Saturday, September 30, 2017

Photo credit: Brendan Gallagher.

It’s that time of year again, FASHIONWEEK is back and I am so happy to say it’s better than ever! This October (26th-29th) will see the triumphant return of West Coast Cooler Belfast FASHIONWEEK for a series of catwalk shows and fashion events in some amazing new venues like the rooftop of the stylish Bullitt Hotel, James Street South and best of all Belfast Cathedral! The launch of FASHIONWEEK was as stylish as ever and I am so excited to share with you all what you can expect from this season..........and it is going to be awesome!

Catching up with friends! (left to right: Designer Katie Larmour, India Lee Reid (Blogger Majestic Glitter) & Niamh Cunningham (Blogger
My stylish friend and über talented designer Katie Larmour!

As many of my regular readers will know, I’ve been attending FASHIONWEEEK since the beginning and as a result I have had the pleasure of seeing it grow and evolve. Not only have we had witnessed some hugely talented designers take to the FASHIONWEEK catwalk over the years such JW Anderson, Zoe Boomer and Una Rodden but we have had some pretty stunning venues along the way too! Who remembers the fledging shows at The Potthouse with it’s glass floor runway, or the amazing 40 foot catwalk at the underground car park at Victoria Square? The über chic and stylish Ulster Museum and the majestic surroundings of Belfast City Hall, and not forgetting the Stormont Parliament Buildings 10th Anniversary Show (which I had the pleasure of taking part in!). These are just a few of my favourite venues over the years, and I am so excited to see what happens as we move to Belfast cathedral for the main shows, marking a new chapter and evolution in the story of Belfast FASHIONWEEK.

At the FASHIONWEEK launch we were treated to fresh take on styling, with the focus on creating editioral style looks that were inspiring and daring, yet surprising wearable too! Taking inspiration from the international catwalks, FASHIONWEEK fans will be treated to a catwalk experience where the venue itself plays a key role in the drama of the show. The architecture and layout of the Cathedral providing a breathtaking catwalk for models to show off the latest trends from the High Street, Independent Boutiques and Local Designers.

With so many fun and cool trends for AW17 I thought I would break down a few of my top picks of my favourite trends from the Belfast FASHIONWEEK Press Launch to give you a little taster of what we can expect at the shows!

This season it’s all about high impact, if you are like me and you love to wear show stopping looks you are spoilt for choice! This season it’s all about texture and colour, from fur to leather, velvet to lace. It’s time to let your creative styling juices flow and maybe think about pushing outside your own comfort zone a little and experiment. This season it’s time to go a little cray cray!!!

Firstly let's talk about fur, no longer is it just about the classic faux fur jacket or scarf, this season fur comes into it’s own and boy does it like to turn heads! Thankfully there are lots of options for us girls and I'm loving the use of neon faux fur, textures and colour clashing to create a full on maximalist look. However if you’re not quite brave enough to go for something too crazy you can opt for a hint of fur or feathers in your cuff or collar detailing.

Texture is such a key trend for AW17, not only are there some amazing faux fur pieces out there but other textures such as velvet, lace, metallics and sequins are also playing a strong role this season. Again don't be afraid to have fun, if you are a classic girl at heart then why not opt for a chic tailoring like a velvet jacket, but opt for a funky colour like this dusky pink option? Or clash a jewel toned velvet dress with some classic faux fur for a glam take on party wear!

You might think that a pleated skirt and blouse is quite safe but you will change your mind the you take a look at this amazeballs metallic lilac option from ASOS! For those wishing to up their eveningwear game take a super glam sequin dress and try pairing it with something a little different like this electric blue and black striped jacket from AKANI, which would look equally as fab with skinny jeans or leather leggings!

It is so inspiring to see styling that isn't afraid to take risks, whether it’s high end fashion or high street proving everyone can have fun and experiment with their look. Gone are the days when high street meant generic or safe and if you're like me then why not try mixing some of your higher end pieces with high street, you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome! Even a classic girl like me has found herself being drawn to some really crazy pieces from the FASHIONWEEK launch and wondering, would they work for me? This gorgeous blue cropped faux fur sleeve jumper would look fab with my staple leather leggings.............. I think it might be time I tried something outside my style boundaries too!!!

This season also sees the planets align as FASHIONWEEK gets a new make up sponsor in the form none other than Illamasqua with one of my all time favourite make up artists back at FASHIONWEEK, none other than make up maestro Paddy McGurgan!!! Hair will be falling under the creative direction of L’Oréal Colour Trophy winner Lee Stinton who is not only a friend but a true genus when it comes to creating amazing catwalk hair! To say I'm excited to see what Paddy and Lee come up with is a MASSIVE understatement!!!!!

Not only are they both hugely skilled but their creative imaginations have no bounds, so expect some fun and funky looks to inspire all us budding fashionistas! I’ve also heard on the grapevine that there has been talk of a fantasy hair and make up show to round off one of the St Anne’s catwalk shows. The fantasy style hair and make up finales were a Belfast FASHIONWEEK highlight back in the day and it would be soooo wonderful to see their return!!!!

West Coast Cooler Belfast FASHIONWEEK will be taking place from the 26th–29th October and will feature two main catwalk shows at Belfast cathedral as well as an exciting weekend of events taking place across some of Belfast’s hottest venues!

Starting things off in style will be the Independent Boutique/Local Designer catwalk at Belfast Cathedral on the 26th featuring several boutiques including Ruby 67, Cameo, Lisa’s Attic and In Chlomo as well as FASHIONWEEK staples Jourdan, Blush and Spoilt Belle. While designers Angela Sloan and AKANI are among newcomers on the local design radar!

The next evening will see the “High Street Heaven” catwalk showcasing the very best from our High Street stores featuring a fantastic collection of lingerie by Victoria Square’s Boux Avenue as well as a Debenhams’ Designers at Debenhams showcase, including some special pieces from Julien McDonald, Henry Holland and John Rocha. And after some affordable fashion by George (one of my personal faves!), the style team will also show their top picks from the very best of online and the high street including TopShop, Zara, ASOS & Boohoo as well as French Connection, Oasis, Jigsaw & Karen Millen, among others! Finally, this season, family will come first as there will also be childrenswear from DIGG Fashion in Dungannon, Bluebird in Ballymena and Bambinos in Donegal.

The show schedule also includes a series of weekend events including Sushi Saturday at Zen, Style Sunday and a new ‘F Words’ brunch on the rooftop at Bullitt, featuring speakers including Tiffany Brien, Kim Constable, Maria Rafferty and ‘Gluten Free Fi’ talking Fashion, Fitness, Food & being Female.

The full show schedule is available online at along with details of this season’s trends plus links to all participant retailers and sponsors. Catwalk tickets for the main shows on 26th & 27th October, which cost £20 (or £30 for a limited number of exclusive front row seats), are available to purchase from Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609 or via the links on

For reserved seats and groups of four or more, the BFW team can take direct bookings - just call 02890421509 or email to place an order and reserve seats. The BFW team will also manage bookings for all other events including Sushi Saturday (£35) and the ‘F Words’ brunch (£29) on Saturday 28th October as well as Style Sunday (£45) on Sunday 29th October, which is in support of Action Cancer. Ticket price includes a refreshing West Coast Cooler on arrival!

Massive thanks to Cathy and Zoe for inviting me along to the WCCFW Launch, group model photo by Brendan Gallagher all additional photography feat. CMPR models by Stephen Potter.

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