Monday, September 3, 2012

Dundrum Town Centre Fall for Fashion - Round 3 Entry

Let's face it, being in Dundrum Town Centre on a Saturday afternoon is like being at a fashion show in itself, but it was taken to a whole new level this weekend as the centre saluted Autumn with their cleverly named "Fall for Fashion" event. Along with extensive television and print campaigns, we were all invited to welcome Autumn into our wardrobes with a weekend of inspiration in the form of six captivating catwalk shows.

For Round Three of the Dundrum Town Centre Blogger in Residence competition (and thank you all so much for the support so far!) we were asked to attend one of the shows and report back - well I didn't have to be told twice, so I grabbed my copy of Tatler (free issues up for grabs in Dundrum Town Centre), notebook and my much-neglected camera and prepared myself for a weekend fashion frenzy.

Before I go into detail, let me say that the shows overall were amazing (I should know, I went to three of them in the end!). Having only ever been to school fashion shows I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised with the variety, diversity and attention to detail in the show.
Styled by Roxanne Parker, the male and female models of a variety of ages and sizes rocked ready-to-wear looks from designer and high-street labels alike, showcasing investment pieces and wardrobe staples alike. A special mention has to go to the beautiful hair and make-up done by Peter Mark and Mark Rogers of Benefit - the models looked beautifully natural and glamorous all at the same time.

Models carried placards with the brand or store name they were wearing, with many of them providing a pleasant surprise when you realised that the beautiful piece is within your own megre budget! The show was designed to showcase high street and high end side-by-side to illustrate that fashion isn't defined by price - that no matter what you're budget you could achieve the look you're after and it succeeded!. It was great to see Marks and Spencers, H+M, Penneys and Bershka holding their own up against McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Biba and DVF, being a bit of a label-demon, it was so refreshing to be reassured of the quality that can be found. But enough of me talking, we all know it's about the clothes!

The show was broken into 5 stories, the first of which being the weather-conscious Coat Story covering all aspects of a must-have investment piece from pops of colour, fur, classic cuts and embellishments.

Canary yellow dress coat from Sport Max at Harvey Nichols, tweet and fur coat from Fran and Jane, grey belted coat from Helen McAlinden in House of Fraser and blue, blue, BLUE from H+M!

Coats are a must in Irish weather, but they are also key style pieces - a good coat can capture any trend and keep you warm; that's money well spent if you ask me! With so many styles from trench to oversized, short leather coats and puffy parkas - there was a coat for everyone.

My favourite trend this season - Military Parade

One for the guys for GAP, Camo gilet from River Island, chic military from Bershka and urban military from Urban Outfitters.

I was in love with this section from start to finish - so only picking four pictures to feature was a challenge! What was great about these looks was it showed how versatile this trend is - it can be grungy or chic, out-there or casual. Plenty of army-green, studs and black - I'm in heaven!

Denim gets a make-over with Jean Genie

Denim studded collar shirt from Bershka, snake print jeans from Karen Millen, navy animal print jeans from Penneys and the world's most adorable denim shirt from Urban Outfitters.

Proof that denim is more than just blue jeans - prints, shirts, colour, this century's favourite fabric gets overhauled. Personally I love coloured denim, this and these printed pieces are a great way to dress up a casual outfit. Denim shirts make a welcome comeback, with embellished collars a must for bringing them right up to trend. This Urban Outfitters look was probably my favourite from the whole show - one of the many looks featuring a floppy wool hat. 

Classy events, autumn weddings and race nights - all covered in Lady-like Chic

Dusty pink floral from Coast, snakeskin print and more floppy hats from Biba in House of Fraser, print dress from Neola with Coast fascinator, splashes of red from Raul at BT2.

Can I just say the first model, Libby, was a star! She wore every outfit with such confidence and that winning smile and making eye contact all along the catwalk. She made looks like this one stand out, and really added a touch of sophistication to her looks. Hats and fascinators featured heavily in this story - but what I particularly liked was that the looks were adaptable, they weren't too focused on the headpieces; you could remove them and the look would still appear complete. Also - I love the inclusion of some trousered looks in this story, for those of us who aren't blessed with the legs for skirts.

Rich embellishments and sequins as far as the eye can see with  Glam Nights' Party Wear

Grey embellishment from Monsoon, diamant√© waterfall from Jovani at Harvey Nichols, beaded flapper dress from Miss Selfridge, gold peplum from TNFC London at House of Fraser, sequinned baroque heaven from Lipsy, and black sequins from French Connection.

I couldn't narrow down my choices from this section any more, there were some truly beautiful pieces to be had from full length to cocktail dresses. The grey tulle of the Monsoon dress looked almost like the model was floating on air - and I think the dress could be worn to a variety of events from weddings to Christmas parties. The Jovani dress is, well, perfect! Easily my favourite piece from the whole show, it's absolutely stunning, a show-stopper and the model (Faith, who I would like to nominate for Best Walk!) looked breathtaking in it. Sure it's €915, but a girl can dream! The flapper dress is a great example of 1920's glamour, which is not easily done considering the dropped waists, but I think it works incredibly well as a short dress. Similarly with the gold peplum dress, admittedly I'm not a fan of the peplum style, but this short body-con dress actually makes it work for me, with everything all the one colour the cut of the dress does wonders for a girl's figure.
The Lipsy look is a prime example of the baraoque trend, which is generally confined to the more high-end labels, but this is a more affordable way to pick up a key piece that can carry you through the season. And the French Connection dress, I think the little girl's reaction in the background says it all. The dress is black, but comes across almost midnight-blue in the lights. Black sequins, I feel, are so classy and a great way to add loads of 'bling' to an outfit without it seeming too over the top.

Phew! Well that was just a sample of what could be seen on the Dundrum Town Centre Fall for Fashion catwalk. I have dozens more pictures on my Pinterest including a shot of the back of that amazing Jovani dress.

My feeling is this sort of an event should be a regular occurrence at Dundrum Town Centre - it's proof that the centre simultaneously attracts, produces and oozes style, and this show was a great source of inspiration for the season. It was great to see high street brands up there with the big boys, proving true style is achievable no matter what the budget. My tips for attending a catwalk show if, like me, you're a bit of a newbie to the whole thing are - 
Bring a pen, 
Take a program (or two, if you can),
Takes notes, notes and more notes and 
Bring a good camera with a flash or quick shutter speed - sure the models stop at the end of the runway but not for long, you have to be quick - this serves to help jog your memory afterwards as to what you really like from the show, otherwise it's just a glorious haze of fur trims, sequins and camo print. 
But oh, what a glorious haze it is.

So that's my round-up of the Dundrum Town Centre Fall for Fashion catwalk event - this was my Round Three entry to the Blogger in Residence Competition. This is the last round that's open to public vote! So I need all the help I can get!

And eh, I'll just leave this here ... (it's not bribery, I swear!)