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Ulster designer's delight as cape crusader Cecilia makes a special request

By Staff Reporter

One of the world's best-known models has been photographed wearing a cape designed by Co Down's Sara Hall - after personally requesting that she get the chance to do so.

Beautiful Cecilia Mendez has walked the runway for top designers such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Christian Dior, Issey Miyake, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta.

The Argentinian got in touch with Sara a few weeks ago to say she adored her capes and would love the chance to wear one.

Thrilled Sara said: "Cecilia was off to Paris Fashion Week and wanted to wear one at the Chanel show she was covering for her fashion blog The Outsider, which she writes with her husband, photographer Diego Zuko. Luckily, I was also headed for Paris so I got to meet with her in a chic French cafe to hand deliver the cape for the show.

"Cecilia was lovely and gave me great recommendations on where to eat, where to dance, where to enjoy the best mocha in town."

Cecilia decided to wear the Loren Dapple fitted cape from the Sands & Hall collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Sara adds: "When I returned from Paris, Cecilia emailed me with images of her wearing the cape in Paris at different monumental sites.

"Her husband snapped and edited the pics. Diego is Harper's Bazaar's official street-style photographer."

Mum-of-two Sara's Sands & Hall cape company is one of Northern Ireland's great fashion successes.

Sara, who splits her time between her native Newry and the home she shares in Spain with husband David, an advertising expert from South Africa, started out designing a range of fully-lined children's capes which proved a sell-out.

Shortly afterwards, she began receiving emails asking whether she could make a lady's cape.

The collection, which comes in Harris Tweed, Donegal Tweed and cashmere, has a host of celebrity fans including Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery, Hollywood star Penelope Cruz and singing superstar Christina Aguilera.

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