Fashion fans flocked to the Guildhall on Saturday evening where a cornucopia of couture awaited as the sell-out annual Fashion Fest show got underway.

The Main Hall of the historic building became an autumnal paradise, as the catwalk cascaded with colour in all the hues of the season. The show was a celebration of creativity, diversity and self-expression showcasing the work of both emerging and established designers.

The event was delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Style Academy, who co-ordinated the stunning catwalk display.

Speaking after the event, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle said it had been a fantastic production. “I want to say well done to all involved in co-ordinating Fashion Fest this year. It was a delight to see the Guildhall being used for such a glamourous event, and the beautiful backdrop of the Main Hall. The talent on display was fantastic and our local designers are undoubtedly right at the cutting edge of the fashion industry.”

Business Support Officer with Council, Tara Nicholas, said the event had been a great success. “I want to thank everyone involved in the show for the delivery of such a spectacular and ambitious production. We had an array of talent on show here at the Guildhall – not just the designers and models who lit up our catwalk, but also the music and dance performers who helped create such an entertaining experience.

“This year there was a strong message about identity, inclusivity and how fashion is a form of self-expression that is accessible to everyone. We strive to support the local creative industries in terms of offering business advice and mentoring, as well as showcase opportunities such as Fashion Fest. The calibre of the talent here is exceptional and it’s fantastic to be able to see so many local designers coming together for one show.”

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, Una Rodden, Hope Macaulay and Alan Cresswell.

Other highlights included a showcase of eco-friendly fashion by Junk Kouture as some of the past winning designs took to the runway to inspire people to resurrect old materials and transform them into stunning ensembles and local dance company CREATE with a show stopping opening. 

The show closed with a magical collaboration with US label Badgley Mischka showcasing their luxury Bridal Collection which made for an epic finale.

Entertainment included performances by Irish Singer / Songwriter Racheal O’ Connor and Derry’s award winning DJ, Louise DaCosta, plus live sax accompaniment.

You can find out more about Fashion Fest at www.derrystrabane.com/fashionfest Follow us on Instagram @FashionFestDerry

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