Thursday, 26 March 2015

10 Amazing Independent Stores in Dublin

As today is #FIday, or Fashion Independents' Day, and I'm a big supporter/fan of Irish design and businesses, I thought I pull together a list of just ten of my favourite independent stores in Dublin. I have a semi-regular series on here called Little Gems and most of these places have popped up here on the blog in that capacity already but now they'll be in one handy place for y'all! Aren't I just a doll?

But, seriously though, support your independents today. Pop in, say hello and maybe stay a while.

In no particular order...

Bow & Pearl.


Located in Ranelagh, Bow & Pearl is an absolutely adorable little boutique that is carefully and artfully curated to make for the most dreamy Zooey Deschanel vibes. The clothes and the decor will charm the pants right off you - and into a new pair, I used to live pretty much across the road which meant almost daily perving in the windows or browses. And it never failed to impress.

The 3rd Policeman.


Another store located in a Dublin suburb, this vintage shop is right on Rathmines Road. It's one of those places you may have gone past on the bus a million times before and maybe have always intended to visit. Well, do, it's very much worth it. There's a great range of vintage clothing, homewares, accessories and jewellery. And always some amazing music playing in the background.



The most achingly hip of the stores thus far discussed, NINE CROWS (formerly 9 Crow Street) is another primarily vintage store located on Ormond Quay and selling much of their stock online as well. They also sell reworked items and pieces from young Irish brands. Plus they produce some seriously cool lookbooks. If you're looking for help on how to shake up your image, these are your guys.

Om Diva and Atelier 27.


Downstairs and in the basement is Om Diva, a mixture of new and vintage and upstairs is Atelier 27, the place to find a whole range of Irish labels. It's kind of a magical place. And a serious stalwart of Dublin style. It's one of the places I always used to visit on trips to Dublin as a teen.

Castle & Drury.


Only recently was this a Little Gem. The first on this list that's exclusively for the mens, this store, located a stone's throw from Om Diva at No. 6 Castle Market, is a purveyor of cool labels found nowhere else in the land. But seriously though, here's where men can finally up the style stakes in Dublin. Surely that's sold it to you?

The Cat's Meow.


This is another Dublin vintage store that's all tucked away (74 Francis Street) but still an amazing find. I mean, look at that image, getting the Aladdin vibes? A mixture of vintage, Irish brands, home decor and clothing a accessories, there's lots to see. And another place where the music is seriously swinging. It's legit the cat's meow. 

Blue Boutique.


Blue Boutique on Main Street in Blackrock warrants placement on this list merely for stocking High, one of my favourite labels. But a visit will tell you that they're so much more. The clothes are carefully curated and the space is elegantly and thoughtfully appointed. 

De La Punc.


Dublin really is full of great stores you'd miss if you weren't paying attention. De La Punc on South William Street is full of cool accessories and garments that give of serious street style vibes with particular nods to trends going on in Asia. If you're interested in upping your streetstyle cred, this is where to head (oh, accidental rhyme). 



Cleo, on Kildare Street, has a long and fascinating history. Perhaps considered a shop for tourists by locals, it has drawn international attention for decades from magazine editors to artists to film stars. Stocking handmade Irish knits and weaves and much more, it's a particularly unique addition to this list. Plus, the pieces bought here will literally last lifetimes - major investments. 

The Central Dairy.


Lennon Courtney are an Irish label I've gushed over many a time here. They stock their own clothes and sometimes pieces from other designers in their gorgeous historic shop located on Stephen Street. Well worth a visit and sometimes you'll even get to chat to the lovely designers themselves!


So, those are some of my favourite independent fashion stores in Dublin, do pop in and help celebrate #FIday, if any have caught your eye. It's good, in an increasingly generalised world controlled by giant companies, to celebrate the things that make our beautiful city unique.

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Armani Launches for SS15 with Thoa Tran - II - Tips and Tricks

When you're watching a make-up artist at work who expresses personal knowledge about the things that "Mr Armani" likes and dislikes, you pay attention not only to the products that she is showcasing, but the gems of wisdom she casually drops into conversation. When you see her transform an, admittedly very pretty, girl into someone who could easily blend into the Giorgio Armani SS15 runway line-up in less than half an hour, you realise just how good she is. So, here are some tips, tricks, trends and titbits that Thoa Tran let us in on at the new launches event a few weeks back.


1. Want to look like an Armani girl? Ditch the winged liner. I know, I know. A difficult thing to process. Seemingly impossible to let go of. But Mr Armani prefers a straight line. So, now you know.

2. Speaking of straight lines, that's the brow shape that's going to be all over the place. Apparently Victoria Beckham has been in the process of growing hers like that for years. And they're Armani-approved.

3. Now that we're on the topic of brows...want to enhance yours? When using powders or gels to fill in your brows, first apply the product against the growth. This way the hairs will pick up the product better and look fuller.

