It's West Coast Cooler Belfast FASHIONWEEK...........but not as we know it...........!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This week saw stylista's, fashion fans, media and celebrities come together at FASHIONWEEK's press launch to celebrate it's tenth year and to hear the exciting show schedule for the AW14, and guess what? There are lots of new and exciting events to enjoy at this season's FASHIONWEEK taking place from 15-19 October!!

First and foremost, we now have a new home for FASHIONWEEK!! For the past three seasons, fashionista's have been heading to the iconic Ulster Museum, but just as fashion evolves, so does FASHIONWEEK and it's with great pleasure that I can announce the new venue is a fantastic converted warehouse Bruce Street, right in the heart of the city! As the press launch took place at the new venue we got to see a sneak peek at what to expect this October, and I was very impressed!! The new space will significantly enhance the FASHIONWEEK experience as show attendees will now be able to enjoy stylish sushi and West Coast Cooler cocktails at the Zen pop up sushi and cocktail bar, followed by the opportunity to "shop the show" at the boutique alley, allowing us girls to get our fashion fix then and there by shopping the looks direct from the catwalk!

Pictured at the launch of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK are Rebekah Shirley and Lauryn Greer in the latest looks from Ted Baker at Excel, Jigsaw, Marie Claire Millinery and Grainne Maher.

Speaking at the launch, director Cathy Martin said: Showcasing the best of our local designers and independent boutiques as well as international high street names, this autumn the catwalk will be a sea of colour, style and must-have fashion. We’re loving the blue hues, the coral reds, the plaid and the glorious glitter trends, as well as sharp suiting and oversized coats in terms of the season’s silhouettes.
Our new move allows us the space to welcome a pop up sushi and cocktail bar from the fashionista’s favourite eaterie Zen, as well as play host to our new ‘shop the show’ boutique alley where show goers can browse and buy on-trend fashion and accessories from the shows over sushi and sumptuous cocktails, both before and after the runway presentations.”

The model instillation at the Press Launch showcasing a taster of the trends that will feature on the FASHIONWEEK catwalk!

The first of the new events begins on Wednesday 15 October with a charity showing of “MEAN GIRLS” THE MOVIE in association with Odyssey Cinemas and in support of breast cancer awareness month and local charity Pretty n Pink, whose founder Noleen Adair sadly passed away earlier this year. Like FASHIONWEEK, Mean Girls celebrates ten years this year, and the Wednesday showing is for a reason, as the Mean Girls mantra is ‘on Wednesdays we wear pink’. Attendees are encouraged to get into the spirit of the event by wearing pink to the screening (and I already have a few ideas in my head for my perfect in pink look!). (tickets cost £15 per person).

Noeleen McErleane, from Pretty in Pink said: “Noleen Adair would have loved this event – a fun night out to celebrate being a woman while raising money for those whose very womenhood is often snatched from them by breast cancer. In Noleen’s honour, and in support of breast cancer awareness month, we’d love it if everyone could wear pink to the show.”

Also new to the FASHIONWEEK schedule will be "FASHION FRIDAY" allowing attendees to hear from the rising stars of blogging! Skype’s global fashion ambassador and international fashion vlogger Sonya Esmanplus Ireland’s ‘So Sue Me’ blogger Suzanne Jackson as well as local blog success story Tiffany Brien, (AKA Peanut Butter Girl) will come together in a bloggers’ Q&A as the girls impart their style secrets and blogging success… With a combined Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter audience of around two million users, these ladies know a thing or two about capturing the fashion world’s attention! (tickets cost £15 per person).

Instead of the traditional Afternoon Tea Event we now have "Sushi Saturday", encompassing fashion, cocktails and delicious sushi (the perfect combo in my books!). The event will essentially be a "Director's Cut" from all the FASHIONWEEK shows, with FASHIONWEEK director Cathy Martin choosing the top 36 looks to showcase at the event! Talking place at the über stylish Shiro, and presented by stylist (and Cool FM presenter) Rebecca McKinney it will be perfect afternoon for all us stylish gals to catch up over fabulous fashion, delectable sushi and stunning cocktails! (tickets cost £25 per person).

Alexandra Catherwood, Nerissa Moore and Jayne Higgins in the latest looks from Nor Lisa, Jigsaw and Debenhams at Castlecourt.

Of course all the elements from FASHIONWEEK that we love are still there, with three main catwalk shows on the schedule and the hugely enjoyable Style Sunday which will bring proceedings to a stylish close!

Ireland's largest online retailer will kick off catwalk proceedings on Thurdsay 16 October, bringing top designer names such as Armani, Calvin Klein and Boss Orange to the Belfast FASHIONWEEK runwayas well as some great British fashion brands including Hunter, Belstaff, French Connection, Ted Baker and Dr Marten’s for both men and ladies.

Next up on Friday 17 October Autumn/winter looks from independent boutiques and local designers will grace the catwalk and will see the return of popular stores including Blush, Goddess & Swift, Diamond Dolls and Jourdan as they showcase their collections alongside local designers Lizzie Agnew, Katie Wilson, Julia Sokele, Grannie Maher, Nor Lisa, Marie Claire Millinery, Melanie Bond Jewellery and Gordon Donaldson to name but a few!

The High Street show on Saturday 18 October brings the hottest looks from the nation’s biggest and busiest stores including Next, M&S, Superdry, DV8, Phase Eight, Warehouse, Oasis, Jigsaw, Karen Millen.......wait did I just see KAREN MILLEN??? Yes!!!!! Can I just say (to my embarrassment) I actually did a little jump of joy at the press launch when I heard my favourite brand was confirmed on the show schedule!!!

Also gracing the catwalk that evening will be CastleCourt, Designers at Debenhams, GAP, Dorothy Perkins, New Look and Miss Selfridge plus a range of discounted high street lines from The Outlet in Banbridge including Next clearance, L.K. Bennett, Olsen and Staccato among others, finished off with FASHIONWEEK favourite George at ASDA!!

Pictured at the launch of West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK are Alexandra Catherwood and Nerissa Moore in the latest looks from Nor Lisa and Jigsaw.

Last, but definitely not least, the city’s most stylish event will close in sumptuous style with the flagship "Style Sunday" luncheon at SHU. This season, the event is being run in association with LIDL and is once again in support of Mencap NIThe afternoon gives guests an up-close-and-personal look at stunning fashions from local designers over a delicious three course lunch which features the very best of local produce and seasonal ingredients. Make-up artist Paddy McGurgan and stylists from FASHIONWEEK hair partner Peter Mark will also impart tips and tricks as well as host a mini masterclass on how to look fantastic throughout the winter.The lunch and show costs £45 per person and bookings at SHU are expected to fill quickly as usual.

The full show schedule is available online at along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors. The most fashionable tickets in town are priced at £20 or £25 for FROW and are available by calling 028 9024 6609 or via the website (where you’ll also find details of the movie night, Sushi Saturday at Shiro and LIDL Style Sunday at SHU). All ticket prices include a fabulous goodie bag and a refreshing West Coast Cooler.

So don't forget to save the dates ladies FASHIONWEEK will be taking place from 15-19 October and I'll see you all at the shows!! Now I'm off to make the hard decisions on what to wear to all these fabulous events!!

A massive thank you to Cathy Martin for the invitation to attend the FASHIONWEEK press launch and to Sarah-Jayne Cassells at CMPR for the press release and all relevant imagery!

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