After a very long and relaxing break from blogging, while I enjoyed the Christmas holidays, ate the last of the leftover Quality Street and settled back into work, spending my morning at the press launch of West Coast Cooler Belfast FASHIONWEEK was the perfect way to ease myself back into all things fashion.
I would by no means consider myself a seasoned FASHIONWEEK goer, but attending my fifth season of the event was like stepping into a pair of comfortable – albeit very stylish – slippers, and it filled me full of anticipation for the shows in March. But what am I most looking forward to?
1. The venue
Once again, Belfast FASHIONWEEK will be held in the absolutely gorgeous venue of the LIFE Church on Bruce Street. Brought to life with twinkling fairy lights, rustic decor and shabby chic interiors, it is an exquisite backdrop to such a stylish event.
2. This skirt
I know what you’re thinking – which skirt? And whilst both are absolutely gorgeous, my eyes lit up at the sight of Jayne’s beautiful striped skirt on the left. I am a huge fan of A-Line skirts, especially since their cinched waists hide a multitude of sins, and can’t wait to add this number, from Spoilt Belle Boutique, to my wardrobe. I might even wear it to one of the shows.
3. Citrus shades
Some girls love the winter weather – sadly, I am not one of them. While most people bundle up in woollen coats, fur collars, scarves and cute hats, I look like Northern Ireland’s answer to the Michelin man. Thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but that might just be the citrus shades that are about to hit the high-street. Whatever the weather, I will be stocking up on fresh greens and yellows to brighten up my life.
4. Even more jumpsuits
I will hold my hands up and admit to being a little bit of a jumpsuit addict. It all started with a little Topshop number, and I now own, an admittedly rather unhealthy, seven varieties of this gorgeous trend. Yes, they are difficult to get out of, especially after one too many cocktails, but they’re also gorgeously flattering, which is exactly why this Next look has also made it onto my ever-growing wish list. Better still, not only were we informed that they here for the long haul, we will also be seeing quite a few on the FASHIONWEEK catwalk in SS15. Long reign the jumpsuit.
5. The high-street show
I lust over Louboutins, rose-gold Michael Kors watches and Versace dresses as much as the next person, but my budget means that I am very much a high street girl. Once again, High Street Heaven will return to the FASHIONWEEK catwalk on Saturday March 21, featuring my favourite brands Oasis, Miss Selfridge and Next. I absolutely can’t wait.
6. Getting dolled up
Just because I’m not on the catwalk, it doesn’t mean I can’t show off. FASHIONWEEK is a rare opportunity for me to get dressed to the nines and justify all of those unnecessary and expensive purchases. And how did I kick off SS15? By combining my favourite Armani blouse from Excel Clothing with a high street midi from DV8, of course.
7. Zen’s sushi and cocktail bar
I never pass up a good cocktail, and FASHIONWEEK’s new HQ on Bruce Street will once again allow Belfast’s delicious Asian restaurant, Zen, to serve up some fruity flavours as we mingle with guests and browse brand alley. Yum yum.
8. Sara O’Neill’s FASHIONWEEK debut
Local illustrator Sara O’Neill has turned her artistic flair to design, and will showcase her ‘Èadach’ collection this season. We saw one of her intricate designs at the press launch (shown below on the right), and if this is a flavour of what’s to come, this will be a highlight of the Local Designers and Independent Boutiques show on Friday March 20.
9. Catching up with fellow bloggers
There’s nothing quite like the buzz of the catwalk shows, but on a par with the fashion itself is the chance to catch up with friends, usually over a cocktail or three. Myself and fellow bloggers Debra, from Overdressed and Unprepared, and Louise, aka The Real Elle Woods, got a head start this week, when we visited Shiro for a relaxed lunch and our tipples of choice. What a perfect way to kick off the season.
Excited for SS15? The full show schedule, and tickets for the BFW catwalk shows (which cost £20, or £25 for a front row seat) are available online at www.belfastfashionweek.com.