Page 1

I S S U E N O.1




35-38 Kate O’Dowd UP & C OMING

8 ON the Up

10 Scrapbook

11 A Nervy Girl’s Guide to the Tube

12 Rory Hutton

14 Jocelyn Murray Boyne

16 Danielle Winckworth IR ISH INVADE LONDON

18 London a la Irish

20 The Irish Shop

22 Look of the Irish W INTE R MOODBOAR D

25 Don’t you wish you’d worn that?

26 Fashion Edit

28 From Heel to Brogue FASH ION DAR LINGS

30 Simone Rocha

32 Amy Huberman

39-42 Aisling Farinella 1960s DOYE N OF FASH ION

43-46 Ib Jorgensen SH OR T STOR Y

47 Independence Day IR ISH IC ONS TH R OUGH TH E AGE S

50 The long-winded Lady

52 The charm of Sybil Connolly

54 Magnificent Maureen FASH ION SH OOTS

56-69 In Dublin’s Fair City

70-81 Theo in Texture BE AUTY

82 Make-up tips from Colette Cassidy A LITTLE MOR E IR ISH FLAVOUR

85 Julie Feeney

86 Jessica Bermingham

90 Style Crush: Saoirse Ronan

Cover Photographer: Rich GilliganStylist: Lisa McCann Model: Danielle, Morgan The Agency Model wears pink sheer top, American Apparel. Cream flared skirt, Jocelyn Murray Boyne. Pink glitter socks, Topshop. Red suede heels, Primark.

Letter from

the editor


Rich Gilligan Rich Gilligan is a photographer based in Dublin. He started out photographing skateboarders, regularly contributing to international publication Slap & Kingpin and from there has gone on to shoot fashion editorial for Thread Magazine in Dublin. He consistently produces raw and beautiful work, and has published a book called DIY, which is centered on home made/non professionally built skate parks and their environments.

Liz O’Connor Liz O’Connor is a publishing architect and writer. After her auspicious start in London in 1987, she has lived there ever since. She is married to husband Glen and has a daughter Stella. She has worked at publishing firms Waterlow Ltd. and MacMillan Reference Ltd.

Chelsea Bonus Chelsea Bonus is a fashion illustrator based in Dublin. She has contributed to new- fashioned wedding magazine Bash and Irish Tatler. Her work is simple yet sophisticated, a charming addition to any fashion magazine.

This is the first issue of fashion and lifestyle magazine Saoirse, a bi-annual magazine that hopes to introduce the style and charm of Ireland to London. London can be an overwhelming place, the sheer size, the postcodes, the crowds. Quite a change. Saoirse wants to celebrate being Irish through fashion, creativity and stories. We introduce fascinating and successful people both at home and in London. We interviewed characters from 1960s fashion designer Ib Jorgensen to present darling of the fashion world, Simone Rocha.

We have a shoot featuring up and coming model Danielle Winckworth and talented photographer Rich Gilligan. We fill you in on all the tricks to living in London, from the best places to spend your Sunday afternoon to where to buy much loved and missed Irish brands. Whatever you need to know about moving to London and how to look fashionable while doing so, you will find here. Embrace being Irish in a city alive with so many nationalities.

Editor in Chief Lisa Mc Cann

Colette Cassidy Colette Cassidy is a make-artist currently based in London. She has worked for all of Ireland’s glossy magazines including Image Magazine, Irish Tatler and VIP and has done make-up for celebrities like Jodie Kidd, Jasmine Guinness and Helena Christensen. She creates natural looks with definition and creativity.

Iringo Demeter Iringo Demeter is a photographer from Romania currently based in London. She is doing a master in Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion and has contributed to such publications as F**king Young.



Danielle Romeril

Thalia Heffernan

Danielle designed her first outfit of crazy colours and prints age 9. She moved on to cutting patterns age 15, designing a fancy coat for a big night out. Her career really took off however after winning three awards including the Fiskars Award during her studies at the world-renowned Royal College of Art in London. She honed her skills at a tiny village in Italy under Alberta Ferretti and went on to establish her own label in 2012. Her graduate collection paved the way for her youthful aesthetic with an emphasis on beautifully crafted pieces with a disruptive edge. Danielle “never looks prissy” and would never leave the house without knickers, I mean a jacket on.

Is gorgeous. There is no denying that. She is also versatile and hard working, something significant in Irish fashion. Having been signed by Elite Uk agency Premier Model Management in 2012, Thalia has been working in both Ireland and the UK. She loves her bed and her two dwarf hamsters almost as much as modeling and plans on living in South Africa and working with wildlife. This is of course after her career as a top model takes off and she marries Tom Hardy. Ambitious. Yes she is also that.

Visit for more information.

Irish Model Eve Connolly wearing a design from Danielle’s SS 2014 collection

Dylan Hartigan

Lisa Ryder Accessories

Has perfect bee stung lips that would seem strange on a priest. Yes. Had Irish model Dylan not pursued modeling he would be preaching to thousands. Instead, he was , he was signed to renowned UK agency Models 1 in Autumn 2012 and landed his first catwalk show for Richard Nicoll in January 2013. He has a unique look, classic but interesting. A photo-shoot for i-D Magazine shot by Raf Simons showcases his raw talent. Besides modeling, he has a penchant for Kit Kat chunky peanut butter and television show, Modern Family.

A handbag with style, elegance and a touch of individuality. Irish designer, Lisa Ryder has created a beautifully detailed print inspired by urban landscapes. It’s 1950s vintage shape and clean minimalistic style ensure you stand out from the crowd and the pale paste colours will brighten up any winter outfit. Winner of the Fashion Innovation Awards two years running, Lisa Ryder is our new guilty pleasure. Visit for stockists, £419.75.

Check out Dylan’s photo-shoot for i-D magazine at

Electronic Sheep

Little Green Cars

A - W 2 0 13 c o l l e c t i o n Knitwear is possibly the best thing about winter. Cozy and chic. The perfect combination. Irish knitwear label Electronic sheep have designed an eye-popping new collection this autumn. A fusion of loud graphics, fringe and strong colours, there is no hiding in these charming comic-strip wonders. This one in black is perfect for making a statement this winter, £218. Visit for stockists.

Little Green Cars is Ireland’s new favourite thing to boast about. It’s not often we produce a band that is both talented and slightly offbeat. Their sound is haunting and melodic, a mixture of boy-girl harmonies. They went to the same school as most people’s brothers and “are really, genuinely nice” people. Their song “The John Wayne” is beautifully sung and the lyrics are enchanting. “It’s easy to fall in love, it’s easy to fall in love with you.” Their debut album, Absolut Zero is out now.




Photograph by Rich Gilligan


A N e r v y G i r l ’s G u i d e t o t h e Tu b e

B e d s i d e Ta b l e W h a t ’s o n f a s hio n illu s t r a t o r C h e l s e a B o nu s ’s b e s id e t ab le ? My moleskine notebook and a pen. Better safe than sorry in case I’m half asleep and my million-euro idea pops into my head. Any scented candle. Especially now it’s winter, I love anything citrus-y.   At the minute a book. I’m usually pretty bad at keeping up with reading but I picked up a €1 copy of Jane Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’ which I’m halfway through at the minute.   My keys and whatever assortment of hair pins I’ve accumulated throughout the day.

Lisa Loves Laragh McCann, an Irish model with high fashion credentials is a favourite at Saoirse Magazine. She’s been photographed by Sean & Yvette for the cover of Thread Magazine; done numerous stunning shoots with Ireland’s top stylist Aisling Farinella and has walked for nearly every top designer including Miu Miu, Dries Van Noten and Simone Rocha. As the cover of new-fashioned wedding magazine Bash, we were delighted she would be gracing it’s pages in a stunning shoot styled again by Aisling Farinella and photographed by Rich Gilligan. A true beauty, her face is a work of art.

E m m a Ko e n i g

- Always bring a book, magazine, newspaper. Something.

- Wear extra powder, as you will sweat all your makeup off.

- Fascinating though their book/newspaper might be, people can tell if you are reading over their shoulder. Refrain from doing so.

- Carry a small cotton handkerchief sprayed with your favourite eau de perfume. This can be a life savior in times of crushing by beer swilling, badly smelling occupants.

- Typically, the tube is full of lunatics. They rant at the top of their voice about religion. They mumble and shout. They often smell. And they always sit next to you. Pretend to be asleep so as to avoid eye contact with strange individuals (keep hand on belongings).

Blogger Emma Koenig comes to terms with her twenties. Emma Koenig’s book F**k! I’m in my Twenties is in shops now.

