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KFW Fashion Industry Awards

KFW Fashion Industry Awards

The KFW Industry Awards kicked off for me at about eleven o' clock on Saturday morning. After the amazing night that was the New Collections Show expectations were high. As I tried to test my body for anymore of those horrible flu symptoms, I was thrown in a "running order" for the whole day.

This elaborate plan meant that I had to be up and ready in about twenty minutes. My Mom was already up before me and already in meetings, which meant that I was either living in some sort of dream land or I was very behind schedule.

When I arrived in the reception in the Malton I only had time to greet my relatives and to upload all those photos from the night before. 

Then I was whisked away to the next staging area, the Europe Hotel.

It was straight into fittings with the amazing Helen Steele and Una Burke, as well as our nominees for the evening. The models were in their element and the Europe Hotel suddenly became a full on fashion studio. With hair on one side of the room and makeup on the other. 

One by one the girls twirled around the room in Helen Steele or they posed in Una Burke. All women tried to keep the hands on deck while all men involved tried to steer towards the match....

The models soon began to emerge in very classical but stylish makeup by Niamh O Dwyer and Helen Parker at Lancome, CH Tralee. White eye makeup and glossy red lips make the models look vibrant and awake for the show while still looking very classy.

I was excited and amazed seeing the models being fitted for Ùna Burke. It was amazing seeing the styling bring the pieces to life. But, I found it even more amazing later in the night when Una herself wore her pieces with a striking blue kimono. She cinched in her waist with her beautiful belt piece and finished it off with a handbag of her own design. 

A really inspirational person as she is so down to earth even though she is "huge news" in the fashion industry and a truly talented designer. 

The hair was done by Sean Taaffe and it was a simple but striking plait down the centre of the head. Which ironically enough, Helen Steele was seen sporting something very similar....

What felt like hardly anytime at all but what was probably about 3 hours later, all the girls emerged for hair, makeup and most of the fittings to practice the rehearsals for the walkthrough of models that would be showing for the nominated designers later in the night. 

The models were naturals at this point, especially from all the training and practice that they all had from the night before.

It was then time to give the models the usual run through with the help of Lisa and myself, all the models knew who was what and where was which. As it can sometimes become a maze backstage at these shows.

The models luckily all had time to eat before the show, and thanks to Ray we all had loads of snacks ranging from custard creams to jaffa cakes. So yes, models do eat.

After all the preparations with hair, makeup and outfit changes for us, it was our moment in the spotlight. Our fashion studio then turned into a women's bathroom, full with compliments and then it turned into the red carpet with plenty of "Who are you Wearing?".

After us, the organisers and the audience got their moments in the spotlight : it was time for the real show again with designers such as Tina Griffin and Clodagh Irwin Owens showing in the pre salon show.

The salon show flew by and then it was all we could do to keep everyone back from the ballroom as we ran back with extra heels and underwear in hand!

When everyone was settled at their tables and the nerves of the finalists were hitting us violently backstage, it was time for the first few designers to show their work. Colin Horgan, last years "One to Watch" winner stunned the crowd with his new collection.

Then it was time for the amazing Helen Steele to show her AMAZING collection. I was the one who was in shock when they listed out even some of the names that were called out who have worn her pieces such as Pixie Lott, Pixie Geldof and Jessie J and so many more.

The best thing was that she didn't walk in saying "I dressed this person and this person", she came in with pure style and class, and she even put thank you notes on each models hanger.

The night spurred on with Una Burkes amazing collection brought to life on the models and then Una herself ran out for her moment on the KFW runway. It was all makeup touch ups and go, go, go until their collections were shown. Then I had my break, I actually got to sit down to eat some dinner (!!!) which is such a shocker to me because I normally never get this opportunity.

The best part was, I was surrounded by the best in the business: Melanie Morris, Una Burke and her partner Emmett. Another thing that normally happens at some of these "sit down dinner events" is that the person next to me, the child in the situation, never talks to me. So it was beyond a pleasant surprise when Emmett and Una were happy to have a conversation with little ol' me!

When I eventually returned to our poor models backstage, after some of the awards had been called out, they were all excited to now who had won what. So I thought that you might want to know too.

KFW Irish Designer of the Year - Helen Steele
KFW Special Merit Award - MacBees Killarney
KFW Irish Photographer of the Year - Eilish McCormick
KFW Irish Fashion Blogger of the Year- Concrete Collar
KFW Irish Fashion Business Person of the Year - Anne Morgan, Distinct Model Management.
KFW Kerry Fashion Business/Event of the Year - Castleisland - Fashion Capital of Kerry
KFW Creative Industry Award - Linda Conway
KFW Love for Fashion Retail Display Competition - Mad Hatters, Dingle

The buzz in the room after these awards was huge but all that anticipation built up for the awards for the designers. It was time for the models to step out onto the stage again to show the designers amazing work and to stand at the top of the stage in the winners moment of glory.

The anticipation builded, and the awards were slowly announced.

KFW One to Watch, sponsored by Lancome Paris - Ruth Doyle
KFW Irish Student Fashion Designer of the Year, sponsored by the Europe Hotel - Hazel Comyn
KFW Irish Accessory Designer of the Year, sponsored by Cross Media - Willow and Clo
KFW Image Breakthrough Designer, sponsor Image Magazine - Laura Kinsella
KFW Kerry Milliner of the Year - Aoife Hannon
KFW Kerry Fashion Designer of the Year - Carol Kennelly.

I think that the most screaming came from the last award when Carol ran up on stage and simply screamed "Yes" into the microphone. The atmosphere was electric and I think they might still be partying even now...... Hopefully Carol has stopped crying :)

Hope that you enjoyed this post and if you were there, I hoped that you enjoyed the night. I think that it was really amazing and it was such a privilege on my part to be around such amazing designers.

A HUGE Congratulations to all the winners, all the finalists and all the guests. You were all amazing.

If you want any photos pictured above or any that you may think that I have taken, please don't be afraid to email me your requests at zoeoconnor38@gmail.com and I will do my best to give them to you.

Thank you all for reading this and please share.

( I think that I will have to do an outfit post as I got so many compliments, thanks to Orla O Connor )


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