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The Tall Ships: From a Fashion Perspective

The Tall Ships event graced Belfast’s Docks from the 2nd to the 5th of July 2015, reports state that the event was expected to bring half a million visitors while boosting the local economy. I spoke with fashion blogger Gemma-Louise Bond from That Belfast Girl to get some insider scoop on what was described as the biggest event in Northern Ireland.

Warm milk chocolate oozing from freshly made crêpes and frothing coffees in hand, The Tall Ships wasn’t just about the impressive maritime. An explosion of culture was found in the market’s food and trade stalls which hosted everything from majestic healing crystals, hand crafted wood work and my personal favourite – fabulous drag queens selling fast food. Pure bliss! And of course, you can’t have an outdoor event without a heated German beer tent. It is safe to say ‘the craic was 90’. However, it was not just businesses within the event that benefited from the hype, the infamous creatives collective, Studio Souk was crowned Best Tall Ship Window Display with The Wickerman and Fred J Malcolm as runners-up.




The event encouraged further creativity, sponsor of the event Lidl held an art competition prior to the event, exhibiting the winner’s pieces. The company have recently launched a fashion range and have been massively involved in the local community since arriving in Northern Ireland in 1999. Acclaimed blogger Gemma-Louise from That Belfast Girl attended the Lidl launch party where fashion press and media personalities alike celebrated the beginning of what turned out to be an outstanding few days.

"I really enjoyed The Tall Ships event - it was amazing to see Belfast look beautiful and everyone be so happy! The good weather really aided in the success of the event. The nautical fashion theme was in abundance with breton stripes and white jeans scattered everywhere. I myself opted for a linen dress and navy boat shoes though I must remember to wear trousers next time I'm on the stairs as the stairs do not bode well with a skirt bottom half!" - Gemma-Louise Bond

The carnival Ferris wheel decorated the Belfast skyline along with the grand masts of the tall ships. These ships weren’t just for looking at, some were open for viewing and each ship brought a new lifestyle experience with over 50 in total coming from countries as far as South America. The lively vibe from the carnival was not lost when viewing the ships, traditional music blasted from the under deck on the Guayas vessel while excited spectators took pictures. It was clear to see that it was not only lovers of all things nautical that attended the event, families, couples and groups of friends could be seen enjoying the day – it really was an event for all to see.



The Tall ships have left Belfast standing tall, however, there is no need to sulk because the event is over. As a recent fashion graduate, I feel that Belfast has a lot to shout about - Studio Souk opening in Castle Lane Belfast has brought a much-needed welcoming of local talent, creativity and enthusiasm to the city. I don't know how many times I have nearly walked into a passer-by because the window display has caught my eye. In addition to this the influx of the friendly and ever-growing blogging community here in Belfast is awe-inspiring.

Need more to shout about? Here are some maritime moments that inspired Belfast's fashion landscape:


Mr & Mrs Stitch.com: 

Have you ever heard of Belfast-based luxury brand Mr & Mrs Stitch.com? If you haven't you are missing out. The brand have teamed up with esteemed shoe company Grenson, to create a Mr Stitch signature shoe called 'The Docksman' this beautiful brogue is a tribute to the heritage the docks have brought to Belfast.

Argento:

Have you stepped into Argento's city centre store recently? The Northern Ireland based company has had a refurbishment with a stylish Belfast influence. The store design features exposed red brick and yellow hue fixtures as a nod to the iconic cranes Harland and Wolff.

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