- Keep a miniature tube map with you at all times. - Avoid potential mad men- change carriage if at all suspicious. Shoot for Ponystep Magazine



- Don’t try your luck with the train doors. They close without warning and are merciless. Your arm will be chopped off. - Don’t forget to people watch, in my opinion, the only positive aspect to the tube. - Pretend you are in your happy place i.e. anywhere but the tube.



H U T TO N is…

Can you tell me the story behind Rory Hutton London?

Can you share a surprising fact about where you grew up in Ireland?

I’ve always been an entrepreneur and having worn bow ties since I was a child it seemed like the perfect starting point. I wanted to begin with something small that would enable me to put my name out there while keeping costs low and maintaining control over the operation to begin with.

I grew up in Carlow where I spent a lot of time in my grandparent’s house in the countryside. I loved playing and helping out in the gardens. My first bow tie collection was inspired by the creepy crawlies I was familiar with there. My grandparents are now dead but I grow a lot of the same plants in my small garden and this reminds me of my happy childhood in Carlow. It is a small town but it has a Dolmen with the largest capstone in Europe. There’s a surprising fact. Also worth noting is Ducketts Grove, a very beautiful haunting sort of place. My thoughts often lead me there when I’m looking for inspiration.

What inspires you about Oscar Wilde? Goodness. Oscar Wilde was an Irish dandy in London. He was witty and impeccably turned out. He was obsessed with beauty and part of the Aesthetic Movement, which is a major source of inspiration to me. I based my degree collection on Oscar Wilde’s love letters. Today my Irish muse is W.B Yeats as he has a connection to nature that really appeals to me. How would you describe your studio in Wimbledon? It is very quiet and has a garden, which I adore. I have lots and lots of books. I get very inspired by poetry, philosophy and classics. I have books on fashion history and construction as you would expect but I don’t find these terribly inspiring and I hardly ever buy fashion magazines. I do however subscribe to The World of Interiors. It showcases some great houses. I store my books in two 1930s glass front bookcases and the space resembles a library more than a studio. I keep all my treads and pins in battered vintage tins and all my fabrics are stored in a small room just off the studio, which I call the anteroom. It’s quite messy today as I’ve just completed an order for Brown Thomas in Dublin.

Rory in his office in Wimbledon


A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design, Rory has since been establishing his own brand of individual, handmade bow ties in London. They are made of silk and Irish linen and printed with Victorian images of animals, birds and insects. We discuss Oscar Wilde, creepy crawlies and treasured possessions with Rory.



What would your perfect day out in London be? Breakfast in Camden Passage where there is a very good Viennese Café. Then the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington to see the Jewelry galleries. I’m fascinated by the symbolism of jewelry. Then I would go to the British Museum and visit room 95, which is where the Sir Percival David collection is housed. It’s a collection of Chinese ceramics. I find the space very Zen and am often to be found here. If there was time I might go The Wallace Collection and see Marie Antoinette’s writing desk.

Who would you love to see wearing your designs? I don’t have a huge interest in celebrities but I have had my bows on some celebrity necks. In Ireland, presenter Darren Kennedy and actor Alan Leech from Downton Abbey and in England, actor Blake Harrison from the Inbetweeners, Rupert Evans and the Lord Mayor of London. I just like to see my bow ties on anyone who has confidence. Yesterday I got a thank you email from a man who got married in one of my bow ties. That’s nice because your part of someone’s special day and their grandchildren may see the pictures in 50 years. What is your most treasured possession? I have a set of Irish Georgian silver spoons I inherited when I was sixteen. I sometimes use them when I have friends over for tea and they make me feel like a lord. It is important as a fashion designer to understand the transformative power of possessions. Rory’s bow ties can purchased from his website,, from Fortnum & Mason in London and Brown Thomas in Dublin. Prices range from £40 to £70.

Is your long-term plan to extend Rory Hutton London and design clothes as well? We are currently extending into men’s/ women’s jewelry and our first collection will be launching in approximately one months time. I’m keen to build the brand as an accessories company and for the time being that will be the focus.

Green swallow bow tie, £49



A graduate of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Jocelyn Murray Boyne’s final collection was a vibrant expression of artistic talent. We chat about her love of Susie Bubble and what inspired her beautiful designs.

Where did your inspiration come from for your graduate collection? For silhouette, colour and texture, I was inspired by the vivid scarlet and lavender hues used by Ireland’s Venice Biennale representative Richard Moss in his infrared photos of the Congo. I tried to combine man-made and natural fibres in each outfit to recreate the juxtaposition featured in Mosse's photos. The oversized cut and silhouette of the collection was informed by the utilitarian clothing of the soldiers featured in his series. What are your plans career wise now that you’ve graduated? Ultimately I would love to start my own business. However, I have many interests in the field of design and am eager to learn more and explore other skills and disciplines. I feel that the more skills you have the better and I'm interested in collecting them as soon as possible. How would you describe your aesthetic? Colourful, textured, comfortable. Would you ever move to London? Yes I see myself living there for a few years. It's a really exciting place for young designers right now. I would love to do a masters there at some point but it is not where I see myself long term.

What do you love most about fashion design? It is a form of design that is so personal. At the end of the day the individual garments will depart from the collections and come to mean something completely new and individual to the wearer. Can you tell me your top five sources of inspiration? Photography, travelling, texture and fabrics, film, friends and family. Who is your favorite designer? Miuccia Prada. What’s your first fashion memory? The tiedye dolphin t-shirts I got in Portugal when I was 9. I wore them every day on rotation for about a year. I can't look at tie-dye without thinking of those dolphin t-shirts. Which Irish designers do you admire? Simone Rocha, John Rocha, Lainey Keogh, Roisin Gartland and Tim Ryan. Who would you love to dress? I'm a fan of Susie Bubble. I think she would be fun to dress.

Visit for more information.


A design from Jocelyn’s graduate collection



How were you discovered? My mum’s friend is a model scout and discovered me in my school uniform at the age of 15. She and my mum were picking me up from school and she kept looking at me. I remember saying afterwards, “Mum, your friends a freak.” What’s been your most exciting moment so far as a model? Travelling to New York and doing Fashion Week has been the most exciting adventure so far. I can’t wait to go back. What is the longest you have been in hair and make-up? I once spent eight hours getting hair extensions put in and they only took one shot. That was crazy. Another time, my entire face was painted different colours. Thanks to British model, Cara Delevingne, everyone wants bushy eyebrows. I am not a fan. Simone Rocha A/W ‘12


Model Danielle Winckworth has been a favourite in Ireland with fashion photographers and stylists since day one. With unusual looks, she has high fashion written all over her.

Do you wear make-up during the day? I’m very lazy so I don’t bother during the day but I’ll do really smoky eyes at night. What did you want to be when you were younger? I’ve always wanted to design shoes and handbags, and would still love to so hopefully in the future. Would you like to be as successful as Cara Delevingne or would that level of fame be scary? For me, that level of fame would be absolutely terrifying; I’m far too shy. Is it ever strange seeing yourself in magazines and advertising campaigns? I’ve never really found it strange seeing myself in magazines. To me, it’s just my job. It can be exciting to see the outcome for sure. What was your last shoot? The last shoot I did was for a cute little vintage store in Cork. It was shot in The Marker Hotel, which is an amazing location. Which models do you look up to and see as inspiration? My favourite model and my inspiration is definitely Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel. She’s so beautiful. She is one of the biggest models at the moment but lives a very private life and I admire that. Do you have any unusual gifts or talents? I recently discovered I can see auras. It sounds a bit mad and I have no idea what it means.



LO N D O N á la Irish Kate Stewa r t

Emma Ivie

Straight-talking. Sarcastic. Occupation : Student.

H a p p y a s L a r r y. O c c u p a t i o n : Te a c h e r.



- I would suggest lurking on Time Out and Last Minute for

- Bring a book or keep earphones in on the tube. The weirdos

- Pre-pay your Oyster card so you don’t have that moment

- Be discerning when you’re looking for a place to live. Almost everyone


- Practice using Google maps. London is a maze and you will get lost.

cheap deals. This is crucial.

can sense people new to London.

when you swipe and walk and bang into the barriers. Never fun.

has a horror story of living with nightmare housemates when you first move here.

- Dirty Burger or Honest Burger. Really just burgers in general.


- Lie on Hampstead Heath or Primrose Hill, walk the hilly bits and then go buy a cupcake. Delish.

- Broadway Market for its great bookshops and really lovely coffee

- Outdoor cinemas (even though I haven’t been yet).

shops (also, it’s adjoining London Fields which is my favourite park).

