Jail House Frocks

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If you have a passion for fashion and a sense of style there is a very unique event you won’t want to miss.

Described as being as close to the type of catwalk shows you would see at London Fashion Week, Symphonic will be the first fashion show to take place in the infamous Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast and event organiser is local stylist 
Cindy McKendry.

The event will see some of the most talented and creative people from the North Coast join forces with Belfast and Londonderry/Derry and it is sure to be the highlight of the fashion calendar.

Symphonic will be hosted by the very glamorous Sarah Travers and the inimital Joe Carlin and every penny raised from the ticket sales will go to Action Cancer and event organiser Cindy explained what it is all about. “The event is for Action Cancer on 12th November and tickets are available from the Action Cancer website however, people would need to buy their tickets soon as they are selling fast.

“I got involved because Katherine Young is the co-ordinator for Action Cancer and we used to work together in Miss Selfridge. She knew about my experience organising fashion shows in the past and asked would I help her 
organise this.

“She more or less left it to me to pick the team I wanted involved because she knew I had a lot of contacts in and around the fashion business. From this area there’s myself and Sarah Travers, Catherine MacKenzie from Castlerock did all the images for the promotional work and other locals involved are Jill Peterson from Stables Flower Co. Jill is providing some stunning floral displays for the event. There is also Rosie Pritchard and Leanne Godfrey who are members of the 
makeup team.”

Photographer Catherine MacKenzie, Event organiser Cindy McKendry and make-up artist Leanne Godfrey

Photographer Catherine MacKenzie, Event organiser Cindy McKendry and make-up artist Leanne Godfrey

Pulling together an event like this is no mean feat, with models, makeup artists, designers, hairdressers to organise and liaise with.

“It has been a big undertaking,” added Cindy. “But the great thing is that everybody has waived their fee and given their time. Every single penny made on the night will go to Action Cancer as each and every ticket sold will provide someone affected by cancer a counselling or complimentary therapy session.

Cindy and her North Coast team will be joined by Paul Stafford’s team from Staffords, Lisburn Road (hair) Rebecca Bryson makeup) and CMPR (Cathy Martin) Models as well as designers Jamie Russell and Lewis Cameron.

With such a dramatic setting for the fashion show, the audience will be expecting something very special on the night.

“It will be quite a different fashion show, you could almost say it will be very ‘London’,” continued Cindy. “The High Street designers are going to show their own collections for autumn/winter and then Jamie Russell and Lewis Cameron will be upstyling hand selected pieces from the Action Cancer shops. Top Northern Irish designers such as Shauna Fay, Grainne Maher, Mohawk, Melanie Bond, , -Claire Millenary Honeysuckle, Pepperdillo and Gordon Donaldson have all dedicated their time and skills towards this event. Angela Lamont the manager of Action Cancer, Coleraine will have her own piece in the event where she will show designer pieces that have been donated to 
the stores.

“Peter Robinson, who is better known as 80s Blitz kid Marilyn, fresh from his recent appearance on Gogglebox, will be modelling for us. Although he was known as a singer, he also modelled at the top level for the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs so it is fantastic to have him as part of our show. There won’t be a traditional catwalk, the models will be using the stairs and out and around the floors. Cathy Martin’s modesl are the best in Northern Ireland so it will be very, very professional.

“As well as the fashion there will be three artists flying in from Italy as part of the Derry Collective of Art. They will be holding an exhibition and there will be other installations in the cells such as Portrush designer and artist 
Sara O’Neill.

The stunning images for the tickets and pre-show promotion were taken by Catherine MacKenzie who will also be shotting backstage on the night of the event. “We went for a ‘look book’ feel,” said Catherine. “The lighting was quite sharp and moody to get the look we were after and it was really fantastic to get the opportunity to do the shoot in Crumlin Road Gaol, although a little creepy. You feel a real sense of history in the building and its such an 
amazing place.”

Leanne Godfrey a member of the make-up team has previously worked behind the scenes at London Fashion week and the MOBO awards explained the look she will be creating for the models. “It’s a very dewy look we are giving the models with very little on the eye. We will go for strong bold lips and a natural brow which is very much in keeping with the London catwalk look at present.”

Cindy concluded: “There will be a lot of the Belfast fashionistas and media there and if anyone has an interest in fashion then this is the place to be, it really will be a night not to be missed.”

Symphonic takes place on Thursday, November 12. Guests will arrive to a drinks and macaroons reception supplied by Eva Paris NI. A light supper will also be served during the interval with an exclusive goody bag for all guests including gifts supplied by Coco Mojo and 
Passion Preserved.

Tickets are available from www.actioncancer.org and at your local Action 
Cancer store.