Derek returns to the catwalk for retro gala

Nuala Meenehan, Derek Hastings, Susie Tan, Denise and Michael Tan, Maurice Hughes and Ellen Morelli and Julie Duckworth (organiser), Linda Keenan and Louise O'Reilly
Nuala Meenehan, Derek Hastings, Susie Tan, Denise and Michael Tan, Maurice Hughes and Ellen Morelli and Julie Duckworth (organiser), Linda Keenan and Louise O'Reilly

Banbridge model Derek Hastings will be returning to the catwalk at a retro-inspired gala, The Walk of Life Fashion Show, in Belfast on April 28.

Organisers say it’s time to reach for the ra-ra skirts and launder the legwarmers, as the gala celebrates all things 80s and is being brought to Belfast by the same fashionistas who were slap-bang at the heart of the vibrant 1980s fashion scene.

Ex-model Julie Duckworth is planning the event to raise much-needed funds for two charities close to her heart.

Julie’s father died 18 years ago from cancer and her mother passed away with Parkinson’s Disease in 2014, so Julie will be donating all proceeds to the charities Parkinson’s UK and The Boom Foundation.

Proving that you’re never too old to be in vogue, Julie recruited a select team of now fifty-something models who cut their teeth during the New Romantic era to return to the catwalk.

She has also signed up some of Northern Ireland’s most well-known celebrities to take part and has already secured the support of popular faces including comedians Nuala McKeever, John Lenehan, Tim McGarry and George Jones, as well as current and former TV and radio hosts Stephen Clements, Alison Fleming and Paul Clark while rumour has it that Jimmy Nesbitt, Mary Peters, Eamonn Holmes and even Jamie Dornan may also be putting in an appearance.

Cathy Martin, Director of Belfast Fashion Week, has been enlisted to run the show and, alongside Cool FM’s breakfast show host Pete Snodden, she will be compère, while Pete will also DJ the after-show 1980’s disco.

Julie said: “In September 2014 the most devastating, life-changing event happened to me when I lost my mother to Parkinson’s Disease. Eighteen years earlier my dad had succumbed to cancer.

“I was completely broken but with time as a healer, I wanted to do something positive in their memory.

“Then earlier this year I met with Cathy and had the idea to organise a charity fashion show with some of the key models from the 1980s, with a retro-themed back drop.

“I had also noticed that there was a new trend for 50+ models and decided to pull all our ideas together into one fundraising extravaganza.

“I am really delighted with the support so far – from industry and from friends. We’ve sold out our front row tickets already, but have availability for the rest of the seats and would love a full house.”

The show will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and tickets, which cost £30, are available from Belfast Welcome Centre Box Office on 02890246609 or by clicking onto the following link:https://visitbelfast.ticketsolve.com/shows/873560729/events.

The ticket includes a sparkling wine reception, performance by Ian Wilson (former guitarist with Sweet Savage) and 80s Disco.