The Guildhall underwent a dazzling makeover on Saturday as it was transformed from civic hub to catwalk spectacular as Fashion Fest made its fabulous return.
The sell-out event was the fifth outing for the festival which has become the biggest showcase of fashion design in the North West, drawing a wide range of emerging and established names in the industry.
The show was presented by Derry Girls favourite Dylan Llewellyn, otherwise fondly known as ‘the wee English fella’ who was lured to receive a warm Derry welcome. Members of the Derry Girl cast joined fashion fans in the audience, for an evening of glamour and catwalk fashion. The theme for this year was a nod to the hit Derry Girls series and the stage and choreography was set by Style Academy’s Tracey Hall.
Leading the exciting array of designers who showcased their work on the night was stylist to the stars Kate Halfpenny, who showed pieces from her bridal collection as well as her stunning Black Edit Collection. Also attending the event was Rebecca Testi, the marketing executive of Italian international brand, Rebecca, one of the biggest internationally renowned jewellery brands.
Speaking after the event, Business Engagement Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Danielle McNally, said it had been a fantastic showcase of local talent. “I am delighted that Fashion Fest has been such a sell-out success. The dynamic range of local collections on display is a testament to the talent here in the North West and our growing profile as a fashion hub.
“To have designers of the calibre of Kate Halfpenny showing their work is a great draw, and real inspiration for our up and coming designers. I want to pay tribute to Tracey Hall and all the team at Style Academy for their flair and creativity in bringing together such a stunning show. It’s a great platform for our local design talent, and we will continue to work to support and grow the fashion industry here in the city.”
The audience enjoyed an evening of live music, song and fabulous fashion from a whole host of emerging and established designers, including Bridie Mullan, Paul Stafford, Edel O’Kane and Luke Barber.
Among the models who lit up the catwalk at the event was last year’s Face of Fashion Fest winner Oonagh Canning and with this year’s winner Lauren Burton, presenting the Mayors charity prize she will now embark on a year-long contract with Style Academy Model Agency.
Performances on the night included music by Irish Singer/Songwriter Emma Wallace and Derry’s award winning DJ, Louise DaCosta.
You can find out more about Fashion Fest at www.derrystrabane.com/fashionfest Follow us on Instagram @FashionFestDerry