This year’s Wexford Style happened in Wexford County Hall with over 600 guests. Presented by TV presenter and fashion Writer Darren Kennedy, and sponsored by Dyson and Donohoe Skoda.
We met with the brain behind the ultimate South-East fashion event of the year ‘Wexford Style’ , Keith Jordan.
Hi Keith. Please tell us a bit about yourself and about today
Today is our 6th year at Wexford Style. We are here showcasing fashion for 20 shops and designers from the South-East of Ireland. We have a 15m catwalk, we have 25 models and we have a whole showcase of good fashion.
How did you get started and why are you so passionate about this?
I started doing fashion shows about 12 years ago and I used to do small scale fashion shows for individual shops and I used to run a shop myself. And then The Wexford Chamber of Commerce approached me and asked me if I would do something a little bit bigger to showcase fashion in the South-East. We started the show in a castle outside Wexford Town 6 years ago with maybe 100-200 guests and tonight we have 610 guests sitting in the audience. So it’s really grown, it’s a huge job, it takes up 2 months of my life. I take care of every detail in it, I take care of the music, I take care of the flower installation, I take care of the model choices, shop choices, everything goes through me. Because I think you need one voice when you’re organizing a show. It’s a lot of work, but I love it, and I think it pays off in the end.
The day of the show your survival kit will definitely include…
Sparkling water. Lots of it! I try to get a good nights sleep, I wake up and I know it’s going to be probably over 12 hours into it, and I just run on adrenaline. Second must are lists.
Where do you gather your inspiration for runways?
Tonight’s inspiration, which is an installation of flowers that are suspended over a catwalk I actually dreamed it. I remember ages ago, very close after the show we did last year, because we did a beautiful installation in the middle of the catwalk. It was very high, it was very dramatic, but it was on the catwalk and the models walked either side of it. I always wanted to do a clear catwalk. I didn’t think it would be possible, I didn’t think I had the budget to do it, but I came up to the team here in The County Council who are amazing and we sat down, they loved my idea, and we designed it. We had to worry about the height to not block the view of the stage, we had to hand pick the flowers to make sure they won’t hit the models because the models are wearing hats. It looks beautiful, but it was a huge amount of work.
I’d love to acknowledge the work of Tracey from Wexford Chamber… John, Stephen and Dick from Wexford County council and Ingrid from Slaney flowers. No person on their own could ever pull a show of that standard together. It’s very much a team effort. We had the best team working on it.
What is your favourite part about putting together a show?
I think my favourite part is when the first model walks. I think at that stage, all the work is done, all the planing, all the background work is done, and once you have the ten girls walking, once you have them lined up here, once the host introduces the show and the first one steps up, I think ‘We’re good‘.
What would you suggest to those that want to be involved into the business?
I started in the hotel business. And then I just started to do events, people asked me to plan weddings, people asked me to do small events, large events, and I just gained reputation for it. I never trained as an Event Manager, I did all through hard work, gaining reputation. I have 3 people volunteering for tonight, so they are coming to see what it’s like, they are shadowing me, talking to me, mainly working backstage, and they will gain great experience to see how is to run an event of this size. My advice is: if you see a large scale event, why not send an email to the organizers to volunteer, why not?
Women’s hair by Alan Keville for Hair
Men’s Hair by The Cutthroat Club Barber Wexford Town
Make-up by Gainfort Academy
Floral Catwalk Installation by Slaney Flowers
For more photos see our Facebook Page