Monday 16 October 2017

Fashion Fest Derry | Strabane 2017

On Saturday 14th of October I attended Fashion Fest with my good (and slightly loopy) friend, Christina. Not really knowing what to expect, we got all dressed up and made our way to the Guildhall in the hope of an exciting evening. 

It's quite scary going to such social events as you just know there'll be plenty of high flying, big personalities dressed to the nines, but the buzz in the atmosphere soon put us at ease. We were greeted with complimentary drinks courtesy of West Coast Cooler, and a rather impressive goodie bag, packed with treats, both wearable, and edible.

The catwalk showcased designs from the likes of Mangu Pango, Shauna Fay, Haus of Mohawk, and one of the most successful British designers, Jenny Packham. I half expected the majority of the outfits to be very 'out there', high fashion, and perhaps not suited for just walking down the street on a normal day. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as with the exception of a couple of more eccentric pieces, most were extremely wearable, and I found myself saying, "I'd wear that", on numerous occasions.

Jenny Packham has dressed many famous faces, such as the Duchess of Cambridge, Taylor Swift and Angelina Jolie, so I knew her creations were going to be special. She was showing her 2017/18 bridal collection, and they were all breathtaking. She has mixed simple, elegant designs with sprinkles of super sparkly embellishment, and anyone who knows me knows I love a bit of sparkle! I just couldn't pick a favourite, as they glittered and shone under the catwalk lights.

Haus of Mohawk was another collection that really stood out for me. The unique urban feel is something I myself probably wouldn't wear, but the way in which masculine hoodies and oversized tshirts were paired with over the knee boots really caught my attention.

There were so many beautiful pieces from both established and upcoming designers, and I really enjoyed the insight into the fashion world. It was also great to see the make up created by Rosemary Wright on all of the models, and the bohemian hairstyles by Hair by Sinead. Two ladies I had the pleasure of meeting on a few occasions when I featured in Local Women magazine myself.

Tan, Outfit, Hair & Make Up Details

I searched high and low for a dress to wear to Fashion Fest, and just when I thought I'd end up wearing a bin bag, I found one of the most sparkly dresses I have ever laid eyes on. I got this Parisian dress from DV8, and as soon as I tried it on I knew it was perfect. It was simple yet enough to wear without having to accessorise it too much. I wore a pair of barely there nude sandals from New Look and paired it with an embossed black clutch bag from Forever 21, and I quite liked the overall look. The dress was comfy yet glamourous and it really caught the light, which I loved.

For my hair, I used my Babyliss Tight Curl Wand to make tiny, tight curls that fluffed out when I ran my fingers through them. It was verging on being an afro, but I enjoyed something a little different and I felt it matched perfectly with the fun dress. Not so fun trying to get a brush through it the morning after...

I stepped away from my usual, trusty, Bbold tanning liquid, and used the Bellamianta mousse (another successful Irish brand!). I really loved the colour and tone of the tan, and it was nice and deep, perfect for night time.

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know how much I have been loving the Morphe X Jacyln Hill palette, and I think I've worn a different eye shade from the palette every day since I received it. There's just so many beautiful colours with the potential to create endless looks. I really wanted to wear a dark, smokey, navy eye and so I did a quick YouTube search to see if I could find any tutorials for inspiration. I came across a video from Kathleen Lights in which she used the warm, rusty shades in the crease and the deep navy on the lid, so I set out to recreate it and it turned out really well, even if I say so myself.

I also must mention one of the highlights of my night at Fashion Fest. If you follow Make up By Julie on Snapchat you'll know how popular she has become for her down to earth attitude and impressive make up skills. She is a local lady who has built up quite the following and I was lucky enough to meet her as the night drew to a close.

I felt about 8 years old asking her for a photo, but she is just such a character and extremely likeable so I couldn't pass up the opportunity. She had been sat quite close to me all night, so I knew I'd probably get a chance to speak to her. Luckily our paths crossed just before I was going home and we snapped this quick photo. She is just as lovely in real life!

The Goodie Bag

I find it's always a major bonus if goodie bags are provided at events, no matter how much junk is in them. This one was actually quite generous and was packed full of Irish brands, such as Tayto, RiverRock, and Free'ist. Not to mention, a make up brush from local makeup artist Rosemary Wright's very own collection, a bottle of Tantastic and a reasonably sized tube of Vita Liberata tan. I love fake tan, so the last two products were right up my street. I loved the mix of both food and beauty products, as I cracked open the sugar free chocolate and had a mid-show snack; I felt like I was at the cinema. The bags also contained the most recent issue of Local Women, and a £10 off voucher for a Vita Liberata spray tan at Rosemary Wright's Ashburn Image. So all in all, the bag was certainly not to be sniffed at!

Overall, Fashion Fest was a great night out and the buzz both in the run up to it and during, was fantastic. If you have never been I'd really recommend attending next year, as it's something different, and a great excuse to get all dressed up, plus you might even get a packet of Tayto Cheese & Onion in your goodie bag. What's not to love?


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