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Fashionweek sweeps in with a blaze of colour as homegrown designers dazzle the catwalk

By Frances Burscough

Published 16/10/2015

Belfast Fashionweek dazzled on the stage last night as Autumn/Winter 2015 erupted in a blaze of colour.

The new collections from our own homegrown designers and high-end boutiques are always a huge highlight and with an array of vivid shades appearing one after another on the catwalk this was quite literally the case.

Although there are still masses of regulation black, white, gold and silver coming up for winter and the festive season, it was the vibrant brights that stole the show on opening night at the Bruce Street Fashionweek HQ.

The 18 participants included Blush and Jourdan from the Lisburn Road, as well as Akani, Diamond Dolls, Deux Cara, Spoilt Belle Boutique and The Style Retreat.

Local talents Grainne Maher, Nor Lisa, Marky Marc, Nicola McLaughlin and Gordon Donaldson showcased their couture collections, while newcomers this season included a fabulous tweed collection from Cocoon Luxury Wear, Dashlin in Newry and Hanger 13 in Portadown.

The statuesque and elegant models were styled to perfection by master hairstylist Michael Quinn, who took inspiration for the cascading pony-tails and intricate top-knots from his experience as a dressage horse rider.

He wouldn't give away his secret as to how he created such intricate coiffure, but the overall effect as the girls lined up on the runway was spectacular.

Speaking of the Fashionweek programme, director Cathy Martin said: "The schedule is one of our busiest ever, condensed into just four days, with lots of variety in terms of styles, interests and budgets, but there's still so much more I want to do and we're already planning new additions for next season."

Laura Blair, brand manager for event sponsor West Coast Cooler, said: "There are some fantastic additions to the schedule which are exciting, fresh and an ideal fit to the West Coast Cooler brand. We've been looking forward to this weekend of fun fashion and have spotted some super stylish people on the streets over the past few months."

Following the ever-successful designer night, style proceedings continue with the High Street Heaven shows tonight, bringing the latest looks from the nation's biggest and busiest stores, including Oasis, Next, Warehouse, Remus Uomo, Superdry, Marks and Spencer, Dunnes, George at Asda, and DV8 Fashion, as well as Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Designers at Debenhams and Miss Selfridge from CastleCourt.

Tomorrow will see the busiest day in the Fashionweek schedule with the addition of the original Fashion Souk at BFW HQ, an event hosting stalls and pop up stores for vintage and previously owned clothing throughout the day from 11am-4pm.

Kicking off at 10am is the new body image symposium 'To Be Beautiful' featuring nutrition and body image expert Katie Richardson.

On Saturday evening the Fashionweek catwalk will showcase the latest collections from Ireland's largest online designer fashion retailer,

Audience members can expect to see the latest ranges from top designer names such as Armani, Calvin Klein and Boss Orange and some of Britain's top fashion brands including Barbour, French Connection and Ted Baker for men, ladies and children.

Finally, Fashionweek closes with the Style Sunday luncheon at SHU on October 18.

The charity lunch costs £45 per person and places can be booked directly through the restaurant on 028 9038 1655.

Belfast Telegraph

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