Spring arrived both inside and outside Fairhill shopping centre when the Big Fashion Event took place in a sunny Ballymena last Saturday.
Our guest blogger Grainne McGarvey enjoyed an afternoon of style in Ballymena:
The event didn’t disappoint. There was a good mix of both fashion and in fact models – sizes ranges from size 8 to size 16 which proved a good representation of the shoppers enjoying the event.
Wearing different outfits from Fairhill retailers including Topshop, Vera Moda, River Island, Clockwork Orange, New Look, Next, Marks & Spencer and Remus Uomo, the mall came alive in a blaze of spring shades, wearable styles and a mix of day and evening looks.
Clashing prints featured heavily on the catwalk with zebra stripe, Aztec and polka dot all making an appearance. Maxi dresses in vibrant florals, monochrome stripes as well as bubblegum pink colour pop in shorts, vests and accessories were also on trend. Bright statement necklaces, chunky coloured wedges and big bouncy curls completed the look.
The guys (including Mr Northern Ireland) were able to keep the spring chill at bay by layering printed t-shirts with bright hoodies finished with denim jackets. Denim on denim was also a key look as was coloured chinos teamed with smart blazers and striped vests. Smart suits in light grey and black were finished with crisp fitted shirts and bright ties, which gave an alternative to the casual outfits on show.
Fairhill stylist Peter Lamont had his very own ‘Big Wardrobe’ fashion area which gave him the chance to show shoppers how to mix and match items to create must-have looks for Spring/Summer. His top tips included wearing clashing prints, stripe on stripe and encouraged us to experiment by shopping outside of the box and into a store we mightn’t have considered before.
I enjoyed accosting unsuspecting shoppers to find out ‘what’s in the bag’. Thankfully I only came across innocent items such as shoes from River Island or M&S and not any kind of ‘personal’ items from Ann Summers! Last year’s Miss Northern Ireland, Tiffany Brien got more than she budgeted for when modelling for Clockwork Orange after buying two pairs of £100+ jeans!
Overall I was impressed. Fairhill has more than 50+ stores and most of the fashion stores were represented well and highlighted key trends for the new season. Ballymena ladies know their style. I saw a lot of denim shorts, cropped tops and safari prints – all of which are big this season. The guys also pay attention to fashion – pastel denim shirts, skinny jeans and side shades all on show – hmm think I’ll be making a trip back to Fairhill sooner than expected.