WE meet people all the time who are ‘afraid’ to attend a fashion event as they feel it might not be for them, but if you get up every day and get dressed, then you are already involved in the industry.
That’s the message from the organisers of the Cork City Centre Fashion Show and Trail which kicks off at The Atrium, City Hall this Friday night, September 7 with a fashion show hosted by Irish designer and TV personality Brendan Courtney.
Formidable duo and friends, Emer O’Sullivan and Vivienne McCarthy of Lockdown Events, are encouraging everyone to take part in the weekend festival which also includes a fashion trail on Saturday, September 8.
“Fashion can be aspirational but it can be functional as well and this festival is open to all ages, shapes and sizes. With that in mind we would encourage everyone to visit the stores on the trail map and participate in the day’s events, make it a family day out and join us for some fun,” urged Emer.
The girls successfully organised Cork Fashion Week for many years and say their vision for the festival is as focused as ever: “It’s to promote city centre retail, as Cork city is an amazing hub of designers, stylists, buyers, etc, and secondly it’s to host a big show, free for people to attend (with a pre=booked ticket) showcasing what’s on offer this autumn /winter. The trail is designed to get people into the city centre and be part of the festival. All the participating stores from independents to department stores will host lovely events, giveaways, DJ’s, fashion styling, demos, etc, so the buzz will be fantastic,” said Emer.
The girls especially want to promote the benefits of visiting shops as opposed to shopping online.
“We see it all the time with peers who buy online for weddings or occasions and the clothing arrives the wrong size or in a quality far inferior to how it may have been advertised. We believe nothing beats the experience of visiting stores, using the expertise of the buyers and store staff who a lot of the time have a wealth of styling experience and availing of their on -site services, trying on the clothes in person yourself and enjoying the whole retail experience.”
Emer and Viv started Lockdown 13 years ago and are committed to growing the business.
“We are both back after having two babies each and although we were working away the last few years on the PR division of Lockdown, where we run social media platforms for many businesses in the city and county, we are excited to be completely booked out for fashion events in September. We started out 13 years ago hosting fashion shows to promote local designers and local fashion businesses so it’s lovely to be back and booked out for the start of the season doing what we love most.
“Our most booked models at the agency are Pat Walker who is almost a national icon at this stage and our plus size models also — which reflects a welcome change in the industry.
“We have lots of new faces at the agency and are currently doing a casting drive, looking for the next big faces to find in modeling in Cork to train up. So if anyone is interested they just need to send a recent pic and details of any experience to email@example.com,” added Emer.
The city’s fashion scene is undergoing a revival at the moment, and the girls feel that next weekend will celebrate all those who have helped make that happen.
“We feel passionate about celebrating that and all the amazing people who work in the industry here. When it comes to fashion, there is no right or wrong, it’s about expressing your personality right through to functional dressing for work or everyday wear.
“Fashion is no longer reserved for the elite, it is accessible to all ages and all walks of life and we hope that through this festival, we will meet new people from all across the city and county on the fashion trail and forge new fashion friendships in September,” said Emer.
The Cork City Centre Fashion Show and Trail is produced by Lockdown Events and supported by Cork City Council.
Events are open to all and free to attend. See www.corkcitycentre.ie for further details.
HIGHLIGHTS OF SATURDAY’S FASHION TRAIL
* Bridal Upstyle Session at Azure, Cornmarket Street, 3pm to 5pm with Aisling Kelleher.
* Style Session at Sheena’s on Oliver Plunkett Street with Sheena at noon.
* Milinery demo at Vibes & Scribes, Bridge Street at 10.30am and 11.30am.
* Vintage Workshop with Yvonne Cronin at Miss Daisy Blue, Market Parade at 11am.
* Workshop and fashion show at noon and 2.30pm at Brown Thomas.
* Autumn Winter Trend Clinics at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm at Debenhams.