- Beyond Retro in Dalston. All of the other branches feel crowded. - The BFI. The nicest artsy cinema to go to in my opinion. It always

has great film seasons on and it’s in a great location on the Southbank.

Ta ra Q u i n n

Ra ch a e l M cKe o n

Unusually tall. Ambitious. Occupation : Fashion buyer at Ralph Lauren.

19 5 0 s H o u s e w i f e . Occupation : Student.



- Take travel time and costs into account when choosing a place

- Have enough money saved to facilitate your move.

to live. Very important.

- Don’t pick an area to live in until you know where you’ll be

working. Nobody wants an hour commute on a sweaty tube.

- Get involved as much as you can in different activities so you can make friends.

- Thoroughly research the area you‘re thinking of moving to. Location is everything.

- Make a budget and stick to it.



- High street shopping on High Street Kensington (much nicer

- Sunday roast at the Engineer in Primrose Hill, probably one

of the best spots for Sunday lunch in London. This is just above Regents Park where you can go for a lovely walk after or nip into Camden for a browse around the markets.

than Oxford Circus/Westfield).

- Rooftop bars in Shoreditch.

- Renting a Boris bike and spending an afternoon cycling

- Secret cinema.

around Regents and Hyde Park.

Check out for the best guide to London life. IRISH INVADE LONDON //



- Cocktails at Hix on Brewer St Soho. So chic and a

really intimate space full of character, great nibbles and amazing drink.

The Irish

The London

shop in

Iri sh Centre

East Dulw ich

The London-Irish Centre in Camden Square is the perfect place to visit if you are in need of a friendly Irish face. A charity set up to support the Irish community in London; it offers a wide range of fun events, support and programs. This October, the London Irish Comedy festival returns from October 11th- 13th. Comedians Andrew Maxwell, David McSavage, Maeve Higgins and various others will be performing over three days. November offers more cultural delights, including a Young Irish Writers Showcase, which is sure to inspire and thrill. This is a free event and will be featuring exciting new voices in Irish literature from all over Ireland. The London-Irish Centre is situated at 50-52 Camden Square, London, NW 1 9XB. Their website is

Did you k now? I don’t know about you but one of the main things I miss from home is the food. I would kill to walk down the road and buy some Barry’s tea, Clonakilty sausages, Dairygold butter and of course, some Taytos. That is when I heard about The Irish Shop in East Dulwich. That’s right. Everything sold there is Irish. Try not to faint. 118 Lordship Lane. Even the place sounded magical (and slightly odd). So I set off. Dubious. Would I really find what I was looking for? The answer was yes, a hundreds times yes. Now let’s be honest, the outside is less than inspiring but that doesn’t matter, the inside is a regular treasure trove of Irish home delights. All of the above, plus Club Orange, Irish newspapers and even Claddagh rings. It exceeded my most ridiculous expectations. Mary O’ Shea runs the shop, which has been in existence since 1995. She has a few loyal customers, mostly young Irish who come from all over

London to purchase their favourite Irish newspapers and Barry’s Tea. This is her most sought after item, along with Clonakilty black pudding and Kimberley biscuits. Evidently there are others in London who are suffering like me. Well at least we can now find comfort in the delightful Irish Shop in East Dulwich. The Irish Shop can be found at 118, Lordship Lane, East Dulwich. Nearest station: North Dulwich.

After 1860 many Irish sang songs about signs in London reading “HELP WANTED – NO IRISH NEED APPLY”. These inspired the 1862 song, “No Irish Need Apply”. British Prime Minister at the time Benjamin Disraeli stated publicly, “The Irish hate our order, our civilization, our enterprising industry, our pure religion. This wild, reckless, indolent, uncertain and superstitious race have no sympathy with the English character. Their ideal of human felicity is an alternation of clannish broils and coarse idolatry. Their history describes an unbroken circle of bigotry and blood.” How times have changed. The drunken stereotypes still exist but for the most part discrimination is no longer as evident in London. Phew.



Irish stylist and presenter Angela Scanlon has beautiful red flaming hair, a quirky sense of style and a vibrant personality. Pair a printed Zara skirt with a biker jacket and colorful wedges. BEST QUOTE :


“I was at en event the other evening, Harper’s Bazaar, very fancy, swanky event and I’d brushed my hair for the first time in a long time. A woman passed by me and she was like, “You know, you’re actually really attractive for a redhead.”

of the

Irish Irish stylist Celestine Cooney is edgy, minimal, casual but directional. Pair a Simone Rocha lace dress with a pair of Nikes and a sports cap. BEST QUOTE : Fashion designer Simone Rocha is beautifully scruffy. She manages to combine a feminine elegance with a grungy neglect. Pair one of Simone’s own pieces with silver brogues and red lipstick.

“I always think I end up looking a bit like a 15 year old boy. I tend to mix street wear labels like Carhartt, Nike, Levis and Adidas with designers like Simone Rocha, Christopher Kane, and Balenciaga. So even when I'm wearing a skirt it ends up looking kind of tomboyish.”

BEST QUOTE : “I think about clothes every single minute of the day, It's constant, it's actually constant.” 22


Hannah A contrast of preppy minimalism and elegance gives this look a twist. Hannah may be freezing inside her burgundy socks but her beautiful choice of colour and textures creates a synergy between each piece. Now to try and recreate this look. Note to self, practice pout this autumn-winter.

Editor and Stylist Aisling Farinella is cute yet boyish. Like Celestine Cooney she loves to wear Simone Rocha, however unlike Celestine, she likes to mix this with vintage pieces. Pair a vintage cropped jacket with pink hoop earrings, John Rocha wooden wedges and some red lipstick.

Sasha This outfit combines the perfect amount of androgyny with just a hint of glamour. The colours are autumnal and the graphic print on the jumper is arresting. Sasha is most definitely one of the boys, someone who shuns girlish trends and wears exactly what she wants. Follow her lead this autumn-winter and let your inner tomboy out.

BEST QUOTE : “My style icon would be if Coco Chanel were to meet Frida Kahlo.”

Sarah Sarah’s use of contrasting prints and vibrant colours is very effective here. J.W Anderson proves his jumpers spice up any outfit and her canon camera links all of the colours together nicely.

D o n ’ t y o u w i s h y o u ’d w o r n t h a t ? Editor Kate O’Dowd oozes elegance. She adores minimal designs and classic cuts.

Individual outfits that will inspire and delight this winter.

Pair a simple shirt from Cos with funky wedges and a super short bob.

Claudia Claudia’s contrast of her Afro with an over-sized pink coat is almost too cool to cope. Her androgynous look is offset with ray bans and simple black brogues. The bag adds interest and colour.

BEST QUOTE : If I wasn’t an editor, I’d be growing free-range babies on a farm in Tuscany.

Nour Nour has the right idea this winter, with her dainty glasses and soft wool coat in blue. The addition of the crisp white shirt is stylish and sophisticated.




THE FA S H I O N EDIT for the girls Stella Mc Cartney Satin-trimmed wool coat £1342

Stella Mc Cartney Plaid-intarsia knitted sweater £650

Stella Mc Cartney Grey wool-flannel straight leg pants £650

for the boys Simone Rocha Paneled cotton shirt £418

J.W Anderson Checked wool sweater £476

Simone Rocha Wafer-mesh mini skirt £443

Topshop Black and white platforms £26

Simone Rocha Patent-leather brogues £650

Cos Gold hair slides £4

American Apparel Black frilly socks £7


COS Wool-mix parka £190

Roryhuttonlondon Green swallows bow tie £70

Kenzo Mountain Style contrast crew-neck sweater £205

J.W Anderson Anchor logo sweater £305

J.W Anderson Check cigarette trousers £415

Kenzo Zigzag print trousers £182

Nicholas Kirkwood Chevron-print and pony hair derby boots £795

Acne Wood beanie hat £100


Nicholas Kirkwood Metallic Oxford shoes £595

COS Chunky knit scarf £35

From heel to

Brog ue A phenomenon sweeping the high street

High heels have always been an obstacle for me. I look both lob-sided and vertically challenged. Personally I blame my bad feet but but that is besides the point. No amount of alcohol helps the situation either. I find myself wobbling around, making a potentially awkward social situation even more so. Why couldn’t I have worn flats or brogues and maybe even enjoy my night. And then TA DAH. Simone Rocha’s brogues appeared out of thin air. The perspex heel adds a touch of glamour to a seemingly plain shoe. The various colours, especially her recent Autumn-Winter 2013 collection of pale pinks and gold in glitter are perfect in every way. Of course these shoes are incomprehensively expensive and I would have to be Anna Wintour to even consider purchasing them so I just have to make do with a cheaper version.Thanks to Simone, the high

From Simone Rocha Autumn/Winter 2013



street has gone crazy for brogues this season. Clarks have a beautiful selection of patent brogues in twotone and various colours as do Office and Topshop. Bow in the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin is also adding traditional British shoemakers, Grenson to their already unique collection of designers. Their brogues are classic and quirky, a delectable combination. They are slightly more expensive, as are Kurt Geiger who also have some great pairs but are a good investment. My nights out are starting to look up since I can now get away with wearing something both comfortable and stylish. Hopefully my friends will agree and not shun me for wearing silver brogues to the ever so trendy nightclub in Dublin, Krystal.

