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High-vis fashions lighting up the catwalk for one colourful party

By France Burscough

Day two of Belfast FashionWeek saw a glimpse of the emerging trends hot off the high street for spring and summer 2014.

Once again the proceedings took place in the wonderful plaza of the Ulster Museum as an array of models presented the crème de la crème of collections from CastleCourt, The Outlet, George at Asda, Marks and Spencer, Mexx, Next, Benetton and Jigsaw.

There was also a special preview of the latest jewellery ranges from Argento.

Like the previous night's show featuring our own home-grown designers, some distinct colours, shapes, details and themes emerged from the event to give us a clear indication of upcoming trends.

Here is my breakdown of what to wear this season based on this ultra-cool cross-section of style.

* Colours are either muted and demure or bold and brassy. Pink appears everywhere in a whole pallet of shades, from the palest blush (as seen at George in many forms) to semi-fluorescent bubblegum pink.

* Other standout shades include high-vis orange and yellow, cobalt blue, jade green, denim blue and dove grey as well as the usual regulation summer shades of white, cream, navy, red, and black and white.

* One feature that appears over and over again and is quite new to this season is the transparent mesh insert that appears time and time again with body-con stretch fabrics to give form-fitting styles a sexy edge.

* Florals are back with a vengeance – of course – but this season the tiny ditzy print of Laura Ashley proportions is replaced by 50s-style splash prints as well as an abundance of rosebuds.

* Another relatively new feature for this spring and summer is metallic faux leather in pale gold, bronze and pewter shades which is used as a detail in eveningwear styles rather than an overall look.

* As far as shapes are concerned there are five very strong options this summer. The short tunic dress; the fit-and-flare prom dress; the sunray pleated maxi dress; the elasticated-waist playsuit and the tailored jacket with Bermuda-length pants are all hot off the runway this summer.

Siobhan McKeown, marketing manager at The Outlet, Banbridge, said she was delighted to be part of the event's 10th year celebrations: "The audience can't get enough of the various trends walking the catwalk."

Director of West Coast Cooler FashionWeek Cathy Martin said of the event: "The atmosphere tonight was electric as each outfit paraded down the catwalk.

"I could see lots of women circling items in their programmes, so there will be a lot of fashionistas hitting the high street on their next payday."

FashionWeek continues tonight with a 'Charity Challenge' catwalk show and theatrical make-up display by Paddy McGurgan.

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