Posts Tagged ‘ Fashion ’

Hot Trends: Winter Womenswear 2014


Winter weather calls for a re-evaluation of our casual wardrobe.  We may need fun clothes to lighten our mood, while keeping us comfy and warm.

Seasonal trends answers modern women’s quest for looking attractive, stylish and super- chic. Winter inspirational fashion welcomes the revival of the 1950’s style trend. Retro, versatile, fun, edgy looks are making a huge come back this winter. Continue reading

Failing Eyesight Helps Irish Woman Spearhead Vintage Fashion Range


When it comes to beautiful clothing, exquisite style and excellent quality are perfect partners.  And the team at vintage-style clothing label – Vinta Definita – have an innate understanding of this. By adding the finishing touches to their very first collection, the Dublin-based brand has designed the perfect antidote to fast fashion. Their gorgeous capsule collection has been created by drawing inspiration from the grace and style of the 1930, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. And each garment has been created – in limited runs and often by hand – using exclusive, high quality fabrics from Italy, France and Spain.  These are luxurious investment pieces that make a strong statement about the women who choose to wear them. “Luxury is a concept with multiple definitions,” says Annushka O’Neill, Creative Director at Vinta Definita. “For us, luxury means beautifully made clothing with an emphasis on exquisite craftsmanship and exclusivity of design. For our customers, luxury is the sense of integrity that comes from sourcing fewer but higher quality garments.” Despite their Irish roots, the fledgling firm has a truly international flavour with their sights firmly set on the stars.  “Our textile designer is English, our pattern maker is Polish, our garments are made in Portugal and the face of our brand – Diana Morozova – is a Russian actress,” says Annushka O’Neill.  And O’Neill commissioned award-winning Russian photographer, Taya Nevskaya, to shoot the brand’s first look book. “Taya’s work has appeared in Cosmopolitan,” says O’Neill, “and that was good enough for us!”. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Paul Galvin’s


One of the finest Gaelic footballers of the past ten years has called time on his life in a Kerry jersey. Paul Galvin, was a magnificent player who won every honour the game had to offer.

There were two Galvin’s throughout his glittering career; the hardworking, intelligent footballer who along with Brian Dooher and Paul Flynn epitomised the new all action modern day wing forward. And there was the Paul Galvin who swiped a notebook out of a referee’s hand in a fit of rage, who stuck his fingers in Eoin Cadogan’s mouth and who was sent off far too often for any Kerry person’s liking. Continue reading

Post-New Year’s Culture Vulturing: Looking Ahead In 2014


I know that we can find it a little hard to find inspiration to cope with January’s chills, but I’m trying for a brighter glow by looking ahead to cultural goings-on in early 2014. To begin with, I picked up a couple of event brochures from the National Gallery of Ireland and another one from the Chester Beatty Library plopped though my letterbox recently.

To take the latter venue first, the major exhibition of French fashion illustrations, Costumes Parisiens: Fashion Plates from 1912-1914 (mentioned previously) will continue to run until 30 March 2014. In conjunction with this exhibition, as part of the free talks programme there will be three fashion themed Thursday lunchtime (1.10pm) talks. The first one is by Irish costume designer Joan Bergin and is entitled ‘The Thrills and Spills of Costume Design for Film’ on 30 January. Deirdre McQuillan of the Irish Times follows this up on 6 February will a talk about the fact and fiction of the Arran sweater. As a child, I loved the Arran patterned sweater that my nan knitted for me so I will certainly try to get along to that talk. It might even inspire me to get knitting again and that really would be a New Year achievement. Continue reading

Dressed to Impress : French Fashion at the Chester Beatty Library


I have been once more touring the cultural hotspots in Dublin; putting myself through the hard grind of visiting exhibitions so that I can pass the results on to Irish News Review readers. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it; that’s what I tell myself anyway. However, as soon as I read Chester Beatty Library’s autumn programme, I have been looking forward to seeing the French fashion prints. I could try to claim that I have been visiting the Costumes Parisiens exhibition in an entirely selfless spirit, but I confess that just wouldn’t be true.

