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It's showtime

Belfast fashionweek is back in town - and it has an extra special focus this year.

By Judith Cole

Fashion from the eagerly awaited £320m Victoria Square development - which is due to open next March - will take centre stage at Belfast Fashionweek.

Beginning next Thursday, November 1, the three-day extravaganza takes place at the Baby Grand in the Grand Opera House, Belfast, and will include collections from House of Fraser, Hugo Boss, Cruise, Hilfiger, Urban Outfitters, Clockwork Orange and H&M. An exciting opener for the first show, on Thursday, will be a range of specially commissioned hats inspired by the new glass dome at Victoria Square.

Designed by London milliner Jane Taylor, the hats are her latest commission after a Vogue photoshoot for the December issue which featured a hat worn by supermodel Kate Moss.

House of Fraser will take over the finale night, November 3, for a celebration of all its brands.

FASHIONWEEK organiser Cathy Martin said: "We are really excited about the autumn/winter event, especially because the public is keenly looking forward to the opening of Victoria Square.

"For the past three years FASHIONWEEK has been an annual event but we have been swamped with requests from the general public, our sponsors West Coast Cooler and, now, Victoria Square retailers wanting an opportunity to showcase winter trends. And, with Christmas around the corner, what better way to see the hottest looks for the party season than a night out at Belfast's premiere fashion event. "This will be Belfast's last Christmas without Victoria Square, so it's a celebration of what's to come for next year, too." Gary Slattery, general manager for the new House of Fraser anchor store in Victoria Square, added: "House of Fraser has an extensive fashion range which will be new to Northern Ireland. We are thrilled to be able to get involved in FASHIONWEEK as it is an ideal opportunity to showcase our latest ranges and introduce the House of Fraser brand to our shoppers."

Victoria Square, which opens on March 6, is a 800,000 sq ft retail-led regeneration project which will create up to 3,000 full-time jobs. It will house a number of international fashion retailers who are not currently represented in the city centre including Urban Outfitters and House of Fraser. It is expected that 17.2 million people will visit Victoria Square per year placing it in the top 10 shopping centres in the UK FASHIONWEEK audiences can expect more show-stopping fashion, Ireland's top models, cutting-edge hair and make-up, generous goodie bags and a fun night out experiencing the best in fashion theatre.

Tickets for all shows, which cost £8, are on sale at Belfast's Grand Opera House Box Office. To book visit or tel: 9024 1919. Visit www.belfast for further details

Belfast Telegraph


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