By Ashyle Cota
Hundreds of fashion bargain hunters turned out to find stylish deals at TV presenter Lorraine Keane’s charity tour on Sunday.
All proceeds went directly to Oxfam, which supports people in third world countries.
Shoppers were treated to numerous rails of pre-loved or brand donated clothing, accessories and homeware; fashion advice from professional stylists Claire Golden and Paula Gannon and a fashion show by Catwalk Modelling Agency, which included designer items owned by the likes of Síle Seoige which will be auctioned off here and in Dublin.
Lorraine Keane introduced the Galway Fashion Relief show, which was held in the Galmont Hotel & Spa, and highlighted the body-inclusive, sustainable and charitable ethos of this year’s programme.
All models and staff were volunteers, and cameras and lights were free for the event. By 1pm, Fashion Relief 2020 had raised €203,000 for families and individuals affected by conflict and climate change.
Last year’s Galway stop raised nearly €40,000 while the first Dublin event in the RDS raked in €70,000.
In an interview with Galway Pulse, Lorraine Keane explained how the show benefits both buyers and Oxfam: “There is a queue of ladies behind me that are waiting for the pieces that we showed on our catwalk to buy… If something is €300 in the shops, we sell it for about 30 here, because in the developing world, in the world’s poorest countries – and I’ve seen it for myself, because I travel there every year to various parts of the developing world – €20 can feed a family for a week. In fact, in some places it could feed two families for a week. So, every cent makes a difference at this event.”
Other fashion steals to be had were Quay Australia sunglasses, that usually cost €60 in the shops, selling for between €10 and €20.
“We decided we’d take the show nationwide and we went to Cork and Galway as well as Dublin last year,” said Lorraine Keane.
Ms Keane added: “Galway just blew our mind, you know! The women just came in their droves. They definitely enjoy their fashion as much as I do and because of that, because we did so well at that event, we raised nearly €40,000 in one day. We sold so many tickets in advance and this year so far, so good; there’s no exception. They’ve come to support us again and we’re hoping to raise the same again now this year.”
DJ Mo Kelly provided the music for the day, while hair and make up were done by Barry’s Studio, Galway.
Lorraine herself was wearing a dress from Willow, Galway.
“I don’t know where we’ll take it to next,” Ms Keane said. “Maybe, we’re looking at Donegal, we’re looking at Limerick, we’re looking at Sligo, we’re looking at Wexford. There’s lots of places. It’s not easy to move this event, you know, because logistically to try and get the stock and all of that. Yesterday’s weather conditions didn’t help, but we did it. So, yeah, we’ll go where the demand is because it has to be worth our while. We need to be able to make enough money to make a difference.”
The next Fashion Relief event will be on 28 and 29 March 2020 in the RDS, Dublin, followed by another in Dundrum.