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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.


5 of Belfast’s Best Tattoo Studios in the Cathedral Quarter

If you’re looking for new ink or just some inspiration for your next piece look no further than Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, with five premier tattoo studios all located within the heart of the city.

Whether you want simple line work, geometry, realism or blackwork, there are many talented artists to suit all styles. 

Here are 5 tattoo studios in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter:

1. Belfast City Skinworks 

Based in Belfast for the last 30 years Belfast City Skinworks is one of Belfast’s oldest and most established Tattoo and piercing specialists in the city. 

Located in the old building of St Malachy’s Christian Brothers School, the tattoo studio has gone from strength to strength, even tattooing boxing legend Carl Frampton. 

Providing a complimentary consultation service and a large portfolio of past work the company caters for first time tattooers or regulars who are ready to get a new piece. 

To find out more go to or follow them on Facebook or Instagram

2. A Sailors Grave 

With a huge studio space on Royal Avenue and 11 resident artists, A Sailors Grave is certainly a popular choice for tattoo lovers in Belfast. 

The variety of artists available at the studio means you will be sure to find an artist that specialises in the style you like. Calia Dagger specialises in fine line and dot work whilst Sabra Carson specialises in neo-traditional. 

To find out more go to or follow them on Facebook or Instagram

3. Meraki Tattoo

Based in North Street Meraki Tattoo specialises in blackwork and geometry and cosmetic tattooing. 

As an appointment only based studio you will have to contact one of their artists; Mark, Brandon, Nathan or Liam directly to book an appointment. You can see a selection of the different artists work on their social media to find which style would suit you best. 

Follow them on Instagram or Facebook for more information.

4. Penthouse Ink

Based in Royal Avenue Penthouse Ink pride themselves on catering to all styles and offering custom designs. 

Clients of the studio have praised its friendly atmosphere and laidback staff. Resident artists Jan and Aaron both have their work displayed on social media for customers to check out their style. 

Follow them on Facebook or Instagram for more information

5. Addinktion 

Established in 2010, Addinktion Tattoo is based on Donegall Street in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter.

Offering custom tattoos by resident artists Dre and Adam, the company has a wide variety of styles and designs featured on their social media, including tarot based designs and portraits. 

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for more information

To find out more about what’s happening in Belfast Cathedral Quarter check out the Destination CQ website at

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Lidl Northern Ireland Extends Bestselling Merch Range

Following a sell-out launch last Christmas, Lidl Northern Ireland has now revealed a fresh new line of Lidl merchandise, on sale in stores across the region now. The coolest collection to land yet, Lidl Northern Ireland’s fashion forward shoppers can rock the ‘middle aisle style’ for as little as £1.49 – but hurry, they are available for a limited time only!

Boasting retro vintage vibes, each vibrant pieceis infused with the iconic Lidl colours of blue, yellow and red, including the collection centerpiece – the new and quirky Lidl belt bag (£4.99). This convenient and chic fashion accessory is perfect for your staycation adventures or to fuel your festival dreams and is certainly one you don’t want to miss out on. Finish the look with Lidl’s infamous statement trainers (£12.99) and branded sports socks (£1.49) for a truly fierce ensemble.

For a more subtle style, try Lidl Northern Ireland’s new selection of men’s and women’s logo t-shirts (£3.99). Made with 100% cotton for added comfort, these trendy tees both look and feel great. Pair them up with Lidl’s logo leggings (£3.99), available in grey and black, and bring all your Lidl fashion fantasies to life!

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