The bulk of the Costumes Parisiens display consists of over 100 fashion plates (I did try to keep a tally, but kept losing count) from the French fashion magazine, Journal des Dames et des Modes (1912 – 1914). Italian writer Tom Antongini (1877-1967) set up the journal in June 1912 and went on to publish three issues a month until the outbreak of the First World War. Antongini invited well-known artists and designers of the day, such as Léon Bakst and George Barbier to illustrate the periodical and so the Journal des Dames became much prized for its high quality illustrations. The fashion plates were made using a process requiring a great deal of skill, which involved the use of stencils (pochoir) to create the coloured parts of the scene.  Many years later, the colours and lines of the illustrations of fashionably clothed women are still exquisite.   Continue reading

A Fancy Alternative To The Traditional ‘Hand Me Downs’

yummy-mummy-1The Yummy Mummy Market started in late 2010 and since then has been moving around the country allowing parents sell their new or nearly new baby clothes, maternity wear and baby and toddler essentials. The market is a great way to get up close and properly inspect pre-owned items, a lot easier and safer than selling items over the internet. Continue reading

Knit Happens…!

Autumn, I’ve always loved this time of year. The leaves are changing colour, the evenings are growing shorter, there’s a chill in the air and because of all this there’s always an excuse to curl up with a good book and one seriously naughty hot chocolate – When I say naughty I am of course referring to those amaretto laced chocolate concoctions that propel this childhood favourite all the way into adult territory and beyond!

With the weather getting colder, however, all I can think about lately is wrapping up and I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing. The only problem is knitwear, despite being super cozy, has never been what you might call chic. Sure it was always OK to wear around the house, but it was hardly something that came to mind when planning that first date ensemble now was it?

Oh but the times they are a changing ladies and I’m here to tell you that fashion is now firmly on our side – Finally! Apparently designers have just come to the realization that women no longer want to choose between looking good and keeping warm. Seems quite obvious really, makes you wonder why on earth they took so long!

Now before you balk at the mention of the word “designer” let me assure you that the high-street has, as always, experienced that ol’ trickledown effect and as a result we’re seeing some amazing winter warmers including knitted biker jackets, peplum sweaters, novelty jumpers and bodycon dresses in stores such as Topshop, Reiss, French Connection and Mango as well as Brown Thomas!

Of course all this means we now have quite the opposite problem; there is simply too much to choose from. So with that and our collective sanity in mind I took matters into my own hands, scoured the stores, and found what I believe are some of the very best new season knits you need to know about….

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Red Bodycon Dress – Ted Baker

From Top L-R:

Gina Geelong Knit – French Connection

Bat Motif Sweater – J.W. Anderson x Topshop. Also available in BT2 Grafton Street

Cashmere Embellished Sweater – Mango

Knitted Biker Jacket – Iro. BT2 Also available at

Pink Peplum Sweater – Reiss.

Embellished Cropped Sweater – Miu Miu. Brown Thomas.

Charcoal Peplum Sweater – Ted Baker.

Kapow Sweater – Phillip Lim. Brown Thomas. Also available at

What’s great about the majority of these pieces is the fact that they will look amazing paired rather simply with your already existing wardrobe staples. Take, for example the “Kapow” sweater by Phillip Lim (A cult favourite by the way!) or even the peplum sweater from Ted Baker both of which would look great with a black skinny jeans and flats by day. Happily, this is a look you can easily make re-appropriate for drinks “after-hours” simply by swapping the flats for a pair of killer stilettos! Believe me, it really is that simple!

For those of you still suspicious of knitwear and its reputation for being stuffy and outdated, however, I suggest mixing your textures in order to keep it securely on the young, fresh, and relevant side of things. When it comes to anything “fashion” you should always consider this one golden rule; opposites attract! So, when putting your look together consider, for instance, teaming a soft and feminine cashmere sweater with a tough leather skirt or pants.

