A Stylista's Guide to West Coast Cooler Belfast FASHIONWEEK SS'15!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

For any fashion blogger there is nothing we love more than getting up close and personal with our passion in life: fashion! For me there is no better opportunity for that than West Coast Cooler Belfast FASHIONWEEK! Twice a year fashionista's come together to celebrate our mutual love for all things stylish and during FASHIONWEEK we litterally eat, drink and sleep fashion! From choosing what to wear to the shows, to catching up with all my friends who are equally as obsessed with fashion as I am it's an amazing experience attending FASHIONWEEK and I'm very proud to say I've been attending from the very beginning!

Which is why I'm always super excited to attend the press launch as it's THE perfect opportunity to catch up with everyone, as well as getting a sneak preview of the must have trends for the upcoming season and getting all the low down on FASHIONWEEK's show schedule!

So let's get down to the fashionable business at hand! First and foremost, FASHIONWEEK will be running from 19th-22nd March and will follow the usual format of catwalk shows and intimate fashion presentations including the ever popular Sushi Saturday and Style Sunday events! The launch event took place once again at BFW HQ in Bruce Street and I'm very excited that BFW has returned once again to this venue, so expect to be able to "shop the show" direct from the catwalk over at "Boutique Alley" as well as enjoying some utterly delicious sushi and cocktails from Zen at their pop up bar! (One of my all time favourite restaurants!).

As always the launch was THE perfect opportunity to catch up with all my fashion friends as well as a chance to hear the FASHIONWEEK team's predictions on the trends we'll all be lusting after this SS'15! So think vivid bursts of colour, florals and lots of yellow and you won't go far wrong! One of my personal favourites was the aqua Versace cocktail dress worn by model Rebecca Maguire from The Outlet, Banbridge! "Major swoon"!!!

If you want the lowdown on what I chose to wear to the launch click HERE for my outfit blog post!

As for the catwalk shows themselves expect to see many of our FASHIONWEEK favourites, as well as a few fresh new faces too! At the local designers and independent boutique show on Fri 20th local boutiques Blush and Jourdan from the Lisburn Road are confirmed along with Diamond Dolls and Spoilt Belle Boutique. Representing our local design talent will be Grainne Maher, Nor Lisa and Chloe Dougan, among others.

Local Designer and FASHIONWEEK favourite Nor Lisa wowing us with whites!

This season will also see some new-comers including Mimi’s Roadtrip boutique from Moy in Tyrone and The Style Retreat, Lisburn! (Owner Danielle is a fellow fashion blogger and I'm beyond excited to see her new boutique taking part in FASHIONWEEK!) While Dundalk-based designer Gillian Leavy and illustrator-turned-designer Sara O’Neill, who will showcase her Èadach collection, are both taking part for the first time! I'm totally OBSESSED with Sara's illustrations and after seeing how ingenuously one of her "Èadach" scarves was transformed into a top at the launch I can't wait to see how her collection is styled on the FASHIONWEEK catwalk!

However the real surprise of the day went to John Gerard O'Neill and Neil Coogan, two of THE most stylish men I know who are debuting their first fashion collection at FASHIONWEEK! These guys are all about the glam and based on the sneak peek we got at the launch of one of their designs, they are definitely ones to watch!

John Gerard O'Neill & Neil Coogan's stunning red carpet gown! In love!!!

On Saturday we not only see the return of the hugely popular "Director's Cut" of FASHIONWEEK at Sushi Saturday at Shiro, but also the High Street Heaven catwalk will take place that evening featuring the latest looks from Next, Marks and Spencer, Jigsaw, The Outlet, BanbridgeExcel Clothing, DV8 Fashion, Oasis as well as Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Designers at Debenhams and Miss Selfridge from CastleCourt!

Last but by no means least FASHIONWEEK will come to a fashionable close with it's Style Sunday luncheon at Shu! This glamorous four course gourmet luncheon, which is run in association with Mencap NI, accompanies trend forecasts, a mini fashion show and the return of FASHIONWEEK Make-up artist Paddy McGurgan plus stylists from FASHIONWEEK’s hair partner who will host a mini masterclass on how to look fantastic throughout the winter!

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK S/S `15 Launch from Norm Keilty on Vimeo.
Video from the FASHIONWEEK SS'15 Press Launch kindly used with permission from Norm Keilty.

The full show schedule is available online at www.belfastfashionweek.com along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors.  Catwalk tickets, which cost £20 (or £25 for a limited number of exclusive front row seats), are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609 or via the website. Ticket price includes a fabulous goodie bag and a refreshing West Coast Cooler.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the shows!

Massive thanks to Christopher Wilson at CMPR for press release and all professional imagery!

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