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A series of decadent Fashion Teas will return to The Merchant Hotel, Belfast this October, serving up the hottest trends from some of Northern Ireland’s top independent boutiques and designers to tantalise fashion taste buds for autumn/winter 2015.

On Saturday 24TH and Sunday 25TH October, the  5*star hotel’s Rita Duffy Suite will provide a striking setting for five individual Fashion Teas, showcasing cutting edge autumn/winter collections alongside sumptuous champagne afternoon teas.

Models from Style Academy will provide a round table fashion show, allowing guests to get up close and personal to the new season collections with new season hair looks by Andrew Mulvenna and make-up by Lancôme, whilst sipping Moet et Chandon champagne and enjoying melt in the mouth patisseries.

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Guests and the public will also have the opportunity to shop the collections hot off the catwalk, with bespoke pop-up boutiques for all five retailers housed in The Merchant for the whole weekend.

A packed schedule of three shows will kick off The Merchant’s autumn/winter Fashion Teas on Saturday 24TH October with decadent accessories from designer boutique, Harper  (12.30pm); The Walk in Wardrobe (2:30 pm) and a new season collection from Ruedi Maguire (5.30pm). On Sunday 25TH October, Chloe Dougan and A.P.D Jewellery will present a fashion-forward show at 1pm and in a first for the Merchant Hotel Fashion Teas, the Ulster University Fashion students will present their collections in the final show at3.30pm.

This autumn/winter is all about the accessories and in a fitting fashion pairing, luxury designer boutique, Harper at The Merchant Hotel will open this season’s Fashion Teas in style. Exclusive Northern Ireland stockists of Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Olympia and Rachel Zoe, Harper at The Merchant’s coveted red soled heels will be a key feature in this opening show, with a mix of classic shapes and colours and fashion forward styles ensuring fashion lovers are well heeled for A/W 15.

In an exciting first, Banbridge-based ladieswear boutique, The Walk in Wardrobe will showcase an exciting new collection at The Merchant’s Fashion Teas. Established in March 2015 by fashion enthusiast Laura McPolin, the boutique specialises in bespoke brands, combining established names such as Kevan Jon with international brands sourced from Italy, Spain, Croatia and beyond. The Walk In Wardrobe will showcase their latest collection, with stunning occasion wear, hats and accessories perfect for weddings, mothers of the bride and groom and special events.

Closing the series of Saturday Fashion Teas, Ruedi Maguire presents a show with stunning new designs for Spring Summer 2016. His next collection promises to be a playful effortless approach to dressing. With a relaxed silhouette using soft neoprene, mesh and hi-tech sports fabric, this show will have a wonderful sports luxe feel. Bright reds, pale pinks and black will accompany an organised placement of embellishments on bodices and skirts.

Opening the Fashion Teas on Sunday 25th October, Chloe Dougan will partner with A.P.D Jewellery to show her striking collection of designs, exploring the realms of femininity and sensuality. Her AW15 collection uses texture, including leather, lace, crepe, suede and fur to create a bespoke and eclectic mix. Her distinct style led to her being named 2015 Artist and Designer to Watch by Culture Northern Ireland. Her Fashion Teas debut is sure to impress.  Returning to the Fashion Teas for a second season, A.P.D Jewellerypresents a striking collection juxtaposing industrial looking materials such as chains and even seat belt fabric with semi-precious stones, richly coloured leathers and upcycled vintage jewellery and lace. The A.P.D A/W collection includes elegant cuffs and bracelets as well as dramatic neck pieces and hair accessories. Rich autumnal colours ensure a sumptuous feel to the collection.

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Ulster University final year fashion students will close the weekend, with a display of their final collections to showcase their design talent. Their show will be a clear reflection of the immense design ability, skill and an understanding of trend analysis, providing students with the opportunity to showcase their creations as they come to the end of their final year. Bespoke colour has been key this year, with hand dyed yarns creating exquisite individual and creative pieces. With a variety of traditional and technical materials and the construction and drape of fabrics, guests will have the exciting opportunity to view the very best of upcoming Northern Irish talent.

NI drinks company, Dillon Bass has joined forces with The Merchant Hotel to support the Ulster University Fashion Show as part of the now iconic Merchant Hotel Fabulous Fashion Teas.  A unique bursary, offered through the company’s iconic champagne brand, Moet & Chandon, will cover the costs of producing the show, as well as a cash prize of £300 and a celebratory magnum of Moet & Chandon for the winning student. The bursary scheme also offers the unique opportunity for the winning student to shadow prominent local designer, Ruedi Maguire for a week and to host and manage their own pop up shop over the course of the Fashion Teas weekend.

The esteemed judging panel incudes NI designer, Ruedi Maguire; Style Academy boss, Tracey Hall; Joanne O’Hagan, marketing manager, Dillon Bass and fashion blogger, Katrina Doran of

Tickets to The Merchant’s Fashion Teas cost £35 per person and include an exclusive fashion show of your choice, served with champagne afternoon tea.  Tickets can be purchased by calling The Merchant Hotel’s events team on 028 9026 2717. Funds raised from a luxury ballot at the events will be donated to The Merchant’s 2015 charity partner, MacDermott Unit.

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Saturday 24TH October

  • 12.30pm Harper
  • 3.00pm The Walk In Wardrobe
  • 5.30pm Ruedi Maguire


Sunday 25th October

  • 1.00pm Chloe Dougan and A.P.D Jewellery
  • 3.30pm Ulster University Students


  • Pop-up boutiques for all five retailers will be housed in The Merchant all weekend, allowing guests and the public to shop the collections hot off the catwalk.


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