Oh and just one more thing, always no matter what anyone else might tell you, remember that crop tops were never intended to be worn with low slung jeans. Never! To keep a cropped sweater looking chic, sophisticated and subtly sexy be sure to pair it with a high waisted skirt. Tummy cleavage must be kept to a minimum people!

It’s Official – Horizontal Stripes Do Make You Look Bigger

It is a much known fashion faux pas to wear horizontal stripes if you are carrying any excess weight.  From an early age, it is instilled in us that wearing vertical stripes will draw the eye down and make you look taller and thinner, and sporting horizontal stripes will do the opposite, making you look wider than you are.  This theory has finally been confirmed as fact by BBC Amateur Scientist of the Year, 53 year old Val Watham.

The research into the effects of wearing stripes involved filming 15 models walking a catwalk in stripes designed and produced by students of the University of the Creative Arts.  The show was presented to over 500 visitors to the Edinburgh Science Festival, who then rated how tall and wide each model looked in their individual striped outfits.

Watham’s research beat over 1,000 other entrants in the science competition, landing her the top prize.  Her findings negate the work of her mentor, Dr. Peter Thomson of the University of York.  He had previously claimed that horizontal stripes actually gave the appearance of a smaller frame due to a visual effect known as the Helmholtz Illusion.  The judges described Watham’s study as “a lovely idea which was well executed”.

Included in Watham’s study was the effect of wearing black.  Not surprisingly, models that appeared completely dressed in black were thought to have the thinnest appearance over any other model wearing vertical or horizontal stripes.  In that case, it would appear that in order to look as slim as possible, it is best to avoid stripes altogether.  Time to pull out that faithful old LBD again so.

How To Be A Baby Fashionista This Summer

Harper Seven Beckham, daughter of Victoria and David, has recently been spotted wearing a pair of tights from high fashion designers, Chloé.  These tights retail for £15, when the adult version sells for only £7.  It is a personal choice whether a parent wishes to invest in expensive clothes for their children, but when it comes to small babies’, the length that they will wear the clothes has to be considered.  Infants grow at a rapid rate, and are extremely active, so their clothes need to be suitable for this period.  We look to the high street for some fashionable clothes for a summer baby, that won’t break the bank.


  1. 2-pack polo neck bodysuits, H & M, €6.95
  2. Stripe polo shirt, Next, €9.50
  3. Straw hat, H & M, €4.95
  4. Shorts, H & M, €9.95
  5. Red Chinos, Next, €12.00
  6. Skinny Jeans, Next, €17.00
  7. Purple Shirt, Next, €12.00
  8. Espadrilles, Next, €12.00
  9. Stripe T-Shirt, Dunnes Stores, €4.00
  10. Chino Shorts, Next, €12.00
  11. Cardigan and T-Shirt Set, Next, €21.00



  1. Stripe Top, Next, €7.50
  2. Bright Pumps, Next, €13.00
  3. Belted Shorts, Next, €13.00
  4. Floral Jersey Dress, Tesco, €6.00
  5. Denim Shirt Dress, Next, €19.00
  6. Cable Knit Cardigan, Next, €17.00
  7. Bow Dress, Dunnes Stores, €6.00
  8. 2-pack ruffle sleeve tops, H & M, €5.95
  9. Towelling dress, Next, €14.00
  10. 2-pack leggings, Next, €10.00
  11. Knit Dress, Next, €16.00

Past Obsessions

Is it the allure of times gone by, the classic beauty, the iconic images or simply lack of imagination that keeps us looking back to the past for inspiration? From Marilyn to Madonna, both of whom epitomize their eras of the fifties and eighties, we cant seem to get enough of the timeless make-up styles.

Make-up has always been used as a way to convey an image, an idea, a persona, a way of life, in ancient times make-up was worn as a sign of wealth, luxury and status. Substances such as carbon, mercury and lead were used as far back as Roman and Egyptian times, although these substances were poisonous to the human body, which gives us a different take on the French saying, ‘Il faut souffrir pour etre belle’, ‘One must suffer to be beautiful’! More decadent substances were also used in the beauty regime of our predecessors, charred rose petals for a kohl effect and what was known as  ‘liquid gold’, olive oil to moisturise and protect the skin.

