Oct 25, 2015

River Island a Breakthrough Winner in this Year’s U Magazine Style Awards

Manny Aivo walks us through his evening at the Westin, picking out all the high street has to offer.

Manny AivoContributing Writer
Manny Aivo for The University Times

The U Magazine High Street Style Awards took place the evening of October 22nd in the Westin Hotel. The elegant venue sounded promising, and made the opportunity to attend impossible to turn down. Upon entering, the excitement of the bloggers and guests in attendance solidified the night as one of the most anticipated events on the fashion calendar. The evening certainly lived up to its hype.

As I made my way to the reception, the staff swiftly escorted guests towards the main function room. Complimentary drinks were being served throughout the night by Disaronno, who sponsored the event. They teamed up with Roberto Cavalli to create an amazing limited-edition drink. Some of the evening’s proceeds were donated to Fashion 4 Development, an organisation dedicated to establishing sustainable fashion industries in communities across the world. Upon entering the main room I was taken aback by the overwhelming sense of grandeur that the Westin had to offer. The architecture of the room itself was astounding, with grand, crystal chandeliers towering above us, making the event feel even more special and exclusive. The breathtaking setting accompanied by the remarkable attention to detail by the U Magazine staff set up an electrifying atmosphere for the night.

Once we were all seated, there wasn’t much waiting around. The host, Pippa O’Connor Ormond, this year’s face of the Dublin Fashion Festival, made her first appearance accompanied by her co-host, editor of U Magazine, Aisling O’Toole. Both of the hosts looked stunning. O’Connor Ormond wore a black velvet dress with a lace front from Zara, fitting in perfectly with the high street fashion of the night. They both welcomed everyone, and soon after the fashion show kicked off.


The models were sporting looks from the autumn/winter collections of high street brands we all know and love, such as Zara, BT2, River Island, and many more. Looks of the night ranged from casual yet trendy everyday outerwear to chic and elegant evening wear. Using lace and metallic colours seemed to be a prominent theme amongst most brands, and emphasis was put on accessories to break up the outfits. There was something there for everyone, and I’m pretty sure everyone’s shopping list skyrocketed after seeing what the brands had to offer. The audience was particularly impressed by how well the brands accommodated for all sizes, which is an empowering push forward for the fashion industry.

Once the fashion show ended, O’Connor Ormond continued the event by giving out the awaited awards. The breakthrough brand this year seemed to be none other than River Island, scooping up a staggering four awards including “Best Store Experience” and “Best Overall Store”. The readers’ choice award, voted by the readers of U Magazine, went to Vera Moda, which was quite surprising but well deserved. After the event, I got the opportunity to speak to O’Connor Ormond. I asked her what she thought of all the collections that were on show. She told me that she loves autumn/winter clothing anyway, but the standard this year was particularly high, with a lot of choice for all.

Having spoken to other guests, there was a general consensus that the night was a success, further boosted by the atmosphere of it all. Everyone in the audience received quite an impressive goodie bag filled with cosmetics and skin care products. The only criticism was that it ended too soon. If anything, it left us wanting more, and I can’t wait to pick out all the trends from the night the next time I walk up Grafton Street.

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