Derry-born designer brings new collection home

Derry born designer Christopher Reid.
Derry born designer Christopher Reid.

Glitz and glamour will fill the city’s historic Guildhall this Saturday August 23, when London-based fashion designer Christopher Reid unveils his bold new fashion label in his own hometown.

Christopher’s exclusive Guildhall show marks the launch of Fashion Fest 2014 – a massive four day celebration of all things chic running from November 20-23,organised by Derry City Council and part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

Industry experts, fashionable folk and designers will converge on Derry for a creative programme of events taking place throughout the city, including an Industry Focus Day for designers and buyers, a Wedding Fashion Showcase for wedding and occasion wear retailers in the magnificent St Columb’s Cathedral, and a four-day Vintage Fair in the Cathedral Quarter. Fashion Fest 2014 will also offer fashion demos and workshops for anyone feeling particularly inspired!

31-year-old Christopher Reid departed the city’s Creggan estate for the lights of London and soon found himself working alongside the likes of Alexander McQueen and designing dresses for Pussycat Dolls and West End stars. Now his Ladies Wear Spring Summer 2015 Collection under his label Topher Lily Ltd - which he reveals began life as scribbles “on the back of a menu” in a Derry restaurant – looks set to wow audiences this Saturday night. Don’t forget to glam up for a chance to win an award for Most Glamorous female!

The city’s Mayor, Councillor Brenda Stevenson, hailed the forthcoming Fashion Fest, and commended local man Christopher Reid on his successes.

“It’s just fantastic that Christopher has chosen to launch his new fashion collection here in the city, and I congratulate him on his vision and success and wish him a long, illustrious career in what can be a very difficult industry,” she said.

“I also welcome the announcement of Fashion Fest 2014, which will take place this November. This initiative not only celebrates our rich heritage of textiles, design and manufacturing, it’s a key legacy event and a valuable opportunity to showcase local fashion designers and their work to a wider audience.”

Spotted while exhibiting a capsule collection in Covent Garden, Christopher Reid says he never actually imagined a career in the fashion industry. “All I knew was that I wanted to design and create. Now I see people wearing my clothes, and loving them, which gives me the most job satisfaction ever. That’s one of the things that motivates me to keep doing what I’m doing. A career is just something that happens along the way.”

The designer describes his new collection as “very wearable”. “The collection is for spring summer 2015, and it’s based on my phobia of moths. I wanted to create something that is beautiful out of something I find terrifying. I’m excited about showing at home, it’s my first independent show and I’ll be curious to hear the feedback from the locals! I always find Derry people happy to tell you something straight!”

Tickets for Christopher Reid’s Derry show are available from the Boudoir Boutique on Carlisle Road.

Discover all the amazing events lined up for Fashion Fest 2014 at: www.derrycity.gov.uk/fashionfest