Showing posts with label Dublin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dublin. Show all posts

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saved by Saba

Although I do my best to keep my head firmly stuck in the sand re: the recession, and indeed all financial matters, there comes a point when it is impossible to ignore the empty cupboards and my even emptier wallet. Luckily the 9th Fashion Bloggers' Brunch was on hand to ensure that I didn’t starve on the last weekend before pay day. On the contrary I was treated to a moreish meal at Saba, washed down with a couple of very good cocktails. I had the Raven, a combination of Vanilla vodka, Chambord, berries, lemon juice, sugar syrup and apple juice, which is so light and refreshing that one needn’t feel any guilt at all about drinking hard liquor at brunch. The generous peeps at Saba also supplied a goody bag full of noodles and soy sauce so that’s the dinners sorted for the week. There were also some Yes to Carrots treats in the bag, which unfortunately– despite the name – aren’t edible, but at least my skin will be lovely and soft thanks to the Deliciously Rich Body Butter.

Saba Stuff

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nokia Young Fashion Designer Awards 2009

Irish fashion peeps were out in full force last night for the Nokia Young Fashion Designer Award 2009. Brendan Courtney was compering while his Off The Rails co-host Sonya Lennon assumed the role of producer/stylist, adjusting models' OFs before they took to the catwalk. Considering the amount of people at the event – upwards of 400 – Sonya was enviably calm, never once barking orders into her headset or appearing stressed. I, on the other hand, nearly had a mini-panic attack because I was a so squished. The fashion scene in Dublin is remarkably democratic and seats (even the front row ones) were given out on a first-come-first-served basis, which meant those of us who had been too busy gossiping and eating canapes to get a seat were pushed into corners as the venue struggled to cope with the plethora of attendees. Brendan conducted events with pantomime lines such as, “I’m behind you!” and “Would anyone like a free mobile phone?”, but he kept schtum once the show got underway and 20 designers sent models down the runway in designs inspired by Nokia’s Supernova handset collection. Black and neon were the predominant hues and dresses with full skirts - bubble, lantern, etc - abounded. The judges, including a very gracious and polite Susie Bubble, awarded the top prize to Aoife Gallagher whilst Lynn Allen and Ciara Glynn were runner-ups.

Judge Susanna Lau of Stylebubble

NYFDA 2009 Finalists

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lightening the Load

I have no money but how could I attempt to get through this dark month without cheering myself up with sales bargains? And although I may be cash poor, I am in possession of a credit card, which exists purely for the purpose of buying dresses and flights that I can’t afford. And so yesterday I hit two of my favourite boutiques in Dublin - Dolls and Potrero Hill - for some sales action. In Dolls, I knew exactly what I wanted - a floral print Antipodium blouse - and luckily for me they had it in my size and with a significant reduction. Easy. Shopping at Potrero Hill was different because I didn’t immediately fall in love with the muted cardigans and dresses, but instead I knew that those simple pieces would stand the test of time and become one of my wardrobe staples. And so I invested (it makes sense to use a credit card when it’s an investment, yes?) in a silk, mushroom-coloured, Ella Moss dress that is relieved of boring neutrality by orange bows.

I skipped home merrily, until I looked down and saw that the Potrero Hill bag was empty, the dress obviously having fallen out at some point of the 20-minute journey home. I started sprinting in the direction of Hibernian Way, scanning the ground for any sign of the dress. Since the Paris pickpocketing incident, I am a little more suspicious of people but my faith in man(woman)kind was restored as I spotted a very friendly-looking girl carrying a package wrapped in Potrero Hill’s signature purple paper. “That’s mine”, I snapped as I yanked it out of her hands, before realising that I was being really rude to the person who had saved me of an incredibly bad investment. She explained that she was going to leave it at Trinity's Science Gallery as she assumed that whoever owned the dress was en route to the Lightwave exhibition. I'm not sure what about the dress indicates an interest in optical effects - perhaps the bright orange bows - but I am eternally grateful to her for illuminating the darkness of January!

