West Coast Cooler Fashionweek came to a colourful conclusion on Saturday with a magnificent catwalk show featuring some of our most promising up-and-coming designers.
Shauna Fay, Lisa McCabe, Dave Henderson, Goddess and Swift, Maria Cardenas, Jude Cassidy and Mary Murphy’s Sioda Lingerie featured alongside ranges from the Proof pop-up boutique and restyled vintage one-offs from the Fashion Creep collective.
Every collection was bold and vibrant, but the most noticeable trend of the event was the welcome return of the colour red, in all its gorgeous guises. Scarlet, cherry, carnation, coral, burgundy, vermillion and cinnabar all appeared in a variety of show-stopping outfits.
A particular highlight for me was the stylish debut of Maria Cárdenas. Her use of natural Irish linen lined with sumptuous satin was most effective in several simple yet exquisitely-tailored womenswear designs.
Tulip hems, kimono wraps, tunics and palazzo pant suits gave a nod to elegant cruise fashions of the 1930s but accessorized in true 21st century style.
Goddess and Swift showed an inspired collection of eveningwear, using sumptuous shimmering silk with their witty ‘flying swift’ logo cleverly incorporated in print, embroidery and appliqué.
Another memorable collection was the clever couture of David Henderson. His kooky cocktail and prom dresses were fashioned from tie-dyed and splash-print fabrics in unstructured and asymmetrical shapes and styles cleverly laid over lace-up corset bodices.
The designer was delighted with the audience’s reaction.
“Seeing my clothes make their way down the Fashionweek catwalk in a professionally-run show such as this was a great thrill for me and the rest of the designers,” he said.
“We all worked incredibly hard to put on a good show and we’re delighted with the response so far.”
As events drew to a close, Fashionweek director Cathy Martin paid tribute to everyone’s hard work to make the event a success.
“Our designers, make-up artists and hairdressing teams worked flat out to give audience members a night to remember, with some truly inspirational work on show,” she said.
“They did themselves and their talents proud and we would like to congratulate them all on a job well done.”
As always, the models were all from Northern Ireland and Dublin; hairstyling was courtesy of Michael Quinn and his team, while the exotic make-up was created byaward-winning artist and fellow Belfast Telegraph beauty columnist Paddy McGurgan.