This weekend sees the return of the North West’s biggest celebration of design and couture, as Fashion Fest ushers in another spectacular showing.
Organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the event has become the best showcase for emerging local talent, who have the unique chance to show their work alongside collections by some of the most current names in the industry.
This year has a distinctly romantic flavour as renowned British fashion designer Jenny Packham shows a series of stunning bridal gowns from her 2017/18 collection.
This year’s flagship fashion event is taking place on Saturday October 14th in Derry’s beautiful Guildhall – undoubtedly the most stylish night of the year for local fashionistas. It’s the perfect opportunity to dress to impress, spend an evening with friends, and take in some of the most contemporary designs hot off the catwalk.
With previous showcases featuring snakes, pooches and fig leaves, who knows what will turn up on the night – but there’s no doubt it will be sensational according to Council’s Business Development Manager Louise Breslin. “This is Fashion Fest’s fourth outing and each year we are always impressed by the boldness and creativity of the designers who make the show happen. The event has really caught the imagination of our local fashion and design community and the quality of the event is exceptional. What’s great about it is that even if you’re not into haute couture, many people come along just to enjoy the excitement and buzz of a live catwalk experience and what is a fantastically entertaining show.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jenny Packham to the event this year. Her work is loved by so many high profile figures such as the Duchess of Cambridge, Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, Uma Thurman and Kate Hudson to name but a few. In 2013 she designed a bespoke gown for British Oscar-winning singer songwriter Adele at the 85th Academy Awards. Jenny Packham’s bridal collections are only available in Northern Ireland at Castle Couture, Ballymena, where they are exclusively stocked.”
Jenny’s work will feature alongside a gorgeous array of work from both emerging and well-known designers, and those attending the event can enjoy drinks on arrival along with an exclusive goody bag.
This week Council, in conjunction with local agency Style Academy, announced the winner of its Face of Fashion Fest competition. Stunning 17-year-old Oonagh Canning has been selected as an ambassador for the event, and will have the opportunity to enhance her profile with a year on the Style Academy Books.
Speaking ahead of Fashion Fest she said: “I’m really looking forward to this year’s Fashion Fest, I’m thrilled to have such an important role in it. I hope that with this opportunity I’ll gain more experience and knowledge of the fashion world, which will hopefully bring more exciting opportunities for my potential modelling career.
“I first became interested in modelling when I was given the chance to take part in Fashion Fest 2014 when I was just 14. I thoroughly enjoyed the excitement and experience and ever since I’ve been keen on modelling and trying to make inroads into the industry.”
For more information on Fashion Fest 2017 and to purchase tickets for the main event taking place on Saturday October 14th, priced at £15 + booking fee (Concessions £12.50) go to www.derrystrabane.com/fashionfest. Tickets can also be purchased from the Guildhall Reception, Derry and Alley Theatre, Strabane, Foyleside