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West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK celebrates its fifth birthday
Feb '09
Now in its fifth year, West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK is firmly established as the key date on every fashionista's calendar - not just in Belfast but right across Northern Ireland and beyond. Starting on 06 March 2009 with nightly catwalk shows, fashion master classes, exciting exhibitions, design workshops and the coolest, freshest fashion both on and off the catwalk, the multi award-winning event just gets bigger and better each season.

In this, the fifth anniversary year, there will be showcases from the very best of the high street as well as the hottest local designers and chic boutiques. And this season, the shows kick off with a double celebration, as FASHIONWEEK joins Victoria Square for the stunning shopping destination's first anniversary celebrations.

Victoria Square Centre Manager Hugh Black said: “After a hugely successful preview of Victoria Square retailers at FASHIONWEEK back in 2007, we are absolutely thrilled to join them again in what will be an exciting kick start to our overall programme of anniversary celebrations – both in Victoria Square and on the main catwalk at the Baby Grand.”

And for those with a taste for something different, there is the very popular Lisburn Road show, featuring unique collections from some of the chic boutiques on the city's 'Style Mile' including Harper, Harrison Boutique, Madison Rose, Blush, Déjà vu, Eden Park, Fran and Jane, Benetton, Jourdan, eyewear specialist Optique and lingerie favourites Roxbury and McQueen. Pat Jordan, owner of Jourdan and independent retailer since the 1960's when she owned the La Babalu boutique (where Van Morrison used to hang out) said: “FASHIONWEEK is one of the best things to happen to retail in our city, it gives customers the opportunity to see garments on models and not on hangers or mannequins; they can get ideas for styling as well as enjoy the glamour of a fashion show at an affordable price.”

Other brands taking part include Hugo Boss, CRUISE, Remus Uomo, Avoca, French Connection, Wonderbra, Argento, and Oxfam Vintage, while local designers Una Rodden and Mary Rose McGrath will take their award-winning designs to the runways.

There will also be an evening of student fashion featuring collections from the University of Ulster, Belfast MET and various schools from the Eastern Education & Library Board who have been working on a fashion project with the University of Ulster.

Belfast City Council have once again agreed to support the FASHIONWEEK master classes which will host leading industry speakers including the Head of the London College of Fashion and a top fashion designer, among others. Previous speakers have included Mary Portas from BBC's Mary Queen of Shops as well as Michelle Mone from Ultimo bras and Gareth Pugh, the enfant terrible of fashion who is rumoured to be taking over the fashion reins at Dior within weeks.

New this year is a celluloid link up, as the leading style event has teamed up with Queens Film Theatre (QFT) to showcase some of the most memorable fashion films. Classic styles on Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face headlines the programme as well as modern fashion greats such as Prada perfection in Devil Wears Prada, naked catwalks in Pret-a-Porter and the best of King Karl in Lagerfield Confidential.

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