Simone drinking Guinness at her local pub

Irish fashion designer Simone Rocha has created a unique aesthetic. One that evokes admiration and respect. Girls worldwide have fallen in love with the Simone Rocha girl. She is effortlessly cool and individual. Simone’s autumn-winter 2013 collection was a gorgeous reflection of each of her grandmothers’ individual styles. It is elegance personified. We chat to Simone about her ideal day out in London, her favourite Irish photographers and which movies inspire her.


(i n s p i r i n g )

minutes with

Simone Rocha

Were you obsessed with fashion and clothes as a child? Not so much obsessed

with clothes but I was really into my school uniform. I’m wearing a white open dot dress from my SS13 collection. It was the first look in the show and one of my favourites.

What are you wearing today?


What is your funniest fashion moment?

It was definitely when I met Anna Wintour and Franca Sozanni at the same time. Though it was more overwhelming than funny. You have worked with Irish stylist Celestine Cooney and model Danielle Winckworth. Is it important for Irish to stick together in the fashion industry and in London in particular? There is an amazing community

of creative Irish people in Dublin. I also really admire photographers Niall O’Brian, Linda Brownlee and Boo George.

What are your top five favourite things to do in London? I would have to say dinner with

my team in China Town, the Curzon cinema in Mayfair, swimming in the ladies ponds in Hampstead Heath, visiting the Tate Modern, sleeping in Claridges and sitting in the Spurstow pub on a Sunday.  30


Where do you go in London to be inspired or to people-watch? I live in Hackney, which is

a real mix and great for people watching. Otherwise the bus is pretty good.   Can you tell me your favourite movies in terms of fashion inspiration? In the Mood for

Love, or A Room with a View. I love both films for their story as well as the colours, music and pace.

How often do you see people wearing your clothes and how does this feel? Right now

I am in Paris for fashion week so I have seen more than usual people in the clothes and it is amazing, such a compliment.

At the launch of her debut novel, I Wished for You

Why do you like hopscotch so much?

a secret talent of mine. I enjoy the thrill of it.

It is

Your tweets are both charming and witty, are you a fan of twitter? Why thank you. I

enjoy Twitter I must say. Trying to put a humorous idea together succinctly in 140 characters helps me forge through little bouts of writers block. Other times it’s just because I find it good fun and enjoy the banter back.

If you could pick an actor to be your leading man who would it be? Matt Damon.


I think he’s a wonderful actor. If he’s busy I’d take Leonardo DiCaprio or his buddy Ben Affleck. Both are just delightful.

Irish Actress and novelist Amy Huberman is cute as a button. She has the personality and charm of actress Emma Stone and a golden retriever combined. She has 119,285 followers on twitter, recently winning the Ireland’s RaboTweetie awards for best celebrity tweeter and a reputation for being very funny. Oh yes and she is a talented actor and has written two novels. All in the space of two years.


You always look so stylish. Do you have any favourite fashion designers or high street shops? Thank you ever so much. I really

enjoy fashion but I don’t get too hung up on it. I’ve been very lucky in that designers have lent me clothes for certain events. I love Victoria Beckham dresses but I’ve yet to wear one of those. Just give me time. My favourite high street brands are Cos, Sandro and Topshop.


Could you tell me five of your favourite things to do in Dublin and London? In

Dublin, I love pottering around Grafton Street, sitting in a coffee shop and watching the world go by. Also walking the seafront anywhere like Dalkey or Sandymount. In London, Ugh I don’t even know where to start. I love spending an hour getting lost in the luxury of Liberty or going to Spittalfield Market to potter around the stalls and old furniture shops. I also love Borough Market on the weekends, the best food market I have ever been to. My first ever part was the part of the king in my school nativity play and I was a bit gutted I was only a support part (there you go; my ambitious streak coming out).

What was your first role as a child?

If you were offered a role in LA would you consider moving? What would you miss about Dublin? I would indeed. I don’t know if

I’d like to live there indefinitely but I would take the opportunity if it came along. I’d miss everything about Dublin; I love my home city. But mostly I’d miss friends and family oh and my twitter followers.


Editors with an


One is a full-time stylist and editor of fashion magazine, Thread, one is editor of new-fashioned wedding magazine, Bash. Both magazines are visually beautiful and inspiring. Editors Aisling Farinella and Kate O’Dowd shape a new aesthetic in Irish fashion.





ate O’Dowd, editor of new fashioned wedding magazine Bash fills us in on her experience studying fashion journalism in London. She endured gunshots, an attack on the tube and a brief internship under the terrifying editor of the Evening Standard. All in the name of fashion.

You interned at the Evening Standard during your time in London, what was that like? My role was sub fashion assistant;

I was the lowest down on the scale. I used to have to walk a fair distance behind the fashion editor carrying his suitcase; it was ridiculous. They were so horrible to me that I used to cry in the bathroom every day. I remember bumping into my old editor at the Evening Standard in London a year or two later when I had a proper job and he was like “Oh Katie what are you doing here?” “Oh, well I’ve a job now.” Do you have any crazy stories from your time in London? I actually got harassed twice

Did you always want to work in fashion?

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to write. I never had the stamina to be a novelist and I’m not that interested in the news. I was working in Brown Thomas so I knew I liked fashion. I randomly applied for this MA course in fashion journalism not even thinking I would get it. It was just a perfect fit for me because writing about fashion is a really nice way to write. I find fashion writing almost poetic. You can spend a long time working on a sentence because it’s all about the beat of it. Can you tell me about your time in London? I lived in the digs in Elephant and

Castle, which was terrifying. It was in the ghetto and in one of the biggest council flats in London. We used to hear gunshots all the time and you would see blood on the pavement. My flat-mate was from Chicago so he was used to it. Every time there was a gunshot he would jump on the floor and I’d be like “Oh what was that? A car?” and he would say, “No, that was someone getting shot.”

No we met that year. We’ve stayed in touch. He’s a DJ now actually. It’s funny because we used to listen to gunshots together and now he’s famous. Did you know him before?

Where did you used to go out? We used to go out around Hackney and Shoreditch a lot. We’d go to this place called Jaguar Shoes. It was the cool place to go. There was also a warehouse we used to go raving.

My tutor Andrew molded me in a way. He introduced me to all the titles that I read now like 10 Magazine and Pop. These were a really big influence on my writing and on the design of magazines I like.

What did you learn from the course?

How would you describe your own writing style? It’ s a bit like 10 Magazine. It’s a little bit

sarcastic and a bit witty I suppose, or at least I try to be a bit witty. I fell in love with 10 Magazine and based my own magazine that I did for my final year project on it. I called it Katie after Irish singer Mary Black’s song “Come Running home again Katie.” 36

on the tube because the area I lived in was 98% black people and I was this tiny Irish girl. I was on the tube one day going to Fashion Week and I had my best stuff on. I thought I looked deadly. These two really scary girls came on (they were probably about 15) and basically decided that I was some posh bitch, which I wasn’t at all. They pushed me up against the wall, took my bag and started looking in it. I was like “You don’t understand, I’m Irish, I’m not like that, this is my best outfit.” I was getting bullied so my flat-mate used to have to escort me everywhere. He was the gayest thing ever but giant and black. I couldn’t believe it. “Stop being so racist, I’m Irish.” The best thing about being in London was going to fashion week. I don’t know how I managed to get into so many. I made up a fabulous fashion Magazine and managed to get tickets to a fair few. London really pushed me out of my comfort zone. That was what I mostly got out of it. The terror of going to a show without a ticket was amazing. What was your highlight?