In the 20’s & 30’s, beauty products in general were seen as a necessity for the modern woman. With the release of the first nail polish, the compact and tanning products in the 20’s, beauty became something of a must have. When make-up started to take on a major role in a lady’s life, trends and patterns were set. From the 20’s onwards specific era looks were born. What makes a look synonymous with the 20’s?  The rose-bud lips and the circular shapes of the shadow and brows, the smokey eye was born and ultimately it was the beginning of classic beauty.

The 30’s took on a new style, the creation of another timeless look to be re-created for years to come. The introduction of a heavier brow, a full lip and luxe lashes helped set the trend. The sensuality and mystic of the 20’s was still evident in ladies choice of deep lip colour and smokey eyes. Every season we see elements of the 20’s and 30’s, Spring/Summer 2012 is no exception. With fashion houses such as Gucci, Rodarte and Pucci all showing smokey eyes during fashion week it is set to be a popular choice yet again. New elements and subtle changes keep the look fresh, an extended shape, a metallic sheen, a blend of colour is all it takes to bring it alive for the season ahead.

The 40’s and 50’s may be the most memorable, the most iconic of all time periods, beauty wise that is! Time and time again we see the statement red lip and the infamous black flick of the liner.  The forties were a time of hardship, rationing and hard work, because of this women had to simplify their make-up routine, however the red lip remained as a symbol of femininity and for the armed forces an important morale booster in their care packages from the U.S. Today lipstick colours may have varied to purples, oranges and even blues and greens but this cult product still remains a staple in every woman’s handbag. Once packaged in a screw top pot, lipstick was a bit awkward to carry around and apply on the go, Guerlain came to the rescue in 1870 with the introduction of the bullet or tube container aptly named ‘Ne m’oubliez pas’ meaning, ‘don’t forget me’.

Veronica Lake, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe to name just a few of the heroines of the 40’s and 50’s all helped to make the style a favourite with beauty lovers worldwide. Dior is a fashion house that favours the elegant, sophisticated, classical style of the 50’s. Their Spring/Summer 2011 look proved a hit with many high street make-up brands also. The contrast of bright, pop coloured eye-shadow shades of pinks, blues and greens against the matte orange and red lips created a vibrant, fun and interesting take on the look we all know and love. This year Dior have once again been inspired by the 50’s glamour, concentrating on fresh skin and of course the red lip, a more subtle adaptation but inspired none the less.

The 60’s brought with it a radical new outlook on make-up and beauty.  White liner, a dark socket line and pastels of pinks and peaches framed with false lashes were widely used to create the dolly bird look. This look was fun, artistic and remains iconic today most famously through images of Twiggy, a model of the era. Another public figure at the time was Brigette Bardot, a woman who oozed sex appeal through her trademark kohl rimmed eyes. Both woman, symbols of the era in such contrasting ways.

Some say the 70’s is the decade style forgot, although I am partial to a pair of high-waisted trousers and who doesn’t love a Farrah Fawcett hairdo? However, it can be said for make-up, beauty companies took a hit during this decade as ladies favoured a more laid-back, fuss free regime. For most, skin was kept natural and hair was left loose, for public figures, especially those in the music industry things were quite different. Subtly was left behind and disco was born!

The disco and glam rock era had begun, through the heavy use of glitter and bold colour choices. This carried on well into the 80’s where legends such as David Bowie and Blondie were made famous, their images still influencing the rising stars of today, most notably Lady GaGa. These bold and daring looks can be found in every magazine, on every catwalk and with every make-up brand today. The fun, punchy, attitude of this decade makes it appealing to everyone and it is very attainable. A simple two toned eye, a flash of colour or a hint of glitter and you’ve got your own 80’s homage.

The freedom of colour, the angular style and the brash interpretations make this, the 80’s, my favourite era.

So whether its 1920 or 2012, I feel as a make-up artist we will always look to the past for guidance and inspiration. The question is will 2012 be the year of a new, original trend? Its possible…

Michelle Wall 2012