It’s all happening in Harold’s Cross. There’s the award-winning Craft restaurant beside the Old Bakery Store, Plush, selling an array of chandeliers and Designers Guild fabrics, Brew selling coffee, and the Green Fox cafe, amongst others. What caught my eye was Billie & Oso across the road, a tiny shop named after two dogs that pack a punch. You’ll find the lovely scarves of Lou Brennan, wraps and knitwear by Glynis Robins, candles and skincare by Sómas and Oxmantown and marvelous vintage and antique rings from www. collected. ie along with copper lighting and home accessories by Kopper Kreation and Irish interest books by Gill Books.
Artist and sculptor Ruth Lyons has set up a new business selling a line of coveralls for women. “It comes from my experience of working as an artist in various industrial environments and being continually frustrated at the lack of purpose-designed workwear for women,” she says. MySirenSuit is her riposte, what she wants to wear in her daily life and work, and is prompted by her desire for women to feel comfortable within industries shaping world landscapes. The suit has pockets, a pop button belt and comes in a heavy-duty blend of linen and cotton in shades of lilac, navy, and rust for €180. Find it on mysirensuit.com
Two Italian sisters, Vanessa and Annaoliva Durigon, based in Ireland are on a mission to make their mark designing trousers to suit every body shape. They believe women have five different body shapes: the apple (fairly slim legs, small bottom, fuller tummy); the hourglass (similar width shoulders and hips, waist smallest part); the pear (small upper body, prominent hips); the candle (medium shoulders, lean legs, and stomach); and the strawberry (shoulders biggest part of body, natural athletic look). After a visit to Milan in an unsuccessful search for the perfect trousers, they decided to design their own and started the process back in Ireland. Vanessa, who came to Ireland to study English, furthered her studies at IADT in Dún Laoghaire while her sister Annaoliva studied fashion business at the Marangoni Institute in Milan. Now they buy quality and sustainable fabrics in Milan and have the trousers made by artisans near Venice. They sell online at www.shapemoda.com – the site includes a 30-second test to help users figure out their body shape. Sizes are 4-18 with prices for trousers €110, leggings €89 and jackets €189.
In the pink
Daniel Craig turned heads in his pink jacket at the premiere of No Time to Die in London, a color traditionally associated with femininity and a far cry from the traditional black tux at such events. It marked how pink tailoring now has a following amongst celebrities such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Pope, and Timothée Chalamet at the Tony Awards and Venice Film Festivals. In Ireland Wexford-based tailor Nicky Wallace has always insisted that pink suits many male complexions and his pink linen jacket is one of the best in his made-to-measure collection. “It’s a spring look and a color that is really good for the skin,” he says, “and looks beautiful wherever you wear it.” This one is also notable because the fabric is Irish, from Emblem Weavers in Wexford. The jacket is fully lined with working mother of pearl buttons and costs €1,200 to complete, which takes about four weeks at a family-run workshop in Milan. Wallace has had extensive experience in France and Italy and now works from a showroom at the Bull Ring in Wexford. He is also collaborating with Emblem on a range of accessories to be released later this year. He is expanding a small range of made-to-measure jackets and shirt dresses for women. Visit his site www.nickywallace.com
The Lady Gaga December issue of British Vogue featured the innovative couture hat collection of Irish designer and NCAD graduate Sarah O’Neill. She interned with Philip Treacy and Iris Van Herpen before doing a master’s degree at the Royal College of Art, studying accessory design and a further year studying art direction for film and TV in Limerick School of Art and Design. The zany designs of the limited edition 20-piece hat collection are developed using cutting-edge technology normally used for Japanese animation. They begin as digital sculptures made on 3D animation software, are digitally painted and printed out as patterns. They are then made using unconventional yarns, such as cord, subverting traditional techniques – like smocking and tufting (normally used for carpets) – for a tactile effect. Each hat takes two weeks and materials are only bought when needed and not in bulk. Once ordered the customer attends a physical or digital fitting with creative director Sarah O’ Neill. Find out more at www.sarahon.com
Blessed in color
With some 25,000 Holy Communions due to take place this year (restrictions allowing), many parents will be looking for a dress for their child’s big day. While there are many at rock-bottom prices, the latest luxury styles from Spain are on offer in Marian Gale’s boutique. Lace, organza, embroidery, and embellishment feature in this season’s trends. Lengths this year are longer, skimming the top of the ankle with sleeves extending closer to the elbow. There is a new emphasis on the backs of dresses, usually decorated with oversize bows (as this is the view presented to parents as their darlings approach the altar). Prices start at €165, though this little number is €599.