The NEW, ORIGINAL and successful inauguration of EQUAL EVENTS first event “BELFAST ALTERNATIVE FASHION WEEK” (aka BAFW) in Nov/Dec of 2016 in Northern Ireland brought a new wave of fashion that people are calling “Alternative Chic” hurtling to the forefront of its industry. Exploding into our lives suddenly with impressive and resounding style, bringing highly artistic and fine arts designers, combined with mainstream commercial designs the show was a jaw dropping breath of fresh air. It has since kicked open the doors to a bright new future.
BAFW is the brainchild and vision of one of Irelands top professional photographers Shelley Rodgers. Shelley is also the founder of ‘World Equal Magazine’ & online advertising & promotional service ‘ACE The Alternative Commercial Equal Agency’. Shelley says “I wanted to bring the pages of World Equal Magazine to life in the form of a live fashion show with live music, an art gallery, stalls and other various forms of art. I wanted to bring the most artistic and creative designers, hair & make up artists, SFX artists & professional photographers together on a platform where they can celebrate and showcase their incredible talent that in many cases has gone largely unseen in years before. Due to a heavy dominance of mainstream commercialism in the Northern Ireland fashion scene for many years it has always been extremely difficult if not impossible for any other diverse forms of creativity to break through. I would have had to travel as far as Berlin to see something similar, London doesn’t even have it yet and i hope to someday branch into that part of the world. I have always wished for a show like this to exist in Ireland and eventualy i got tired of waiting around, so i decided to grab the bull by the horns and put one on myself . I’m so delighted to have done it, the response and interest has been phenomenal, overwhelmingly enthusiastic. It feels like the time has finally come to bake, wake & shake things up”.
Shelley also says “I wanted to bring people from all walks of life, ages, backgrounds and trends together, to be diversely inclusive so i invited international models and designers from Dublin, London, Germany and Scotland to showcase their talent alongside the very best of the local talent we have to offer in Belfast. I am very proud to say the connections i have brought together have since enabled some of our Northern Ireland Designers and Jewellery makers to sell their work locally and internationally. Brought a whole new batch of make up artists & models into the employment arena in the local area. This was one of my main goals, to provide an environment that would stimulate growth in the alternative business scene aswell as commercial as i believe both ends of the creative spectrum are intrinsically and unavoidably connected. I and my colleagues wish all the new businesses and people who have networked through EQUAL EVENTS & the BAFW project the very best for the future and we hope to have them on our runway again someday”.
EQUAL EVENTS have since indeed gone onto put their second alternative fashion show in London at Piccadilly Circus in September 2017, it’s debut London appearance SOLD OUT drawing stars and celebs from the TV, film, music and fashion industries. Finishing their fashion circuit off with an “AltComm” mix on Halloween night a Fashion Show in Newry Cities Canal Court Hotel & Spa their home ground concluded a heavy year of eventing. Their full circle of succesful new & fresh fashion shows have placed themselves firmly in the minds of the Irish and English fashion scene for good. Always embracing diversity with its uniquely daring, captivatingly creative and liberating fusion of commercial and alternative trends the other side of the coin can be now seen to be equally as interesting. The yin must have it’s yang, night must have it’s day, there’s two sides to every story, isn’t that what they all say? Underground Over ground, Alternatives Free, life is for living, let’s live & let be….. You can also follow what EQUAL EVENTS & ACE are doing on the facebook links below. 2018 is already shaping up to be something incredible.