Who were your favourite designers at fashion week? I actually got a few through

my internship at the Evening Standard. I saw Manish Arora who was deadly and I really liked Richard Nicoll. It was just so exciting. I also went to Simone Rocha’s first show. She is amazing. I was at one show and ended up in the front row. I have no idea how or why but I was sitting straight across from Anna Wintour. She had her sunglasses on and I didn’t know where to look. We had a bob off. 37

Have you met anyone else exciting during your career? I was supposed to interview

legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld for Image Magazine. It ended up being a total fiasco. I flew all the way to Paris and he left us waiting for ages. In the end he “just didn’t feel like it”. I was really disappointed but also slightly relieved because I was terrified. I always wonder if there are eyes behind the glasses. He’s never taken them off. I read an interview once where someone asked if he wouldn’t mind. He went mental and walked out.

Did you ever consider staying in London?

I did and my boyfriend looked for a job. I felt if I didn’t get a job at Image Magazine or the Gloss Magazine then there was no point staying in Dublin. In the end Brian didn’t find anything and I missed my friends and family. I had approached the Gloss Magazine and written a few things for them so I felt like I’d just give it a try at home. Did you make many contacts while over there? I worked with a photographer called Johnny

McMillan. He was just out of college at the time and I found his stuff online. He actually contacted me last week saying he still had a copy of my Magazine, Katie. It’s funny because connections I made then are still useful today. He’s going to do some stuff for my new magazine, Bash.

You then worked at Image Magazine, was this scary at all in the beginning? Yeah it was

scary. I always feel uneasy about something until I know how to do it. That was the reason I did the course in London. I feel like I need to have a piece of paper that says I can do something and then I’m happy I can do it.

When I started at Image Magazine I was editorial assistant. So I was helping the whole team. I used to try to weasel my way into writing something small because if you don’t you can end up just answering phone calls for a year. So I wrote something small and they obviously thought it was good since they asked me to write other things. So I was working with the fashion team, the beauty team, and the editor and writing features for about two years. Then the assistant editor left and I got her job.

What do you think of Irish fashion Magazine, Thread? I love it. When something

like Thread magazine comes along, it’s heartening. We finally have something cool here. We’re not so sad after all. You wouldn’t be embarrassed to show it to someone.

How would you describe your own style?

It was probably after doing the MA and working in fashion that I started to hone my own style. I love minimalist clothes. I love Acne and Simone Rocha. I buy everything in Cos because I feel that’s the best on the high street. I also sometimes splash out on Acne. I would love to own something of Simone Rocha. There are a few great independent shops in Dublin as well. Aisling Farinella’s shop Circus was amazing. Then there was Smock, which just closed. When that happens you get upset, “Noooo you were the only one.“There’s the loft market, Bow and Dolls also.


persuaded editor Aisling Farinella to do the main fashion shoot for Bash. She was like,“Weddings eugh.” It’s not going to be like that though. It’s going to be cool. Public displays of affection are the order of the day. You get to wear a fancy frock. You love, you dance, you eat, you drink and you laugh. When you stand up in front of your whole world and make a promise to your best friend, the love of your life ... (sorry, tears on the keyboard) ... the moment is, often unexpectedly, profound.

Extract from Kate editor’s letter:

The first ever issue of Bash Magazine is on sale now at all newsagents across Ireland.

If I had loads of money it would be Celine and Richard Nicholl. I actually spend all my money on interiors these days. I don’t go out that much anymore so I don’t need deadly clothes. For a lot of fashion people, your house becomes your wardrobe. It’s great because you don’t have to be skinny, stuff lasts longer and you can order it online. Favourite designers?

How did Bash come about? I went on maternity leave 15 months ago. The managing director of Image magazine came up with this idea to start Bash and asked me if I wanted to come back as Editor. I was like heck yes. Go on maternity leave and come back to a better job. This never happens.

I’m so excited about Bash. Its amazing having it from the start and doing exactly what I want with it. I’ve ended up in my dream job. I absolutely love working on Bash because it’s such a great mix of fashion and lifestyle. Just me. No, ha I have an intern Jen who is amazing. She was a wedding planner before so I was like yes I want you. Its mostly freelance and we have a lot people in the wedding industry contributing. I actually Who is working on Bash with you?

Kate working in her office


” Shoot styled by Aisling for Swedish Magazine, Odalisque




isling Farinella is tiny but passionate. Haphazard but brilliant. “She is awesome. She never stops,” according to friend and collaborator Kate O’Dowd, editor of Bash Magazine. When I arrive at her office at South Studios to meet her she is running a little late and I’m told, “Oh she’ll be here shortly, she’s running around town.” This is someone who started out seven years ago not “having a clue about fashion”. Today, she is Ireland’s most sought after stylist, editor and consultant due to her fresh and youthful style. “People tell me they saw a shoot and immediately knew it was me. I find that incredible.” Aisling’s Office at South Studios, New Row South, Dublin

Her first ever shoot was for an ex’s brother. “Now a lot of my friends work in fashion and are doing amazing things but back then we were just kids. Nobody was doing anything. It worked out to my advantage because I wasn’t afraid of anything. I had nothing to lose.” She rang up Irish Tatler to ask for a job. There was a new editor who wanted to freshen up the magazine with new talent. She was commissioned on the spot and shot editorial for them for two years straight. “It was brilliant and gave me lots of exposure in the industry but I got bored of shooting trend stories quickly. I was forever selling stripes and it was very commercial. There was no real beauty to the images or surprises to the photography. The whole relationship changed and I started doing younger stuff for Irish fashion magazine, Mongrel Magazine.” Aisling always had her own particular style. “I wanted to be able to do my own thing; slightly more youthful and free. Not so driven by advertising and trends. I had wanted to do a magazine for a long time.” She was partner in an independent store called Circus and when that closed down, decided she needed a new project. Originally she was looking at doing something on her own and had

called it Six Pages. “Just because all I really f**king wanted was to have six pages to do a shoot. But then Thread was a much better idea so I went with that instead.” Thread is an amalgamation of three very talented individuals, Garrett Pitcher, commercial director, Keith Nally, design and creative direction and of course, Aisling, the editor. “I create all the editorial. There are a lot of people out there willing to collaborate. It’s a personal project and very selfindulgent. There’s a lot of me in it and everyone else of course but in order to keep doing it there has to be something that drives you.” She makes a strong point of using Irish designers in all of her photo-shoots, Simone Rocha being one of them. “Simone is amazing. I’m biased because she’s a good friend but I’ve seen her develop through college into an amazing designer. Her pieces are beautiful; I love to shoot them and I love to wear them. I think she’s really inspiring. I also think John Rocha is consistently so magical and the fact that he has his production here in Ireland means he is such an important part of Irish fashion. He’s a legend really.” She is also always looking for new talent and keeps an eye on graduates from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and Limerick School 40

of Art and Design. “I did a shoot yesterday for a UK magazine called Submission and I used three of the NCAD graduate’s pieces in it. Just some accessories but they looked amazing and it’s great for them to have some published editorial. Irish designers who I think are doing really special work at the moment are Danielle Romeril and Alison Conneely. Danielle, especially, is the next big thing I think.” Cinema is a huge influence on her work, having done a Masters in film. “I delve into that all the time. It’s all about the photography: Terry Gilliam, Italian Neorealism, and French independent cinema. I love American independent cinema from the 1970s. Nearly every shoot will nod back to a film in some way.” Trends and the high street are not to be spoken of. She hates it all. Full stop. “I try and avoid the high street. It encourages people to buy too much and spend money on crap. If it’s something I’ve initiated myself, it’s not going to be a trend. With Thread, I love a very natural look. I love no hair and make-up. I love a lot of freedom. It should be more photography lead than fashion lead. I don’t care if we only get a quarter of the sleeve. That can be enough for me if it’s a gorgeous photo. It is about chasing the image as opposed to the fashion element 41

Issue 5 of Thread Magazine

being the start of the show. All of the work I have produced; it could be ten years old and I still love it. Whereas with the commercial fashion stuff, it bores you after ten minutes.” Thread is now on it’s fifth issue and the feedback has been incredible. Aisling has asked worldrenowned photographer Perry Ogden to shoot the next issue, something pretty magical considering his reputation. Talented Irish creatives such as Celestine Cooney, Simone Rocha, Rich Gilligan and Andreas Petterson have all collaborated with Thread in some way or another. It is a true representation of Irish talent. This in itself is something special and new in an industry soaked with commercially led glossies. A stunning shoot from issue 5 showcases Thread’s unique style. It was shot using Simone Rocha’s archive. “That was really special. We went to Sicily where my Dad is from. I worked with Linda Brownlee, a friend of mine and an amazing photographer. We did a street casting which is one of my favourite things to do. The whole journey was epic, a total adventure. Having access to Simone’s archive was unbelievably special. The pictures are so beautiful. They do Sicily justice, they do Linda justice and they do me justice.”

