Fashion & Lifestyle Blog


10 Years of Event Management at Lockdown Events


This year, Vivienne and I proudly celebrate ten years of running events in Ireland.  We have learned so much in ten years of Event Management - more than you could ever learn from books or in college. We fell into the industry after being scouted by model agents eighteen years ago. From the outset, we were learning on the job for what would, unknown to us then, become our passion.

This year at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cork, I realised that after years of dealing with all types of businesses, clients, charities and organisations that it has finally come together for us. Years of working like crazy has paid off so much so that I am viewing the last ten years as training and from here on in - we are in our absolute prime. And an asset to anyone who books us, if I may say so! We have seen every scenario possible in Event Management and had the biggest hurdles thrown in our way, sometimes an hour before a big event but have learned to stay calm, measured and use our combined skills, extensive contacts and creativity to always find a solution. Here are some tips that we have picked up along the way for anyone starting out in Event Management.

1. LISTEN to your client
Know your client's needs and goals from the project they have hired you to run. Set out expectations and the goals they want to achieve from the outset and understand your client's target market.

2. Work for RESULTS not Praise
In fashion especially, we encounter many people who want to be involved in Event Management for the glamour. But they soon realise that the side we work on behind the scenes is not at all glam. Your work should speak for itself, it's not enough to attend events and look pretty. Clients want results and will always gravitate towards the worker who is rolling their sleeves up to help out in any way possible.

Time manage your project, set out your objectives, schedule and communicate this with both your client and all your team to ensure the maximum possible result in the end for the client. At all stages of the project keep clear lines of communication open Luckily we are in a golden age of communication with smart phones, wifi, internet etc so we are all contactable 24/7. Much to an Event Manager's delight - but not everyone!

4. Work with like minded, POSITIVE people
Surround yourself with a good tribe! It goes without saying that to be successful and happy in your work, regardless of the field you are in, you should close yourself out to negativity and only work with positive people.  Negativity only breeds negativity.  I personally break out in a rash when I hear people bitch or gossip, it's so small minded and not how people at the top conduct themselves. The bigger our business has grown, the more the positive and hard working people rise to the top and shine out and the negative nay-sayers sink to the bottom. The more successful you become, the more people will try to pull you down, unfortunately. I could write a book about the crazy people I have encountered over the years but I appreciate each and every one of them for showing me the person in life and business that I don't EVER want to be. So keep a cool head, avoid wasting your energy focusing on the negative and keep your eye on the positive outcome by working with positive people.   Often, it's people who aren't that experienced in business can be the most demanding, as they are not used to how things go and they have a problem passing control to other more experienced professionals. Again, keep a cool head, assure them you are in control and if they are still uncooperative, write it off as a lesson learned and move on to more fruitful and rewarding relationships and projects.

5. Build the Best Team
Find the best talent to provide the best service. And treat your employees well. As Richard Branson says, your staff are the most important thing - once you have happy staff, they will look after the clients and the rest looks after itself. So nurture your staff so that you can provide your clients with the best. We have been blessed at Lockdown with the most amazing team throughout the years and they never let us down. We manage over 100 models from fashion to photographic to all ages and sizes in our Commercial Division. Not to mention all the AV, catering, presenters, production crew and venues that we manage and liaise with at every event. So managing the right team is key to your client's successful outcome.

6. Learn from your Events
Always debrief after an event. Ensure the client was happy, ensure the audience/attendees were happy. Get feedback to grow your business and become better at what you do!

Finally, everything happens for a reason. Viv & I have both personally and professionally had huge struggles through the years but we support each other, work even harder and always come out the other side shining. We never give doubt a second thought. Loyalty, professionalism, unwavering belief,  positivity and a big bubbly glass of champers together has always gotten us there in the end.

We are looking forward to kicking off 2016 being received by the Lord Mayor of our beautiful city at a Civic Reception for Viv & I for the work and positive changes we have put into the local fashion industry to grow it over the last decade. We couldn't be more excited - and we still feel like we are only just beginning!!

If you ever have questions on Event Management or have an event coming up that you need help with, feel free to drop me an email anytime. My email address is on the homepage of the blog. I love to hear from other like minded people in the industry. Stay tuned for our new Lockdown Events website launching soon! xo


New Hair

This weekend was my birthday and the Guinness Jazz Festival so I celebrated with a new hair do. I took the plunge and got a long bob. I was afraid Incase it might turn out too 'Mumsy' looking (is that even a bad thing?) but Zoe at Peter Mark didn't let me down. It's not as amazing as Pippa O'Connors gorgeous hair but I really love the change and more structured, classy style. I hope you like it too xo 

Outfit Details: Darling shirt from Blush Boutique, Douglas and boots from Zara

   Follow my Snapchat: @Irishfashaholic


Shine Bright with Opera Lane

The closing show of Fashion Week this season brought local bloggers and media together for a showing of all new looks from the high street giants on Opera Lane. Collections were styled by Natasha Crowley, the shopping district's personal shopper who you can book a complimentary styling session with for any occasion (new job, holiday, even post baby styling that I personally availed of and found amazing) by clicking here. Natasha put some really great looks together across stores such as Topshop, River Island, H&M, Only, GAP and menswear from Next, New Look and Tommy Hilfiger. The collections took on a 70's feel with a glam edge, channelling Studio 54 inspirations. I was lucky enough to MC the show and really enjoyed talking to so many other bloggers about their style and how they feel the stores on Opera Lane have changed the face of shopping in my city. Just as well really - as bloggers are the new fashion influencers so it's great to have such amazing choice and up-to-date collections right on our doorstep to keep us happy! The beautiful setting of Perry Street Cafe and their very fashionable food and bubbles was the icing on the cake....that is of course, if we're allowed eat cake at Fashion Week!