The dress that almost got away...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Making BFFs at the FBB

A portmanteau word is a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings, for example, 'frenemy' is a blend of 'friend' and 'enemy' and 'chortle' is a portmanteau word made by combining 'chuckle' and 'snort'. But The Portmanteau’s favourite portmanteau word of all is brunch and so it was with much giddiness that we skipped off to the Dylan hotel yesterday for the Fashion Bloggers’ Brunch. This was the 6th brunch organised by Annmarie O’Connor and attended by bloggers such as, Dublin Streets,, This is an Offshoot, Bluebirds are so Natural and many more but it was the very first for The Portmanteau. Over croque madames (surely the most cholesterol-laden sandwich in all the world) and bread and butter pudding, we swapped gossip, blogging tips and insider knowledge on various European cities. It was late afternoon by the time we rolled out of the Dylan, address books and waistlines bulging.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Starry Starry Store

A Store is Born is a little treasure trove filled with vintage wares that has been opening its doors (well mechanical shutter type thing) on Clarendon Street every Saturday since the '70s. It's not cheap - vintage in Dublin rarely is - but the quality tends to be top-notch. There are lovely cashmere cardigans, amazing furs (both real and fake) and plenty of decadent evening dresses.

Whilst browsing last week, the very friendly proprietress told me that from Saturday 6th December, they are throwing their usual Saturday only opening hours out the window and are open every day to accommodate the throngs of Christmas shoppers who are on the look out for something a little more unique to wear to the annual Christmas party. Top of my wish list would be an amazing mink jacket if only I could only banish my sense of guilt at the thought of wearing a jacket that cost the lives of over 60 little minks. Eek.

Friday, October 24, 2008

NYLON Takes on Dublin

This month's NYLON takes a stroll through our fair city and declares that it's "cooler than we thought". I'm not sure what they thought of it before, but luckily on this particular visit, it's warm and sunny and everything is "bizarrely perfect". So what gets the NYLON seal of approval? Circus for clothes, Gruel for food and All-City Records for tunes. And the final verdict - "a forward -thinking, often sunny, extremely beautiful and festive city". I'm not sure if I would go that far but its nice to know that we're on their radar.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ode To The Polaroid

We love Polaroids at The Portmanteau. You can never really look bad in a Polaroid – you do look like you’ve stepped out of the 70s – but you don’t look bad. They are also an instant way to make yourself popular at parties. Just snap away and then hand out the little mementos to those you wish to befriend. It’s way easier than small talk (but admittedly more expensive). And in this digital age it’s nice to have something to stick on the walls or paste into photo albums.

Photographer Richard Gilligan is a man after own hearts. He panicked when he heard that Polaroid were to stop producing its analogue hardware products and instant film. The result is his ‘Bye Bye Polaroid’ exhibition at Monster Truck which opened yesterday and runs for a further 2 weeks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

High Street Update

The good people at Space NK have heard our prayers and are opening a branch in Harvey Nichols at Dundrum Town Centre in the coming weeks. And while I’m very happy to hear that Dublin is finally getting a Space NK, I’m a little disappointed that it’s in Dundrum. I guess it’s a convenient place to go shopping if you’re after something specific and just want to nip in and out quickly or if you have a hangover which necessitates that you are never more than 100 metres from a fast foot outlet and the toilets. And it is quite fancy what with the little Harvey Nichols and the fountain and the theatre. But it’s still a shopping centre and I don’t like shopping centres. They’re filled with teenagers and prams and harassed dads. And you can’t trick yourself into thinking that you’re popping into town to grab some lunch or meet a friend and then just happen to stumble across that pair of shoes in Topshop. Shopping centres tend to rob shopping of any spontaneity and Dundrum especially gives the impression that they’re trying to brainwash their customers (I think it’s the way they play that piece of Manu Chao music over and over again). But I guess I’ll just have to get over my shopping centre prejudices and jump aboard that Luas because I am not missing out on all the lovely beauty stuff that Space NK has to offer.

Cult brand By Terry available at
Space NK

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The High Street

So American Apparel is apparently coming to Dublin. The store is set to open on Grafton Street some time before Christmas, which is a huge relief to those that have been buying their lamé leggings online or stocking up whenever they go abroad. Shopping for basics like well cut t-shirts and nice vests can be difficult in Dublin, so American Apparel is a very welcome addition to our retail landscape.

And while we are against globalisation and the homogenisation of our high streets there are a few more shops that our fair city could do with.

Krispy Kreme Donuts – Yes, it means that due to weight gain we would look a bit obscene in our lamé leggings but they are just so deliciously sweet and soft and moist and amazing.

Space NK – Belfast has one so why don’t we? Ok, we couldn’t afford to shop there on a regular basis but it would still be nice to know that there is somewhere to buy Dr. Hauschka rose day cream and Kiehls blue astringent and lots of other lovely stuff for those days when Boots own brand just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Whole Foods – Yes, we are obsessed with food but at least Whole Foods is kind of healthy. Whole Foods is way posher than Marks and Spencer could ever hope to be with little rooms dedicated to cheese and the best salad bars ever. It’s an American chain but there’s one in London now. When will it be our turn?