FASHIONWEEK AW2012 launch

Last week, in perfect synchronicity with the stormy Autumnal weather, Belfast’s Autumn/Winter fashion show season got off to a windy start on the rooftop garden of the Merchant Hotel. On Thursday we attended the launch of the West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK to check out sneak previews of the new seasons latest looks and hottest trends for Autumn/Winter.

The launch on the rooftop garden was packed with the city’s fashionistas….and then there was me! A brave venue to pick when you take into account the wet summer, but I guess risks need to be taken, and apart from a few spots of rain and a fair bit of wind, the outdoor setting, with views over the city was just perfect.

I plonked myself at the end of the roof garden along with the professional photographers, armed with my little iPhone, in a bid to get some good shots of the new season trends, which I’ve been told include lots of Jacquard weaves, brocade and felting and lots of military coats and capes. I’ve also been told that the Autumn colours are all about red or royal blue as well as pyjama prints and a lot of monochrome and hounds tooth.

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FASHIONWEEK takes place from the 13-21 October and kicks off with kids shows and workshops sponsored by The OUTLET at W5. Expect kids, maternity wear and some yummy mummy fashion. There will also be the Diet Coke Design Award, the Fashion ReFound project and the super stylish Style Sunday event at James Street South restaurant as well as the main catwalk shows in the Europa FASHIONWEEK Centre.

A particular highlight will be the designer emporium Cruise hosting a fabulous Afternoon Tea at the Merchant Hotel on Saturday 20 October. At only £30 this is sure to be one of many highlights in what will be the biggest FASHIONWEEK yet. Tickets are available at the Merchant Hotel directly on 02890 234888.

The boutique show on the 18th October will include Natoria of Larne and Diamond Dolls of Banbridge, and Jourdan, Blush and Garrison from the Lisburn Road with key pieces from Una Rodden and Grainne Maher.

Friday 19th is High Street Fashion night at the Europa FASHIONWEEK centre with a range of fashion from Castlecourt at the 6.30 show, then another show at 8.30 with fashion from French Connection, Benetton, M&S, Exhibit, Jigsaw and much more.

The NI designer catwalk show and Diet Coke Design award show is on the 20th October and includes fabulous fashion from Reudi Maguire, David Henderson, Grainne Maher, Lisa McCabe, John Paul, and Una Rodden.

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For the first time, our favourite City Centre building, the Refound Building, are hosting a bespoke ‘FASHION REFOUND’ show at the venue in Wellington Place. Taking place throughout FASHIONWEEK, this exhibition, where Fashion meets Furniture, will see up to ten up-and-coming fashion designer/makers apply their designs and creativity to a home interior piece, exclusively for ReFound.

Finally, the ever popular Style Sunday event once again heads to James Street South on Sunday 21st. If you want advice on hair, beauty, make up and fashion from top experts this one is for you. This event supports NI’s leading learning disability charity Mencap, and tickets can be purchased directly at James Street South for £40.

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK check out www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw.

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