The summer months are starting to fade away, and there is a definite nip in the air as we head towards September, but personally I am thrilled to see the end of the summer sales and brand new collections starting to appear on the rails. I am a bit of a magpie when it comes to this time of year, and walk straight past the messy sale aisle into the new items. And as if this wasn’t enough excitement, Belfast FASHIONWEEK is back in town, making it my favourite time of year once again.
It seems no time at all since we were celebrating ten years of FASHIONWEEK at the Ulster Museum for SS14, but it is set to return with more tenth anniversary celebrations, kicking off on October 15, with what could be their busiest schedule to date.
Dressed to the nines, the media, fellow bloggers and fashionistas from around Belfast gathered to find out what was in store for this coming season. Cathy Martin, founder of Belfast FASHIONWEEK took us through the schedule, which begins with a charity screening of Mean Girls in aid of Pretty in Pink, before Excel Clothing, Ireland’s largest online fashion retailer, take to the runway on Thursday evening to get the catwalk shows, my favourite part of FASHIONWEEK, off to a flying start.
Friday will see Northern Ireland’s local designers and boutiques showing off their newest collections, which include strong colours, tartan and fur among many other top trends, before our favourite high street retailers including Miss Selfridge and George at ASDA bring the runway shows to a close.
This season also celebrates a new move for the Belfast Fashion Week team, with a change in venue to a quirky converted warehouse on Bruce Street, Belfast, which is now Belfast’s ‘Life’ church. With painted chairs stuck to the walls, fairy lights everywhere and quirky detailing from top to toe, this is a brilliant venue for FASHIONWEEK, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it for the October shows.
Cathy Martin said: “Our new move allows us the space to welcome a pop up sushi and cocktail bar from the fashionista’s favourite eatery Zen, as well as play host to our new ‘shop the show’ boutique alley where show goers can browse and buy on-trend fashion and accessories from the shows over sushi and sumptuous cocktails, both before and after the runway presentations.”
As for the trends, there is something for everyone this season. Some of my favourites, highlighted at the glamorous FASHIONWEEK press launch include:
Embellishment: Clusters of jewels and embellishments on jumpers, dresses and jackets will be incredibly popular this season, bringing a little bit of statement sparkle to your outfit. I love a good piece of statement jewellery, so no doubt will be more than happy to embrace this trend.
Metallics: Just like last season, metallics, sparkle and iridescent fabrics will be incredibly popular for AW14, just in time for the party season.
Bold colours: Bringing some rich colour into the doldrums of winter, bold greens, blues and reds will be a great investment over the next few months. Colour blocking is also a big autumn trend, so I will definitely be mixing and matching these vibrant shades.
Tartan: Making a comeback from AW13, tartan will be massive this season. Look out for trendy tartan shorts, dresses and statement jackets. I loved this trend last season, with my favourite piece being my tartan-trimmed faux leather biker jacket, courtesy of Next, and I hope to add to my collection this time around.
Statement coats: Living in Northern Ireland, a statement coat is a worthy investment. The oversized coat is still massively popular, as is fur which will keep you warm and toasty as temperatures dip. I recently discovered my mum’s vintage fur coat hiding in the back of her wardrobe and have managed to convince her to let me “borrow” it, so this is one trend that I’ll definitely be sporting this season.
Tickets are already on sale here for Belfast Fashion Week, and with a brand new venue and an incredibly busy schedule, this is not one to miss.