Belfast Telegraph

A feast of fashion to help feed famine-hit East Africa

By Anne Madden

Two award-winning fashionistas from Northern Ireland brought haute couture of the highest order to Hillsborough Castle at the weekend.

Fashion designer Geraldine Connon from Larne and Hillsborough hairstylist Shane Bennett teamed up to stage a sumptuous fashion show in aid of Save the Children’s East Africa appeal.

Seventeen models graced the floor of the grand Throne Room at the castle for two packed out shows.

“There are two massive thrones in the room which provided a dramatic backdrop for the models on the catwalk,” said Shane, three times winner of Northern Ireland’s Hairdresser of the Year competition.

“We divided the show into stories so we could both entertain and inspire the audience,” he added.

The sequences included the romance of 1950s London, winter wear, a collection called Gaga Dolls, and Ladies’ Day, showcasing special occasion-wear.

Geraldine, who has been Irish Designer of the Year four times, also invited her own clients to model some of their favourite outfits.

Some of the most striking outfits were featured in the show finale entitled, Tsarina.

Inspired by the film Doctor Zhivago, the finale showcased dramatic wigs and stunning ballgowns.

“We had just eight weeks to put the show together, and judging by the positive response, I think we pulled it off,” said Geraldine.

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