne Westwood.

CRUISE: Forever Unique.

CRUISE: Forever Unique.

Hues of coral and peach were a major trend on the catwalk, with Diamond Dolls showing a super cute "Cleopatra" peach skater style dress with gold and peach beaded detailing on the neckline. While boutique Harrison showcased a stylish daytime look in the form of a peach top and patterned shorts which were brought together by an oversized Aztec print peach scarf! Local Designer Gorgon Donaldson's stunning "firefly" print cowl tunic was a prefect blend of sorbet hues from coral and peach through to greys and mints creating a very chic and edgy print top!

Diamond Dolls.


Gordon Donaldson.

Nudes were also strong on the catwalk, with Blush showing a simply stunning body con bandage dress with gold swirl detailing, which is now at the top of my wishlist! I also loved the über cool feel of their wet look biker pants, (seriously hot!!!) paired with an über chic Tivoli print top, the perfect sophisticated look for daytime!



As for evening looks from Blush, we again saw neutral tones in the form of this drop dead gorgeous, red carpet dress that fully embraced the trend for embellishment, and totally caught the heart of this fashion blogger!


I've also been loving colbalt blue, (choosing to wear the colour myself that night) and I loved the elegant simplicity and fluidity of this racer back, full length, colbalt blue evening gown!


Jourdan also showcased a collection of glamorous emsembles, and once again I found myself falling hard for this full length gold sequinned gown, finished off to perfection with a very glam marabou jacket!


It's not Spring Summer without an injection of colour, and once again designer Nor Lisa delivered colour in high impact flowing dresses, and exciting floral prints, from striking colbalt blue to shimmering sliver! Jowever my personal favourite was this monochrome striped structured mini skirt, which elegantly kicked out from the hips to create a cute and sassy silhouette!

Nor Lisa.

Goddess & Swift was awash with colour, from peachy pinks to cool aqua's, the collection comprising of hand printed silks, linen and chiffon, as well as THE perfect summer coat in the form of a herringbone peachy pink coat that perfectly draped against the body!  But my personal favourite was this striking lilac hued dress, total perfection!

Goddess & Swift.

Juila Šokele made her FASHIONWEEK debut and wowed the audience with her striking oversized shoulders, creating strong silhouettes for the modern woman! Her prints perfectly complimented the structure of her garments and I especially loved her silk jumpsuit, talk about effortless glam at it's very best! Love it!

Juila Šokele.

Accessories wise we saw the welcome return of Gráinne Maher to the FASHIONWEEK catwalk, whose millinery and striking perspex headpieces and jewellery always turn heads on the catwalk, and are the highlight of the show! Once again she mixed fashion forward, edgy perspex with traditional millinery to once again create a fabulous collection!

Gráinne Maher.

Gráinne Maher.

Designer Rachel MCK returned from the Autumn Winter catwalk to once again show her fantastic designs! Her designs are like wearable works of conceptual art and I loved the structure of her statement pieces such as her ruffle neck piece as well as her new range of resin ball and thread necklaces! Also massive congrats to Rachel for winning the IN! Magazine Breakthrough Designer Award just a few days after this show!

Rachel MCK.

All in all it was an amazing beginning to FASHIONWEEK, and wonderful to see the talent and diversity amongst our Northern Irish designers and independent boutiques!

As for what I chose to wear.......well it could be only one label.......Karen Millen of course!!

For anyone who missed the show then check out this fab video by Norm Keilty showing some of the best looks from the night!

Designer & Boutiques - West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK SS `14 from Norm Keilty on Vimeo.

Massive thanks to Lisa Bell and to CMPR for making me so welcome at FASHIONWEEK & for providing me with all relevant press releases and imagery. Photographs by Brendan Gallagher and thank you to Norm Keilty for the use of his video

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  1. The clothes by Nor Lisa were my favorites and my favorite model was the lovely lady Louise Vance!