Irish Design Series: Catriona Hanly at Fashion Week

I love working with people in fashion who put their spirit into their work and working with Catriona Hanly never disappoints. This is the collection that people have come up to me raving about after the Fashion Week show last week.  London based Irish Designer, Catriona Hanly served her time after fashion college working as a junior buyer for Bergdorff Goodman in New York and returned to Ireland after six years to set up her jewellery line as well as being booked for interior design projects for the homes of many well known people in Irish media.  Catriona's natural flair for colour, design, texture and above all else glamour, led to her launching her own feminine yet girl-bossy fashion line. With a personality that lights up every room she walks into, her collections command the same attention and we are really excited about what the future holds for this talented Irish Designer. Shop Catriona's collection and Interior Design here. Follow Catriona on Instagram here and on Twitter here.


Irish Design Series: Rachael Garrett 3D at Fashion Week

It was my second time working with this talented fashion designer last week at Fashion Week. The reason we invited her to show at the opening event in Ballymaloe was because of her uniquely creative twist on fashion. A graduate of the Limerick School of Art and Design, Rachael Garrett is a 3D fashion designer.  This collection demonstrates the use of technologies such as custom-made 3D printed embellishments and intricate laser-cut design.  Her 'Morpheus' graduate collection is also well worth checking out. Visit Rachael here

Irish Design Series: Marion Murphy Cooney at Fashion Week

Running Fashion Week with Viv has introduced us to some really talented designers all over the country, so I wanted to share some of the amazing talent we have met along the way. The first is a designer that Viv wore to the Ballymaloe opening show and this designer dresses media figures such as Miriam O'Callaghan, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Lorraine Keane and Karen Koster to name but a few for red carpet events in Ireland. The Limerick native is designing since 2005 and her collection is about dressing up in a comfortable but confident way.  Marion's garments are made in the same factory in Italy as Ellie Saab and Etro. Browse some of Marion's new ready to wear collection below and visit Marion's website here


Style Cork at Mercedes-Benz MSL Fashion Week Cork 2015

Our second show of Mercedes-Benz MSL Cork Fashion Week 2015 took place last night at the super sleek and stylish MSL showroom. The patient team at MSL allowed us overhaul the showroom and turn it into a stylish fashion week venue that would rival any runway in London, Paris or Milan. I really enjoyed MC'ing the show with Stevie G setting the atmosphere with great music. The collections from independent boutiques, Opera Lane high street and both local and national fashion designers just blew everyone away. Heidi Higgins was our special guest and her collection closed the show spectacularly. Heidi's store is in Portlaoise but some of her collection is stocked in Brown Thomas and she really knows how to design elegance with a twist for women. The show was styled by Sarah Corcoran and Natasha Crowley and Michael Doyle from Peter Mark opened the show with a Fantasy Hair collection that has set the bar so high for years to come. For the first time, we included an amazing menswear collection, pulled and styled by the most stylish guy in Cork, Finbarr Hurley. It was lovely to see Love Lauren, Material Boy, The Style Dr. and lots of other talented local bloggers out in force.
In all, it was another amazing night celebrating everything that is our thriving and vibrant local fashion economy. Thank you to our phenomenal sponsors, MSL, models and everyone who came out and supported local fashion. Here are a sprinkling of photos below, lots more to come next week from the shows so far. Viv & myself are high today, feeling the love, thank you everyone!xo
My Dress & necklace are from one of my favourite boutiques Blush Boutique. Visit them here.
 Michael Doyle, Peter Mark with his Fantasy Hair Collection

Viv & I with our bestie Sarah Mello, The Style Dr Blogger

Menswear stylist Finbarr Hurley in his gorg Saint Laurent Jacket


A Celebration of Irish Design

I MC'd the opening show of Mercedes-Benz MSL Fashion Week Cork today and what an amazing event it was at Ballymaloe House in the sunshine. Some of the most well known faces in business, fashion and entertainment in Ireland were in attendance. Viv and I were so happy to see so many inspirational people in business under one roof for such a nice day celebrating everything Irish. As well as enjoying afternoon tea with Darina Allen, I enjoyed collections from some of the hottest designers in Ireland right now. Lots more updates over on the Cork Fashion Week Facebook page but for now, here is my outfit post. I was lucky enough to wear a magnificent printed silk dress by my favourite Irish designer, Helen Steele. Diane Von Furstenburg and Helena Christiansen are to name but a few of her clients. Visit Helen's website here.

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