Ib Jorgensen

Instead of fleeing Dublin, Aisling has created a fashion industry on her own front step. She is the glue that holds it all together. “I love living in Dublin. I’ve had so many opportunities here that I wouldn’t have had if I moved.” She intends on staying and developing Thread even further. “Unfortunately, we still have no money and invest in it ourselves. You would hope at this stage we would be seeing support from somewhere but not yet. The feedback from people is so overwhelmingly good though and I just love doing it. For Garret, Keith and myself, it’s more of a hobby than a fulltime job.” There is both drive and passion in her voice. She enjoys the chaos and madness. The risk she takes with each issue. “I really do think Thread is something different to what’s out there. I think that in itself is really hard to achieve. I’m very proud.”

1 9 6 0 ’s Doyen of

FA S H I O N Ireland’s answer to Givenchy

Ib Jorgensen is a character. You sense it straight away. A sharp suit, glasses and a twinkle in his eye. He’s reminiscing about his fashion days in the 60s and 70s in Ireland. He moved from Denmark when he was fourteen. “I see myself quite grandly as the Givenchy of Ireland. He, like me, made very simple, well cut clothes in beautiful fabrics.”

Shoot styled by Aisling for Slashstroke Magazine

To see Aisling’s incredible work find her website at The newest issue of Thread is out October 12th. It can be found in boutiques such as Bow in Powerscourt, Havana in Donnybrook and Indigo & Cloth on Southwilliam Street, Dublin. 42


/ / 19 6 0 s D O Y E N O F F A S H I O N

Ib, on left, at the opening of his boutique in Slone Square, London.

As a teenager, Ib Jorgensen attended the Grafton Academy of Dress Design in Dublin where he learnt everything about pattern making. “If you had talent and were ambitious it was great. A lot of people just went there to pass the time between 18 and 21. Then it was time to get married.” Not Ib though. He was talented and ambitious. He was also a man, which ironically, made it difficult in those days. He applied to Irish designer Nicholas O’Dywer for experience and received a very curt note back saying “I’m sorry but we don’t employ men.” This didn’t faze Ib, who opened his own little atelier on Dame Street. At the same time he won two prizes in the National Academy of Industry Design and Art competition for a beautifully structured coat of his. He had just turned twenty. He remembers Dublin in the sixties and seventies as seductive and very much alive. “People were very chic. They dressed well and looked to Paris and London for inspiration. Paul Costello once said that Irish people were terribly dressed. He got dreadful press for it. He was only half right. I knew lots of stylish Irish women, like Irish model Adrienne Ring who was tall and dark and could do anything with chiffon. She was like a ballerina,” he says. “There was a huge fashion scene in Dublin at the time with Irish designers Sybil Connolly and Irene Gilbert at the forefront. I couldn’t wait to join it. “

After winning prestige for his beautiful coats, Ib was soon hired as a designer and pattern cutter at Nicholas O’Dywers, despite the earlier knockback. He was exactly where he wanted to be. He learnt everything about assembling beautiful couture garments. “Although I didn’t learn anything from Nicholas O’Dywer himself but from his workers. It was a fascinating period for me.” At 22, Ib once again started his own business. It was 1956 and his name was gaining recognition amongst the most elegant in Ireland. His clientele was growing and he began designing clothes for names such as Liberty’s, Harrods and Fortnum & Mason in London. He also held beautiful fashion shows twice a year at the most luxurious hotel in Dublin, The Shelbourne. “I held the morning show at 12, the afternoon show at 2 and then an evening show where we had champagne. Those were the good old days.” He had all the top Irish models working for him, including Adrienne Ring and Winnie Butler. “Butler was small but she had a cracking figure and I designed clothes especially for her. She was a little monkey. She would arrive and make sure her presence was known. A primadonna. My sister Hanna Jorgensen was also a great model in her day and Grace O’Shaughnessy. These were a team of girls who were very individual. These days models all look the same. It’s like the American actresses. They are all blonde and slim. They don’t make them like Ingrid Bergman anymore.” One of Ib’s designs, 1980’s



“I was a classic designer with a flair I suppose. It managed to make me well-known.” Ib liked traditional designs. Throughout his career, he used beautiful fabrics from world renowned Swiss fabric company, Abrahams in Zurich and Irish fabrics such as tweed and Carrickmacross lace. He recently met a woman who was wearing a dress of his, “which was a wonderful reflection on her that she could still wear it. It was just a simple black cocktail dress and it didn’t look dated.” Ib feels his clothes are classic and can last forever and whilst designing he was aware of trends but kept it simple. His hero, the legendary Spanish designer, Balenciaga taught him a great lesson, “Never have more than one idea in a garment. Don’t over decorate your clothes.“He never claimed to be an innovator and yet he made some really interesting things that were innovative in their own way. “When I was in fashion the fabric really spoke to me. I would look at the fabric and think yes I could do that with that, especially with wool, oh and I loved vibrant colours.” A shop in Sloane Street only heightened his success and he began showing his collections in London also. His talent for haute couture resulted in a huge following at Royal racing club, Ascot. “All the most stylish women in Ireland used to come for the summer collection of which there would be 55 to 60 garments to choose from. At any great race meeting, the enclosures were full of my clothes. It was like a Jorgensen fashion show. Of course I also specialized in weddings. I meet so many people who say I made their grandmothers wedding dress. As I get older, I’m waiting for people to say, “ Oh you made my great grandmothers dress,” he laughs. His favourite era in terms of fashion is the forties. “I think the forties was a great time. I thought it was a beautiful period and I used to do a lot of bias cutting myself. I also liked the sixties, as this was when I started to work and became known.” In terms of Irish designers he doesn’t seem to be a fan of John Rocha, “I like some of his designs but I’m not entirely sure how you wear them. It is extraordinary that he survived because he went bankrupt twice. The Irish government bailed him out which annoyed the rest of us. It really did. In the eighties we were struggling. It was another bad time.” However he is an admirer of Italian designer Armani. “For a top commercial designer I think he’s excellent” and Chanel, “I admire the way Lagerfeld has stuck to the format of Gabrielle and developed it. I think it’s a discipline that has worked. I think that’s good design.” Ib was an almighty presence from the 60s until the 80s in Ireland. He was friends with Sybil Connolly and Irene Gilbert, both fashion royalty at the time. “Irene Gilbert made beautiful clothes, she could drape dresses like a

dream. Sybil Connolly got people to make her garments for her. She had the big personality though. She could charm the birds off the trees. She was exceptionally talented at selling herself and her designs. I don’t think Irene and Sybil ever got on,” he adds with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Ib remembers a different time, where Carmel Snow was the great fashion editor, Audrey Hepburn was fashion’s muse and Balenciaga was his hero. “I remember years ago Givenchy and Balenciaga would only allow Carmel Snow in to see their collections. She was the only press allowed, as they didn’t want to be copied. She was the only one. No photographs were to be taken. Times have changed and yet he still believes that in order to be a great fashion designer, “You have to be on the edge. There is nothing worse than a passé Avant garde.” In the end, Ib gave up about 18 years ago. “I couldn’t get in new workers and my own workforce was getting older. They wanted to retire. I was already running my gallery business alongside it. I showed my last collection that winter and sold it right up until the New Year. It was sad but I knew it was time. Ib now has a beautiful art gallery in Hibernian Way in Dublin and is as happy and successful doing this as he was at the heart of the fashion world.

Ib’s boutigue on Dawson St, Dublin.


