Mayor of Derry: Get involved in Fashion Fest 2014!

The Mayor of Derry, Brenda Stevenson, pictured with Deirdre Wilde, Jacqui O'Hara, Christopher Reid, Tara Nicholas, Derry City Council, and Helen Quigley, Inner City Trust.
The Mayor of Derry, Brenda Stevenson, pictured with Deirdre Wilde, Jacqui O'Hara, Christopher Reid, Tara Nicholas, Derry City Council, and Helen Quigley, Inner City Trust.

The city’s first ever Fashion Fest has just been launched in spectacular style, and organisers are now calling for designers, traders and fashion entrepreneurs to get involved in this fabulous four-day festival which runs from November 20-23.

Details of Fashion Fest 2014 were unveiled during Christopher Reid’s fashion show in the Guildhall at the weekend. The event saw the Creggan-born designer’s superb 2015 Collection hailed by all in attendance.

Mayor of Derry, Councillor Brenda Stevenson, urged those in the fashion industry throughout N. Ireland, to register their interest in Fashion Fest 2014 and help put the city on the international fashion-map.

“I warmly welcome the launch of Fashion Fest 2014,” she said. “This key legacy event will provide the city and wider region with a valuable opportunity to highlight Irish fashion designers and their work to a wider audience, and I would appeal to all those with something to contribute to get in touch today and register their interest. Combining our own home-grown talent, vision and creativity will help establish Fashion Fest both internationally, and as an annual highlight in the city’s calendar.”

It’s no secret that in bygone days, Derry was renowned for its fashionable citizens. Indeed, the term ‘catwalk’ is said to have originated on our own city walls, where wealthy women strolled along the walls’ Grand Parade in all their finery, often attracting ‘cat-calls’ from the people below. Now, with the recent re-emergence of the city’s design and textile industry, it’s finally time to reclaim that title!

November’s fashion extravaganza will see industry experts and emerging and established designers, alongside fashion fans themselves, come together for an inspirational programme of events in venues throughout the city. Among these events will be an Industry Focus Day in the Guildhall on Thursday 20th November, specifically aimed at designers and buyers and giving valuable insight into this global industry. Participants in this event can avail of some fascinating workshops and seminars, a Designer Showroom, and a keynote address from visionary fashion designer Wayne Hemmingway.

St Columb’s Cathedral within the city walls will provide a magnificent backdrop to the Wedding Fashion Showcase on 21st November, with a focus on local wedding designs and a special raised catwalk along its historic aisle just for the occasion. As part of this magical evening, audience members will be invited to don their own unique wedding guest attire and make it a night to remember at a special reception afterwards!

The Cathedral Quarter will also play host to a three-day Vintage Fair for the duration of Fashion Fest 2014, with dozens of eclectic stalls and an open-air catwalk set to transform Pump Street into our very own Carnaby Street! Organisers have urged all those interested in trading at the Vintage Fair to get in touch and book their pitch!

Saturday 22nd November will see another important local landmark - the opulent St Columb’s Hall - form the glamorous backdrop for a stunning Irish Designers’ Fashion Show. Some of this region’s best designers will come together for this unique event, showcasing their collections in a night of high-end fashion and top entertainment.

For those with simpler tastes, a High Tea and Fancy Frocks event at Prehen House will round off Fashion Fest 2014 on Sunday 23rd November as local independent boutique owners display their finest ‘fancy frocks’, amid vaudeville dancing and swing in a super club not to be missed.

This inaugural festival will also see in-store fashion and beauty events held in shops all over the city, as well as a series of community events, fashion demos and workshops for those feeling inspired to create.

So if you are a fashion designer, trader or if you have something special you feel you would like to bring to Fashion Fest 2014, consider this your call to action!

To register your interest, apply to take part in Designer Showrooms or book your pitch for the Vintage Fair, please contact: Tara Nicholas on: 028 7136 5151, ext. 6980, or email: fashionfest@derrycity.gov.uk. For more information on the various events and opportunities arising for Derry~Londonderry’s Fashion Fest 2014, see: www.derrycity.gov.uk/fashionfest.