'MY BELFAST' KATIE'S Q&A WITH BELFAST VIBE
MEET BUSINESSWOMAN, DESIGNER & TV PRESENTER KATIE LARMOUR
July 13, 2015
Belfast born businesswoman, designer, model and presenter Katie Larmour is currently working on her unique new luxury Irish linen and lifestyle brand Katie Larmour Design. Katie, who has always been artistic and creative, and has a background in antiques, has designed a range of exquisite, high end, one-of-a-kind cushions, created from repurposed vintage designer silk fashion scarves backed with pure Irish linen - from one of the last remaining linen mills still active in Ireland today. Having won numerous accolades in her modelling and presenting career including Most Glamorous Female in Northern Ireland by public vote and featuring on Belfast Fashionweek billboards, Katie is also a well known face on the Belfast social scene.
My studio is based in Belfast and I travel all over the globe sourcing my vintage fabrics for my cushions. I’m a real nomad but it’s really important to me that my cushions are actually made in Ireland and therefore a Northern Irish product. I love arriving back to Belfast after trips abroad, even if it’s raining when you get off the plane it just instantly feels like home and it’s wonderful.
Tell us something your mum doesn’t know about you?
When I moved house last year I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I had accumulated over the years. I took lots of things back to my parents house to store and this included a collection of garden ornaments, Mum is still discovering little gnomes and things that I’ve hidden all around the garden, the momentary confusion each time is quite amusing.
What’s the most interesting discovery you’ve made in Belfast?
My favourite chocolate shop ‘Co Couture’, it’s the equivalent of couture fashion only in chocolate, it’s that good. Situated in the basement of beautiful Georgian building on Chichester St where everything is handmade. I treated my mother and sister to a private lesson by the lovely proprietor Deirdre one evening, where we shared an evening together learning about the history of chocolate and how to make whiskey truffles.
Which building would you most like to be locked in overnight?
Most definitely the Ulster Museum, I did a six month placement there when I was at university and loved every minute of it. Only a small portion of what they own is on display so I got to see all sorts of interesting things behind the scenes, it was an amazing experience. The scariest department at night time would have to be down in the basement as that’s where they keep all the taxidermy, you’re literally wading through thousands of stacked loose and cased animals!
Describe your perfect day in the city?
A bike ride along the cycle lane all the way from Shaw’s Bridge to the Waterfront hall passing the Annadale Embankment.
What’s the last major event you attended in Belfast?
Spring Summer Belfast Fashion Week, I love my role presenting on Belfast Fashionweek TV and have hosted it from the beginning, I would never miss it.
The Boat House in Bangor.
Favourite bar or club?
I like the Spaniard, I’ve probably said this a dozen times in interviews but it hasn’t changed. Even on an empty night of the week it’s full as it only holds a handful of people, so there’s always atmosphere. There’s even a little fish tank on the bar, I’m sure a few ‘Dark & Stormies’ have been accidentally spilt in there.
Best place in Belfast to spend a fiver?
Pretty ’n’ Pink’s charity shop in the Park Centre, I’m really honoured to be their patron and as the only registered breast cancer charity in Northern Ireland I think it’s a wonderfully deserving charity.
A product from NI you wouldn’t be without abroad?
Vita Liberata’s Passionflower & Argan dry oil spf 50, a wonderful Northern Irish brand that’s now gone global.
Earliest Belfast memory?
Our parents always took us for days out at National Trust buildings and gardens, dad being an architectural historian. One place I loved, and still do, was Mount Stewart, a stunning estate on Strangford Lough with a unique micro climate that allows a diverse tapestry of plants to grow that aren’t indigenous to the land. I was fascinated by the ‘Mary Mary Quite Contrary’ statue in the middle of a fountain surrounded in bells jetting water, it’s absolutely adorable.
What movie most closely resembles your life story and why?
My little nephew Cole just answered this one for me, he said ‘Tangled’. I don’t think I can relate to Rapunzel’s exact life experiences but I suppose I do have very long hair.
Sum up Belfast in three words?
Buzzing, friendly, charming.