” 46

Independence Day By Liz O’Connor

Independence Day July 4th 1987, North Wall, Dublin, we wait shivering in the dark for the 21.55 sailing to Holyhead. A mixture of fear and excitement at what lies ahead, keeps us on the right side of hysteria. This is our bid for freedom. After years of study in one of Dublin’s third level education establishments, my friend and I had emerged, along with so many other graduates of the 80s, over qualified and under experienced with no prospect of employment in our native country. And so the cycle continues today. The one big difference? The nature of the departure. My generation left the shores of the emerald isle from foot passenger lounges of the ferry ports in the dawn or dusk of the day. A far cry from The Loop, with its ‘check my shopping’ services, that the emigrants of today pass through. As anyone who has made this trip out of necessity or pleasure the journey to London is a long one, invariably interrupted by changes to train schedules, problems with rolling stock or some other unexplained delay. On this occasion, at the grim port of Holyhead, we boarded a coach to Crewe and set off in the dark hoping that we would reach our destination. After a sleepless night we arrived in the early hours in an unfamiliar city, discomfited by the journey and discombobulated by the changes in our circumstances. 47


We disembarked and our spirits soared as the London that greeted us was bright, sunny and vibrant - Wimbledon finals day. My brother-in-law collected us and whisked us off to where he and his wife were living at the time, a beautiful apartment in South Kensington. After a shower and some breakfast we sat in the sun and dozed through the Pat Cash vs. Ivan Lendl final until it was time for us to check into the accommodation I had organized through my cousin, who was studying at Imperial College. They had halls of residence which were rented out to overseas students over the summer months. Although we were not technically speaking students, we were still awaiting the results of our final exams, and thus qualified for the scheme. We bundled our belongings into the car and set off in high spirits to Hamlet Gardens, Hammersmith. The name conjured up all sorts of dramatic and romantic images in my mind: “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” William Shakespeare, Hamlet

It was approaching 5 o’clock when we arrived, just in time to catch the office before it closed to pick up the keys to our ‘apartment’. The large Victorian red-brick mansion block was impressive from the outside. We descended the cracked and broken steps to the basement - the first sign of what lay ahead. The key turned easily in the lock and the door, with its peeling green paint, creaked open to reveal a stygian gloom, a waft of smokestale air hit our senses. We moved slowly into the hall and into one of the rooms. It was unclear exactly what the function of the room was - bedroom, living room, dining room? It was just a room decorated in colours that ran the gamut from light brown to dark brown and every brown in between. A bedspread of indeterminate colour appeared to be pinned to the window to serve as a curtain. We giggled nervously and tentatively opened a door to another room which bore more of a resemblance to a bedroom given that there were two beds and was clearly inhabited due to the mounds of clothing on the floor, though fortunately unoccupied at the time. We retreated and tried another door, again a bedroom with two narrow, grey beds and some hideous 1970s furniture. It was dark, dingy and damp. Suddenly the windows began to shake and there was a thunderous noise, we looked at each other shocked by the sound and then at my brother-in-law, who had said nothing since entering the apartment. “It’s the tube,” he now whispered. Our room backed onto the District Line’s underground rail track, handy for getting around, not ideal for a sound night’s sleep, which at that point was high on our list of priorities.

various times up to twelve people in that flat. I suppose now I might describe it as being character building. We were in a great location and The Ship, The Dove and other riverside hostelries saw us most evenings. I can now report that properties in the block we lived in that summer in Hamlet Gardens are highly desirable, a typical estate agent’s description reads: ‘This very spacious and well-appointed Victorian mansion block is ideally located adjacent to Ravenscourt Park and a short distance to all amenities of Stamford Brook, Chiswick High Road and the riverside. Comprises a large hallway entrance, a bay fronted reception room with wood floors and feature fireplace, two double bedrooms, a stylish bathroom and guest WC, a fully fitted kitchen/breakfast room and further benefits from its original period features and its modern interior décor.’


The apartments in the mansion blocks along Hamlet Gardens have clearly experienced some extreme makeovers and undergone intensive updating programmes since our time 26 years ago and can now set you back almost 600k. Yet another sign of history repeating itself.


ICONS Through the Ages

The kitchen was rancid, that is the only word I can use to describe it. In fact I think for the entire 3 months we stayed in Hamlet Gardens I can safely say that I was in that kitchen a total of three times and one of those was to turn the oven off as someone had the bright idea of drying a pair of shoes by putting them in the oven at gas mark, very high indeed. Our nervous giggling, joking and reassurances to each other and my brotherin-law, that all would be fine and look much better in the morning, began to trail off and were replaced by barely concealed sobs born of a mixture of tiredness, disappointment and horror. My brother-in-law refused to let us stay the night there and after some fairly pathetic remonstrations from me, put us back in his car and drove us back to the luxury of South Kensington for the night. We returned the next day armed with cleaning products piled high along with our rucksacks and indignation at the false advertising perpetrated by the College. The cleaning products proved useful, the indignation less so. In fact no one in the College office could really see the problem. We stayed out the summer there, along with, at 48


The Lon gWinded Lady A forgotten Irish w r it er for t he Ne w Yo r k e r i n t h e 5 0 s and 60s

“The Long-Winded Lady”, she called herself. She is the girl credited as the inspiration behind Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly. Sophisticated, stylish and witty, Maeve wrote engaging pieces first for Harper’s Bazaar and then for the New Yorker in the 50s and 60s, moving among the most envied in New York City. She flitted from hotel to hotel, never quite settling anywhere. She had secret affairs with work colleagues, her good looks and sharp wit intriguing the men around her. She was known as much for her eccentricities as for her talent as a writer. “She was a real gypsy, going from apartment to apartment, hotel to hotel,” her biographer Angel Bourke noted. “She never grew up.” She had an elusive quality, which added to her allure. “She’d be absolutely charming – then she’d be gone.” Her “Talk of the Town” column for the New Yorker was special. She had an ability to see true beauty in the mundane. Ordinary people, ordinary encounters. This was what interested her. She tiptoed around the city, listening and watching. Alert, and always elegant. In her author’s note that prefaces The Long-Winded Lady, Maeve writes, “Somebody said, “We are real only in moments of kindness.” Moments of kindness, moments of recognition- if there is a difference, it is a faint one. I think the Long-winded Lady is real when she writes, here, about some of the sights she saw in the city she loves.” Maeve was compassionate and felt things strongly. She could capture a moment and describe it in a simple but beautiful way. She once watched a “shabby, tall man with red eyes” try to decide between canned soup and alcohol. Such a simple and irrelevant moment in her life and yet she found it profound. “I mean to say that the impulse toward good involved choice, and is complicated, and the impulse toward bad is hideously simple and easy, and I feel sorry for that poor tall red-eyed man.” Maeve may have been a gifted writer and the life of the party but she lived quite a solitary existence. In 1954, She married the New Yorker’s managing director, an alcoholic womanizer called St. Clair McKelway but this ended in disaster. By the late 1960s, the vibrant, elegant girl in black vanished and she gradually became mentally ill and unable even to write. She slept in the ladies bathroom at the New Yorker, disheveled and unspeaking. Her good friend and mentor William Maxwell spoke of it, “Many men and women found Maeve charming, and she was true friend, but there wasn’t much you could do to save her from herself.” In the 1980s she disappeared completely and was admitted to Lawrence nursing home in New York. She died of a heart attack in 1993, aged 76. “I hoped the woman who died on the street had had a nice day. I don’t know what I didn’t hope for her. I hoped she had no one belonging to her who loved her enough to grieve for years, to cry all their lives over the thought of her lying there like that.” F r o m T h e L o n g -W i n d e d L a d y.




The Charm of Sybil Con nolly Fash ion w ith an Irish brog ue

According to Ib Jorgensen, Irish fashion designer Sybil Connolly “could charm the birds off the trees.” She seduced and enthralled those around her. Her couture designs echoed the romanticism of Ireland. At the pinnacle of her career, American journalist Margaret Cheyne described her as “A girl in a whirl. A charming, friendly, helpful person, who will talk about food or sunsets or the American sense of humour or the magic of London’s big shops.” Sybil Connolly was the darling of the fashion world in the 1950s. An unflappable force. Sybil’s couture garments spoke of the Irish countryside. She used Irish fabrics such as tweed, linen and lace and promoted these worldwide. Her specialty was her eveningwear, creating beautiful dresses from lace and silk taffeta. She acquired an array of fashionable friends in high places, including Dalkeyborn editor of Harper’s Bazaar, Carmel Snow, the most powerful force in international fashion in the 1940s and 50s and the first ever PR, Eleanor Lambert, doyenne of American fashion publicists. Her irresistible charm knew no bounds. Former editor of American Vogue, Bettina Ballard wrote “We were drawn en-masse to Dublin by the personable, milkskinned Irish charmer named Sybil Connolly who showed a small collection made of Irish tweeds and linens in Dunsany Castle and bewitched us all into buying models or filling our editorial pages with them.” Her couture garments made from traditional Irish fabrics were beautiful yes, but Irish designer Irene Gilbert was also doing this. Where Sybil’s skill and power lay was in her ability to market herself. She wasn’t just selling dresses; she was selling a romantic ideal of Ireland, which was sought after in America. A dress of hers on Irish model Ann Gunning was featured on the cover of Life Magazine in August 1953 under the heading “Irish invade fashion world.” The international press was delighted with their new discovery and many articles were written about Sybil and her captivating Irish brogue. Jackie Kennedy wore one of her pleated linen gowns when she posed for her official White House portrait. Film actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor and Julie Andrews purchased her dresses and she began showing her collections twice a year in America. At this stage she was employing around 100 women who wove tweed or hand-made lace and her name was renowned worldwide. Unfortunately, she couldn’t hold on to this level of success all her life and her refusal to accept change and trends marked the end of her career as a designer. In November 1959, Sybil told the Washington Post that all good women designers “ know that good fashion does not need to change.” In fact this is what fashion is all about and while Sybil continued to work up until her death in May 1988, her career essentially ended when the 1950s did. She was an extraordinary woman with a highly successful career however, and a heroine in Ireland. Ireland’s most fashion-forward store, Brown Thomas recently held an exhibition of Sybil Connolly’s designs, proving that her contribution to Irish fashion is still admired even today.

