Sunday, June 23, 2024

Style Notes: New Chapter boutique opens in Naas, Irish designers in China showcase and a vintage sale in Cork

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Mairead Byrne has opened the doors of her New Chapter boutique in Naas, Co Kildare, with an impressive line-up of brands. They include two of my favourite Australian designers, Rachel Gilbert and Rebecca Vallance, but she also stocks another Aussie brand, L’idée, which is exclusive to her in Ireland.

Rachel Gilbert’s ‘Celia’ dress, €850, New Chapter, Naas, Co Kildare

L’idée does pleats and colour in a very feminine way, and for anyone travelling abroad to an event this summer, I have to say, these pleated looks pack like a dream and then leap into immediate service, so worth taking a look.

Two other Irish brands I had not seen before in Ireland are ALC, which is from America, and Lovebirds, from India, which does stunning tops and dresses.

A businesswoman with a love of fashion, I met Mairead at the opening night, where she told me she always had the ambition to open a store of her own. It finally happened after she met Brazilian-born stylist Eider Leite and fashion buyer Aimee Hazeldine, and the trio’s shared passions and distinctive skills drove the opening of the new store.

Lovebirds dress, €435, New Chapter, Naas

Naas has become such a destination town for fashion, and I’m quite sure the fact that New Chapters is open seven days a week will appeal to potential customers nationwide.

It has accessories such as Veja footwear to go with the Frame, Agolde and Rag & Bone denims, sunglasses by Le Specs, and gift options include my favourite, Assouline books.

Looking east

Irish flags will be flying in Hainan in China this weekend as six designers and craftspeople take part in an important international trade expo.

They are on a special mission to the China International Consumer Products Expo, organised and supported by the Embassy of Ireland in Beijing.

Ireland is the ‘Country of Honour’ at this year’s expo, which runs from today until April 18, and it ranks as one of the most important trade fairs in China, designed to facilitate access to the Chinese market for quality global brands.

The group who travelled include founder of AndTate Sharon Hoey, Sara O’Neill of Éadach, Faye Rochford of FéRí, and Christine Murphy of Urban Aran, all members of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers. They are joined by Designer & Craft Council Ireland members Anna Guerin of coat and blazer range The Landskein and also Celtic Tweeds from Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

The Irish delegation will take part in an international fashion show, exhibit at the Irish Pavilion at the expo and will have opportunities to meet buyers and media.

‘Midnight in Bloom’ crepe de chine cape, €795, and silk twill dress, €550, made to order from Éadach by Sara O’Neill. Photo: Sasko Lazarov

Among the looks Sara will be showing are her ‘Midnight in Bloom’ crepe de chine cape (€795) and silk twill dress (€550), which Dearbhla Walsh, director of Bad Sisters, chose to wear at the Emmys in January. Sara will also be showing her new two-sided bomber jackets in prints including ‘Róisín Dubh’ and ‘Morrigan’.

Meanwhile, Faye is bringing pieces from her FéRí SS24 ‘Aqua’ collection, which has a nostalgic pool-side energy reminiscent of Palm Springs in the 1970s.

‘Erin’ silk dress, €460, and ‘Niamh’ jumpsuit in cotton canvas, €340, Photo: Johnny McMillan

Faye drew inspiration from David Hockney’s series of swimming pool paintings, and the colour palette features blues from poolside turquoise to royal and oceanic, candy pinks and leafy greens.

Watch out for her pop-up in Wexford town from April 26 to May 9. Details on

Vintage on Leeside

Miss Daisy Blue is hosting a sale at Cork’s River Lee Hotel this weekend. Breda Casey’s sales are famous in vintage circles, a fine opportunity to discover preloved gems across the decades.

Miss Daisy Blue shop on Saint Patrick’s Quay, Cork

Her spring warehouse clearance will include rails with pieces starting at €10 and there will also be some stunning bridal wear, with pieces dating from the 1930s to 1980s. Sale times on Saturday are 10am-6pm and from 10am-4pm on Sunday.

If you cannot make it this weekend, Breda has a store on St Patrick’s Quay in Cork, which is over the bridge at the end of Panna (Patrick Street). For times of opening and to book an appointment, you can direct message her on Instagram (@missdaisyblue).

By the way, on the subject of vintage and giving preloved pieces a little tender loving care, I asked Breda if she had any advice. You sometimes hear about people spraying old clothes with vodka to remove smells but Breda is a big believer in giving clothes a good airing, so out onto the clothes line with them — and do double-peg them if the weather is anything as windy as last weekend.

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