Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Fashionweek: Spring into summer

Fashionweek saw our high street stores bang on trend for all the hottest looks this season, reports Frances Burscough

Frances' verdict: Naoise shows exactly how to wear lemon yellow. This pretty linen shirt dress by Laura Ashley at CastleCourt (£80) looks elegantly casual worn with a fine tan leather belt and a cream&tan shopper. It could also look perfectly smart for a wedding or garden party worn with a cream blazer
Frances' verdict: Naoise shows exactly how to wear lemon yellow. This pretty linen shirt dress by Laura Ashley at CastleCourt (£80) looks elegantly casual worn with a fine tan leather belt and a cream&tan shopper. It could also look perfectly smart for a wedding or garden party worn with a cream blazer
Frances' verdict: Julie is wearing a bold colour-block dress from the latest collection at Evans in CastleCourt. This style is specifically designed to enhance the figure of curvy girls and the classic colours of midnight blue and black are on-trend for spring but would be appropriate for any season (£40)
Frances' verdict: Julie is wearing a bold colour-block dress from the latest collection at Evans in CastleCourt. This style is specifically designed to enhance the figure of curvy girls and the classic colours of midnight blue and black are on-trend for spring but would be appropriate for any season (£40)

Belfast Fashionweek ended on a real high this weekend with a cross-section of seasonal styles direct from the high street.

Although the assorted looks on show for Spring/Summer '13 were truly diverse, as always there were certain themes that recurred time and time again in the form of trends for the coming season.

The Fifties floral trend put in an appearance in every collection (even the menswear!) and included bold and vivid rose patterns and miniature daisy-chain repeat prints. American baseball-style sportswear (as favoured by such hip-hop hipsters as Rihanna and her entourage) with the essential "bling" accessories looked both cool and casual. The form-fitting bodycon bandage dress with strategic cut-out features or colour-blocking also reappeared again and again; as did the Seventies disco fever trend of super-tight stretch metallic "spray-on" pants and glitzy cutaway boob tubes.

For a more dressy occasion, the maxi dress was also a strong look, particularly in floaty chiffon fashioned into soft sunray pleats.

As far as colour trends go, yellow, in all its forms from buttercup to antique gold, is one of the key colours for the near future.

And coral pink, cerise, jade green, scarlet, navy and cobalt blue, violet and aquamarine are also strong colour contenders in the new season's palette.

Opening the show with a collection of fashions from LK Bennett, Jaeger, Armani Exchange, Fat Face and Bella Gifts, was The Outlet Banbridge, who treated the crowds to a chic display of high-end designs at up to 70% off.

Next up, in a dizzying display of chic outfits and accessories, were the CastleCourt stores including Designers at Debenhams, Warehouse, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, GAP, Burton, Wallis, Evans, Quiz and others.

Camila McCourt, marketing manager at CastleCourt, said: "The CastleCourt brands didn't disappoint the hundreds who came to see the catwalk spectacular. Audience members got an up-close-and-personal look at all of the upcoming spring/summer fashions available in the centre, offering the perfect first glimpse of essential outfits for Easter and summer holidays this year."

French Connection, Marks & Spencer and Oasis also showcased their summer collections to the rapt crowd.

Shona Watson, area manager for Oasis, said: "We were delighted to show off our new collection which included lots of florals, flattering whites and nudes and this season's other favourite trend, monochrome."

As if that wasn't enough for the crowds to feast their eyes on, international hair stylist and Fashionweek hair sponsor Andrew Mulvenna treated the audience to a one-off themed hair show where all the hottest styles of the 'Past, Present and Future' were presented on stage for all to admire.

Andrew said: "I always enjoy being part of Fashionweek and obviously as hair sponsor my team and I style all the gorgeous models' hair, but it was just lovely to be able to bring that little something extra this season."

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