Where does a 25-season event go after its silver anniversary?
Well, at West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, the show goes on, and the event, which launched yesterday (August 31), continues to enjoy the same success now as its early days in the Potthouse and the dis-used buildings of Cathedral Quarter.
This season, the main runway event will take place at St. Anne’s Cathedral on Friday, October 19 and style proceedings will continue with some fashionable fringe events including the popular Sushi Saturday at Asian eatery Zen as well as the Action Cancer charity fundraiser ‘Style Sunday’ in the restaurant of the stunning Fitzwilliam Hotel, plus, new this season, a MaxMara Weekend brunch at Café Parisien with chauffeur-driven cars to the store afterwards for an in-store event.
Paul Meekin Hair in partnership with ghd Hair has joined forces with FASHIONWEEK this season to oversee styling at all shows in October. Also returning to FASHIONWEEK will be award-winning make up artist Oonagh Boman, who celebrates 20 years in business this year. Her make up brand SENNA cosmetics will be used on the models at all shows, and together with Paul, the creative team will be taking inspiration from the international catwalks to create a mixture of exciting looks to enhance the fashion on show.
Both Oonagh and Paul will also host a modern make up and hair masterclass at the flagship ‘Style Sunday’ event on October 21 in aid of Action Cancer. The sumptuous style luncheon will showcase top stylist picks from Blush Belfast whilst lingerie retailer Boux Avenue will talk guests through how to dress any shape from the inside out!
But before the main shows in October, FASHIONWEEK has also teamed up with Belfast ONE to deliver a day of free outdoor fashion and beauty pop ups in Arthur Street on September 13. The event, which is called STREET STYLE BELFAST, will see retailers from across the city showcase their collections in a fun day celebrating style in the city.
Speaking about this season’s key trends, FASHIONWEEK Director, Cathy Martin commented: “This season there is a focus on texture as fabrics in burnt oranges and mustards take the shape of chunky, over-sized knits layered over pretty pleated dresses as seen at Balenciaga.
“High-shine fabrics are also key with updated trench coats in glossy and metallic finishes. Think 1980s in terms of colour and finish. Staying in that decade, Chanel showed off power dressing at its shows and the high street has followed suit with bold trouser suits in strong colours.
“There will also be lots of print clashes as feminine florals marry with checks and stripes to give a whole new meaning to the term bohemian chic – with splashes of fringing, Western style!”
As well as the usual complimentary West Coast Cooler at every show, guests can also enjoy beauty, food and designer popups as Belfast FASHIONWEEK creates the ultimate experience for the audience: “In an overlapping world that constantly blends experiences, we want to make our shows bring a little bit of fashion theatre. We want to show the playful side to fashion where guests can feel effortlessly confident,” continued Cathy.
But rounding up the launch event, Cathy took some time to get serious about fashion and retail here in light of recent events. “Retail is a massive employer in Northern Ireland and fashion stores form a key part of our city landscape, but it is suffering many blows of late. We cannot fail to mention the Primark fire this week and its devastating effect on employees there as well as in surrounding businesses, so I would urge people to enjoy the city and shop local if they are making shopping purchases in the coming weeks and months.”
Ticket and Schedule info
Tickets are available to purchase at Visit Belfast on 02890246609 or online via the links at www.belfastfashionweek.com For reserved seats, corporate orders and groups of four or more, the BFW team can take direct bookings – just call 02890421509 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.