4. The further boost the look, apply concealer all around the edges of the brows, defining them clearly.

5. P.S. Thick brows are back and bigger than before.

6. Armani is all about the glowing look. To look sun-kissed, glamorous and like you fit right in with the old Italian stalwart of style, ditch the blush and put the emphasis on good contouring instead.

7. The new launch, the Eye Tint, is multi-use and gorgeous. It is primarily a shadow but can be used as eyeliner in an awesome range of shades if applied with an angled eyeliner brush. And, number 12, also makes a mighty fine highlighter.


Well, just wanted to share these little gems instead of leaving them hanging out and useless in my notebook! Any you'd try yourself?

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Monday, 23 March 2015

Non-make-up handbag make-up essentials

The make-up bag that I carry on the daily has no real make-up in it. But I still consider the items my essentials for seeming put-together. They're basically the things for being caught out - having to go to an event without advance notice, appearance disasters, hygiene, weather. 

My Tatcha rice paper sheets are probably the closest thing to make-up. The idea is to have something that would serve to "powder my nose" if I'm wearing a full face and don't want to have to add layer upon layer of powder over the course of a long day. Or to merely blot out oiliness or shininess if I'm going without make-up but my skin's misbehaving. I've bought cheaper blotting paper in the past but never really saw any results - there's a reason these are considered the best.


Winter was not kind to my hands this year and I'm still recovering so I pop my travel size Laura Mercier Hand Créme in Ambre Vanillé in my bag for moments of quiet. Commutes are a great time to moisturise your hands as you can sit there and let it soak in. This also smells amazing and perks me up after a long day.


Also for hands is my Hand Maid Cleansing Gel from Soap and Glory. I don't really believe in hand sanitiser as I try to keep my immune system strong but there's nothing worse than being in a situation where you can't wash your hands and feel the need to. I try to use it sparingly. Especially as I find the scent a wee bit over-powering.


I wear SPF on a daily basis and this little moisturiser from Sanctuary Spa is cheap, handy to pop in a bag as it's travel size and is super-lightweight - so while the SPF is low, you can top it up and add lots of layers without feeling sticky and gross.


I like to keep my travel size Avéne in my bag to set make-up and also to refresh myself over the course of longer days. It's seriously good stuff.


My trusty Eve Lom Kiss Mix always comes along. It is, without a doubt, my favourite lip balm. I swear by it and now realise it's well worth the extra spend.


Additionally, I keep some chewing gum and a sample of whatever perfume I'm currently wearing to ensure I never get stinky - something I worry about a lot. You can never be too careful.


So, what are your non-make-up essentials?

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Friday, 20 March 2015

SS15 - The Looks I'll be rocking.

Working in the industry, I do keep an eye on trends - you kind of have to stay informed. But I don't take them as gospel. I like to put my own spin on things, to dress for my lifestyle, to accentuate the things I like and minimise the things about myself I'm less fond of, to avoid trends I just really don't like. This is something everyone should try and do, in my opinion. Because there is nothing worse than someone who tries to shoehorn themselves into clothes that really don't work or that make them uncomfortable.

So, once again, I'm talking the trends or interpretations of trends that will be inspiring how I'll be dressing this season.


Fresh Flares:

I didn't think I liked flares. And then I reconsidered. Mad patterns and colour are never going to be my thing but a contemporary re-imagining is just the thing. They're super-flattering and balance out curvier figures. With a cute turtle neck knit, you get a seventies vibe with a much more sophisticated finish. Same applies for crop tops and little band tees for warmer weather.

Classic Rock:

Hedi's sexy vision of a hyper rock and roll seventies, is another variation of this trend that I can get behind. Gimme my moto, black skinnies and a massive hat any day. It's easy, endlessly cool and timeless. These pieces are investments and go with everything so you don't need to feel guilty spending a little bit more.


This isn't real a particular trend for the SS15 season but rather a current through fashion in the past few years - a move towards simplicity, minimalism. A little normcore. But seriously easy to wear, requiring little to be done in the way of hair and make-up and very pretty. 

New Denim:

Denim is a staple, a classic. There isn't really a season that goes by where it's not on trend. However, there's a particular emphasis on it at the moment. I'm loving the slightly kookier and newer interpretations. Think smock dresses, shirtdresses, tees etc. Denim everything, please.

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

ID2015: NATALIEBCOLEMAN SS15 - Be Still My Bleeding Heart

Natalie's SS15 collection is a singularly romantic, beautiful and emotive one. Entitled, "Be Still My Bleeding Heart," it commemorates her mother's twentieth anniversary and draws huge inspiration from the Sacred Heart motif which has been abstracted and reimagined.

Think florals, delicate structuring, elegant lengths, pretty geometric prints and a highly restrained palette. Really the only words are ones like "pretty" and "romantic". It's just so damn cute! It's beautiful and playful and takes the religious-tinged inspiration in wonderful new and highly unexpected directions. This is how you take such a clear vision and translate it into something wearable and covetable without venturing anywhere near the realm of costume.

Plus, can veils be a thing? Love.

Take a gander at the lookbook and become as entirely enamoured as I am.
















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