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Council Launches Another Fabulous Fashion Fest

A Style Academy model launches the North West’s biggest fashion celebration, Fashion Fest, at Magazine Street this week

The sun was shining today as some of the stars of the North West’s biggest fashion celebration, Fashion Fest, took to the streets to launch this year’s much anticipated programme. The annual event has become a highlight in the fashion calendar, offering many opportunities for local designers to showcase their work alongside portfolios by some of the leading names in the industry.

This year Fashion Fest is delighted to welcome renowned London designer Kate Halfpenny who counts British style icons Kate Moss, Erin O’Connor and Emilia Fox among her close friends and devotees to her work, which focuses mainly on stunning and edgy vintage style bridal gowns.

Kate studied in Textiles at London’s prestigious Central St. Martins, feeding her obsession with fabrics, lace and beading. This knowledge and experience, combined with Kate’s skills as a stylist, gives her an unparalleled ability to design and create breath taking pieces to make any bride’s special day. During Fashion Fest there will be the opportunity to view some of her latest collection and Kate will be sharing her inside industry knowledge with local emerging designers.

Local Industry’s Biggest Showcase

Launching the event, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle, said Fashion Fest was an important endorsement of the growing local fashion industry. “I’m delighted to take the opportunity to launch Fashion Fest which has become one of the biggest showcase highlights for the local industry,” he declared.

“Derry’s long connection with the textile trade makes it the perfect location to develop a hub for designers and retailers to produce authentic and creative works inspired by our unique heritage and the long tradition of producing top quality apparel. I look forward to seeing the final details of the programme which promises to offer plenty of opportunities for young designers to learn more about the industry.”

Now in its fourth year, Fashion Fest has established its presence as the premier fashion event for local designers hoping to show their work on a local stage. Derry City and Strabane District Council has been working closely with the Fashion and Textile Design Hub on Shipquay Street to get local designers involved, and use the festival as a springboard into the wider industry.

Growing Success

Business Support Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Louise Breslin, said she was looking forward to another spectacular event.

“The Council team has been working closely with local designers and retailers since the success of last year’s event to further enhance the programme’s appeal for those young designers, models and creatives who are seeking advice and inspiration.

“It’s fantastic to be able to provide a platform for the wealth of talent which is right on our own doorstep and to watch the growing network of established designers forming a strong connection with our city. We will be revealing more details of the programme in the coming weeks – so watch this space.”

While final touches are being put to the Festival programme, this year’s event will feature another outstanding Fashion Fest Catwalk showcase led by the team at Style Academy, which will take place in the iconic Guildhall, Derry-Londonderry.

Get The Look

Tickets are on sale now priced £15.00 and can be purchased from here and Eventbrite. Tickets will also be available to purchase at Guildhall, Derry and Alley Theatre, Strabane from next week. You can follow all the news for Fashion Fest 2018 on Instagram @fashionfestderry and on social media using the hash tag #fashionfestderry.


Fashion with Patience: 5 Tips For The Perfect Workwear Look

When it comes to workwear, it can be hard to know exactly what to go for. You don’t want to go overdressed, but not too casual either that you look unprofessional. You still want to remain fashionable and cool whilst dressing respectfully and appropriately. Here’s my top tips for how to dress for work.

Suit Up

In my opinion with workwear, a bold suit is a fail safe option. You really can’t beat it. It’s an easy outfit to throw in in the morning with a pair of heels and blouse, shirt or jumper. The great thing about investing in a good suit too is the pieces work great as separates, you could wear the trousers with a blouse in the summer or style the blazer with different outfits.

Try a Pinafore

If you want to wear a more girly outfit for your office attire, consider wearing a pinafore dress. These dresses can look especially good in Autumn/Winter with tights, boots and a jumper underneath. Consider a pattern such as plaid, to mix up your look.

Stick To a Neutral Colour Palette

When shopping for workwear, it can be tempting to go for bold eye catching prints and colours. However it is often more savvy, to stick to a neutral colour, in order to create a capsule wardrobe. Buying basic neutral pieces that you can style in different ways will allow you to make the most out of your wardrobe and mix and match with different looks. 

Invest in a Good Pair of Shoes

When it comes to workwear a good pair of shoes is key, whether you prefer loafers, flats or heels being comfortable should be everything. So invest in a good pair of shoes that will last and will go with your everyday look.

If in Doubt Wear all Black

A backup outfit is always an all black outfit, cause it requires zero effort and is still so chic. It’s a great one if you are ever running late for work because you can just throw it on and instantly look put together, add a statement coat or sunglasses to dress it up and you are good to go.

Written By: Patience Bradley  

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Fashion with Patience: 5 Ways To Style A Simple Blazer

For me, blazers are a wardrobe essential, you can style them so many different ways, and they are a timeless piece that will never go out of style. Whether you prefer patterned blazers like a Prince of Wales check or just prefer to stick to a plain black blazer, here’s some ways I love to style my blazers. 

Roll up Your Sleeves

I love to wear a blazer with the sleeves rolled up, often wearing an oversized blazer, can look big and boxy so rolling up the sleeves can add a nice shape. This is especially good in the summer months when it’s warm outside and you just want to add a light jacket.

Round the Shoulders

For an evening look, or on a hotter day you can style a blazer by simply wearing it over your shoulders. This gives a classy and instantly dressed up feel to any outfit. You then have the option of wearing it as a jacket when it gets colder in the evening.

As a Transitional Piece

Whilst blazers may be known as a spring/summer piece they are the perfect transitional piece to bring your wardrobe into autumn. For months like September and October when it’s not yet cold enough to bring out your larger over coats during the day, a blazer can be the perfect in between piece to compliment any outfit. 

As a Suit 

If you have trousers or jeans in the same colour as your blazer why not style it as a suit. Suits are the perfect workplace attire and can look great for daytime or nighttime. Style a suit with a pair of flats and handbag for day, or switch it up to heels and a clutch for an evening outfit.

With Accessories 

Add some accessories to your blazer to change it up, think about cinching your blazer in at the waist with a belt. Or even add a brooch to the lapel to add a bit of sparkle to your outfit.

Written By: Patience Bradley 

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