I’m sitting here writing this post three days after attending Galway’s first ever fashion trail and I can honestly say that I am still on a high after it. The day was organised by the brilliant minds of the team at Galway Now and supported by Catwalk Modelling Agency and Into The West Blogger Network. The aim of the trail was to showcase all that Galway and the West of Ireland has to offer on the style stakes and prove that you don’t need to go further afield to fulfil your fashion wants and needs.
For us lucky bloggers, the day began bright and early in the gorgeous Cupan Tae where we were treated to an amazing breakfast and “beforenoon” tea. We got to experience their brand new, private dining, Serendipity Suite which was every bit as lavish as it sounds. Between the decadent interiors to the soft music playing in the background to the beautiful table settings, I felt like I had been transported back to a grander time. The breakfast itself was delicious – scones served with walnut butter and fresh jam, so fresh it melted in your mouth and home-made golden toasted granola with creamy natural yoghurt, maple syrup and lightly dusted with bee pollen. I couldn’t have imagined a better start to the day!
The first fashion show of the day was at one of Galway’s longest running boutiques Colette Latchford’s. Here we saw beautiful occasion wear in stunning vibrant colours. All of the outfits were finished perfectly with matching jewellery and accessories which are all available in store also. In each boutique and store we were also treated to seeing the wonderful creations of Galway designers and so, here we were lucky enough to see the wonderful knitwear pieces by Heather Finn.
The next stop of the day was Gosh Shoes in Eyre Square. Now if you know me you will know I’m unhealthily obsessed with shoes so I was really looking forward to this one. How uh-mazing are these blue heels? They remind me of Carrie Bradshaws oh some famous wedding shoes! The models showcased a beautiful variety of shoes from heels for that special night out to everyday ankle boots. I was delighted to discover that Gosh have an online store and also take deposits meaning you can spread your shoe payments out over a period of time (VERY dangerous information to an addict like myself!!). Here we also saw beautiful accessories and hats from designer Breege Walsh which are all available from The Galway Hat Shop both instore and online.
After this it was on to one of Galway’s most well known stores – Treasure Chest. Here we were treated to prosecco while we watched the fashion show unfold. The models wore stunning occasion wear that would be ideal for that winter wedding. They also had a beautiful range of showstopping coats and jackets. All of the outfits we’re finished off with intricate, amazing headpieces by Suzie Mahony. After admiring the headpieces with loving eyes I was over the moon to find out that Suzie Mahony had gifted all of the bloggers a hat hire for 2016.. Watch out Galway Races!!
After the show, I just had to run upstairs to look at their Christmas store. It’s like a winter wonderland up there!
The fourth show of the day was in the well known Anthony Ryans. Their beautifully put together outfits were completed with what I can only call, works of art. Caithriona King worked tirelessly to create show stopping, intricate headpieces that accompanied the stunning dresses perfectly. Sinead from Yummy Mummy and I had our mouths on the floor throughout the whole show, I was absolutely blown away by all of Caithriona’s designs.
Now after a hard morning of fashion shows (sigh!), it was time for a quick refuel! The lovely people at Cask looked after us and served us up a wonderful tapas style lunch. Each table received different platters, one looking as delicious as the others. We received tasty seafood chowder, tomato soup and gourmet beef springrolls. It was my first time trying out this restaurant but I will definitely be back to try out more of their tapas and maybe a glass (or bottle) of wine!!
We started the second half of the day in the beautiful new boutique Willow. I am obsessed with this store, from the gorgeous interiors of exposed brick and chrome finishings to the stunning clothes, bags and accessories that they stock. I adored all of the outfits but in particular loved the khaki oversized shirt with the black sherling and fringed gillet- my kind of outfit! All of Willows outfits were finished off with exquisite pieces from another talented Galway milliner Brid O Driscoll.
After Willow, it was on to The Kilkenny Shop. They hosted their show outside their store on the bustling High Street which attracted a huge crowd and created a great buzz. Again we saw stunning dresses in gorgeous shades of red and pink. Kilkenny’s outfits were accompanied by milliner Emily – Jean O’Byrne which were the perfect finishing touches.
The second last show of the day was held in Galway’s newest boutique – MUSE by Dee. I was really impressed with their range of clothes from fashionable, on trend, casual. chic pieces to the perfect party dresses. Oxblood leather culottes? Leopard print coat? Chainmail effect skirt? I’ll take them all please! I forsee myself doing some serious damage in there in the near future!!
At MUSE by Dee we were also privileged enough to see the utterly brilliant creations by young Galway designer Dearbhaile Joyce. I was blown away by her collection. Her pieces genuinely excited me and that, to me, is what fashion is all about, I wanted to know more- what inspired her and this collection? These are the questions I couldn’t stop thinking about and asking myself. Her collection reminded me of Isabel Marant but with a bit more grit (my idea of perfection). I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to see what the future holds because no doubt it is going to be a very successful one!
The last show of the day was held in Pia and boy, did they finish the trail with a bang! They had a wide range of everything from stunning statement dresses and jumpsuits to their infamous, figure shaping Freddy jeans and other casual pieces. Here we also saw jewellery from another local designer – Lynsey De Burca. I just loved that her pieces are inspired by the west coast of Ireland!
Throughout our jam packed day we also visited some other retailers along the way – Faller’s, Hartmann’s, Cloon Keen Atelier and The Galway Hat Shop to name a few! We rounded the day off with a few specially prepared “Galway Fashion Trail” cocktails and nibbles in The House Hotel with everyone that participated in making the day a success. It was the perfect end to the perfect day. The teams at Galway Now and Catwalk Modelling Agency deserve a huge congratulations for organising such a fantastic, fashion filled day. It was amazing to see boutiques and stores that have been around for over 70 years, to ones in their first few weeks of trading, all being brought together to prove exactly how much Galway has to offer when it comes to style ..and that’s bucket loads!
I also want to say a special thank you to the amazing duo, Saibh and Sinead, behind ITWBN for getting us involved in the day. They work tirelessly to give us bloggers a platform on which we can showcase our work. They know us and they know our blogs. If you were a restaurant and were looking for a food blogger, if you were a resort and were looking for a travel blogger, they could tell you instantly who the right person for the job was. It’s all because they take such interest in us and our work that makes them so good at what they do!
Is it too soon to start looking forward to next years trail? Well, if it is, I’m guilty! Here’s to making #GalwayFashionTrail an inaugural event!