herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Up to my eyes with our fabulous fashion week ... and that's just the start of it

I have been so busy this week starting my new Dress For Success initiative, filming the new series of Off The Rails, and getting ready for the Dublin Fashion Festival.

The week has been a perfect cross- section of my world at the moment -- I'm really doing a bit of everything right now.

My main focus has been launching the fashion festival, which kicked off properly last night with launch parties across the city.

Fashion weeks are taking place all over the world at the moment, but Dublin always does something very different, and I love that. I have had huge involvement this year, which has been amazing. All week I have been up early every morning for press calls, interviews, radio guest slots and launches.

On Wednesday I was up bright and early to do a photoshoot for an exhibition I'm doing on my very own wardrobe.

And yesterday evening I had models on the catwalk wearing my favourite clothes, which was so odd to see because they are twice my height. But it was just to show the public what my style is like and what clothes I am passionate about.

This weekend is all about celebrating the fashion industry and is aimed at the people who are buying the clothes. It's not just for professionals at an industry level, it really is for everybody.

Normally there is quite an exclusivity about international fashion weeks. But in Ireland there is much more access for everyone, and it's a free event.

Incredible

Tomorrow is the big day, the model search. So any budding models should make themselves known. The fashion HQ is in the Old Waterstones bookshop building on Dawson Street, which is incredible. The modelling industry in Ireland is really growing. I was involved in Model Scouts last year -- a lot of the girls that were down to the final 12 in the competition are all working now. They are with modelling agency IMG internationally, and are doing really really well.

The scouts themselves have been saying that it's a market we have never properly tapped into before, and it's really exciting to think we might get some more budding beauties to strut the catwalk for us internationally.

As well as the festival, I also shot my very first TV link for the new series of Off The Rails, at the Marks and Spencer fashion show on Wednesday.

And I launched my newest initiative Dress For Success. We have our official media launch on October 6, but we will be starting to suit up clients from around September 20.

The clients we will help are basically disadvantaged women who need help to look the part for a job interview. They can only come to us through referral agencies. So we introduced all the agencies this Wednesday so we could all meet up and have a chat about the new initiative.

If a woman is taking part in a training or education programme, as soon as she gets an interview through the programme, the agency will ring us and she will get a consultation with two female fashion professionals, who will style her and give her the perfect suit.

Amazing

If she gets the job, we will then give her three stylish suits which she can rotate throughout the working week.

It's such an amazing idea. Anyone can look at the information on www.dressforsuccess.org/dublin.

On top of everything else I am currently decorating a new premises in Dublin so I can start dressing the ladies in stylish surroundings. I popped into Arnotts today to pick out some fixtures and fittings for the place, so hopefully it will be up and running soon.

Meanwhile I'll be heading to the Wella Trend Vision event on Monday, where my new film, Days, will be showcased.

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