Belfast Telegraph

Catwalk in the cathedral as Belfast Fashionweek launched

By Rebecca Black

St Anne's Cathedral was transformed last night into a world of glitz and glamour as it hosted the start of the 24th Belfast Fashionweek.

The usual choristers were replaced in the aisles by a host of stunning models showcasing the very latest designer looks.

Northern Ireland boutiques, including Ruby 67, Cameo, Lisa's Attic and In Chlomo, as well as Jourdan, Blush and Spoilt Belle got the chance to showcase their wares.

The glitzy event launches four days of fantastic fashion which run until October 29.

Tonight Kate Grant, a teenager from Cookstown, will become the first model with Down's syndrome to take part in the annual event.

She will take part in the High Street show and previously spoke of how she wants to challenge people's perceptions of beauty and highlight discrimination faced by those with a disability.

Fashionweek director Cathy Martin said: "It's amazing how passionate she is about modelling, this could really be the start of something."

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Cathy Martin

As well as the runway shows at St Anne's, there will also be the popular weekend events, including Sushi Saturday at Zen, Style Sunday and a new 'F Words' brunch on the rooftop at Bullitt, featuring speakers including Tiffany Brien, Kim Constable and Maria Rafferty talking about fashion, fitness, food and being female.

Cathy has tipped red and textures as the trends to look out for this season.

"I'm looking forward to seeing local retailers and designers showing off all the colours, silhouettes and textures which we saw at the international shows," she said.

"From fiery red shades like those seen on Gigi Hadid at MaxMara, to deep Burgundy and Bordeaux colours which were prevalent at the Burberry and Mulberry shows; plus there will be plenty of futuristic metallics as seen at Chanel and Balenciaga, as well as total texture clashes which took over the runway at Gucci's super maximalist show."

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Models at the launch of Belfast Fashionweek at St Anne’s Cathedral

Moving her Vogue-trained fashion eye back to Belfast, Cathy said she hoped to put on some fashion theatre. "I'm looking forward to seeing local retailers and designers showing off all the colours, silhouettes and textures which we saw at the international shows," she said.

"We always try to make our shows a true example of fashion theatre. And as people move towards more experiential activities, our events allow them to really engage with fashion first-hand. We'll have our usual complimentary West Coast Coolers for every guest at the show as well as a William Morris eyewear 'Specs Appeal' pop-up, where style spotters will seek out the best dressed guests, who will win sunglasses and eyewear."

The full show schedule is available online at www.belfastfashionweek.com.

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Models at the launch of Belfast Fashionweek at St Anne’s Cathedral

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