The annual Belfast Catwalk Week 2022 came to a close at the weekend with some stunning outdoor catwalk parades attracting crowds from near and nearer.
Organiser of one of the shows which brought the weekend of famous ‘Catwalk Parades’ to a close, Seamy McKalash said ‘This weekend has been a roaring success. I am so proud of all those who helped make this weekend such a success. It’s been really successful”.
When asked what was the winning concept this year, Mr McKalash said there had been a common theme.
“Just like last year and as always in the Occupied 6 counties, it’s all about the Rebel Army Chic. Flags, balaclavas and berets. Colourful armbands get an honourable mention too though”.
When asked about Belfast’s traditional ‘marching walk’ common at the shows, and which some outsiders believe to look quite unusual, Mr McKalash, dismissed concerns.
“Marching instead of walking like a normal person is a real Belfast Catwalk Week tradition. Sure, it looks like some of them are walking after they’ve sh*t their trunks, but it’s our thing.”
The Belfast Catwalk week has been going for decades and has now grown to include shows staged all over Northern Ireland, including Newry and Derry. There are conditions attached to including shows as part of the event, as Mr McKalash explained.
“Well, first you have to do the catwalk up the road with your big flags. It’s important for the models to be serious. No smiles, no waving. Of course the walk has to finish up in a graveyard – that goes without saying – and then speeches were we remember those who gave their lives to the cause of Irish Fashion.”
“It’s been an incredible Sunday, despite the weather, which I know the models always worry about. One of the guys said he has 10 weather apps on his phone and just goes with whichever one gives him the best forecast”.
Controversy surrounds the parades each year with some feeling that having a Rebel Army theme each year is insensitive to those who had family and friends murdered by various rebel armies who operated in Northern Ireland.
Jim Allister of the T.U.V. (Trade Unionist Voice) said “It’s time for the Belfast Catwalk Week 2022 to diversify and become more inclusive. There are many of us who would absolutely love to take part. I am a huge follower of fashion and have attended shows in Milan, and Slough. The Rebel Army Chic vibe just doesn’t appeal to me. I think there needs to be scope for regular army chic with different colour flags.”
The controversy appears likely to rumble on, however, the traditional graveyard ending has proven to a big success given that the catwalk participants have really contributed to the thriving cemetery scene in Northern Ireland for years.