An illustration by Sybil Connolly



Mag n i f ica nt Maureen The Vivacious R ed-hea d

If there ever was a true Irish beauty, Maureen O’Hara was it. Perfect porcelain skin, flaming red hair and a vivacious personality. Her career as an actress was both illustrious and lengthy. She chose magnificent roles, playing strong and beautiful women who sparkled with wit and honesty. Her leading men were hardly worthy of her and words most certainly are not. She is the closest thing Ireland has to a genuine sovereign figure. Maureen’s dream was always to be an actress, attending the Abbey in London from a young age and after wowing actor James Laughton at a screen test in London, she was signed to his new company Mayflower Pictures. For the screen test, the studio adorned her in a “gold lamé dress with flapping sleeves like wings “and heavy make-up with an ornate hair style. Reportedly, her thoughts concerning the incident were, “If this is the movies, I want nothing to do with them!” However, she despite the heavy make-up and hair style nobody could deny her talent and beauty. She took on role after role, each one more passionate than the next, her star rising with each film. Her performances would soon establish her screen persona as a fiercely independent woman who could hold her own with any leading man. Director John Ford saw something special in her and she made various films with him. “He was tough, mean, nasty, he could kill you, but on your way home, you said to yourself: “By God, I’m good. They should appreciate the brilliant actress I am,” and it was all thanks to the confidence he gave you, while he was cutting you up into little bits.” Chemistry was key to Maureen’s performances and she made many movies with critically acclaimed actor John Wayne. “Ford liked us because we weren’t movie stars, we were working actors.” Maureen’s passionate performances resulted in dozens of movie offers, including How Green was my Valley, which was nominated for ten academy awards and won five and the classic Christmas film, Miracle on 34th Street. She achieved both commercial and critical success for both these movies. A clip of O’Hara’s radiant face as she waves from a gate in John Ford’s Academy Award-winning How Green Was My Valley, remains one of the most classic images preserved on film. Maureen is a wonderful actress and a radiant Irish beauty. Today, age 93, she lives in Boise, Idaho near her grandson Conor Fitzsimons. Even today, Ireland still cannot believe its luck.



Model : Danielle Winckworth, Morgan The Agency Hair : David Cashman Styling assistance : Stephanie Daniel Location : Dublin City Centre


D u b l i n’s FAIR

CIT Y Shades of Sherbet

Silk print top, Peter Pilotto, Brown Thomas. Cream feather skirt, H & M. White socks,

Photography Rich Gilligan

Styling Lisa McCann FASHION SHOOTS //


Topshop. Patent leather brogues, Simone Rocha at Havana.


Silk print top, Peter Pilotto, Brown Thomas. Cream feather skirt, H & M. White socks, Topshop. Patent leather brogues, Simone Rocha at Havana.



White, open dot dress, Simone Rocha at Dover Street Market. White so cks, Topshop. S ilver brogues, Zara.

Orange silk shirt, American Apparel. Pink silk dress, Urban Outfitters. White sandals, Topshop. V intage b ag, stylists own.



Orange and cream oversized coat, Jocelyn Murray Boyne. White shirt, Zara. Cream feather skirt, H &M White and silver b ro gues, Topshop.



Pale pink shirt,

Orange and cream

American Apparel.

oversized coat, Jocelyn Murray Boyne. White

Blue mix jumper, Maje

shirt, Zara. White

at Brown Thomas. Pink trousers, Zara. White

and silver brogues,

brogues, Clarks.




Pink sheer top,

White, sheer top,

American Apparel.

Snob de Boblisses.

Cream flared skirt,

Pink spongy mesh

Jocelyn Murray Boyne.

dress, Simone Rocha

Pink glitter socks,

at Havana. White

Topshop. Red suede

and silver brogues, Topshop.

heels, Primark.



B l a c k v i n t a g e 19 5 0 s dress, Jean Cronin Vintage at The Loft, Powerscourt Centre. Tul l e under sk i r t, stylists own. Sheer gloves, Jenny Vander. Silver brogues, Zara.

A ll jeweller y worn in shoot from Momuse at Bow, Power scour t Centre.


Model : Theo Walcott, Oxygen Models

Blue knit ted jumper, white shirt, navy wool

Hair & Make-up : Lauren Reynolds

trousers, knitted scarf,

Location : London College of

grey cap, all Cos.

Fashion, Lime Grove, Shepherd ’s Bush

Theo in

Te x t u r e

Photography Iringo Demeter

Styling Lisa McCann

Blue textured coat, Kenji Kawasumi. White shirt, navy wool trousers, both Cos. Black brogues, Schuh.



Cream knitted turtleneck, black back-pack,

Blue cotton trousers,

both Cos. Navy and

white shirt, both Cos.

black fit ted blazer,

Navy printed jacket,

Zara. Navy patchwork


trousers, Jigsaw. Black brogues, Schuh.



Cream knitted turtleneck, black back-pack, both Cos. Navy patchwork trousers, Jigsaw. Black brogues, Schuh.

Cream knitted cardigan,

Blue knit ted jumper,

Sumyu Li. Navy polo-

white shirt, navy wool

neck, blue cotton

trousers, knitted scarf,

trousers, both Cos.

grey cap, all Cos.


Cream knitted cardigan, Sumyu Li. Navy poloneck, blue cotton trousers, both Cos.




Colette C A S SI DY

Can you tell me the name of the pink lipstick you used for Danielle in the shoot?

I used Mac Matte Candy Yum-Yum which is a hot pink. Any make-up tips for this autumn/winter 2013? Strong wine hued lip shades are in for autumn/

winter 2013. Go for matte shades for strong impact with a very soft smoky eye and a sheer natural complexion.

What is the secret to flawless skin? It’s very

important to wear a high SPF to avoid pigmentation. I recommend using a separate SPF 30/50 in the summer months and at least an SPF20 in winter as harmful rays are out all year round. Drinking lemon in boiled water instead of tea or coffee really helps to give a clear complexion.

What foundation would you recommend?

I love Giorgio Armani Cosmetics foundations for a very natural, light coverage and dewy complexion. I also love Estee Lauder Double Wear Light for those who like a long lasting foundation with medium coverage and a

The Artist behind that pink lipstick




glowing complexion. I also love make up forever HD powder which is so sheer and perfect for correcting shiny t-zones without a heavy powdered look. Career highlight? I worked on the Giorgio Armani

Cosmetics European head make up team where I got to work backstage on many fashion shows and fashion shoots for magazines including IrishTatler, Image,Vip and many more.

Favourite celebrity whose make-up you have done? I have worked on lots of models and

celebrities however a face that stands out for me is Ali Hewsen. I love her natural beauty and her fair peaches and cream complexion. Also Jasmine Guinness has similar porcelain fair skin I just love. Which make-up brand do you love? I use

a lot of cult products in my make-up kit from brands such as Giorgio Armani, Estee Lauder, Smashbox, Mac, Urban Decay and Glo Minerals. I used Estee Lauder double wear light foundation for my own wedding recently so it proves it’s one of my favourite foundations.

A little more

Irish Flavour

Irish singer Julie Feeney made me cry. Twice. I went to see her perform live in a beautiful place called the Glebe Gardens in Baltimore, West Cork. The surroundings were magical. Lanterns, fairy lights and untouched glasses of red wine gave the evening a nostalgic feel. I could already see it forming in my memory as a perfect moment in time.

An Irish composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, born in Galway, Julie Feeney has won various awards for her albums, including the Irish Choice Music Award for her debut album Clocks. Her simple, vocal-led songs set her apart and her best-known song Impossibly Beautiful from the album Pages is simply that.

I had never seen her perform live before. She was breathtaking. A quirky voice, filled with passion and humour; she spoke to the audience between songs, joking with them,“Don’t we all know a roving-eye guy?!” She told us the stories behind each song, filling the amphitheatre with anecdotes about her ancestors from Galway and her grandfather’s love for his wife Julia. She joked about her ridiculously high heels, “I’m dressed a little bit differently to all of you but sure you do what you do” and dedicated songs to people in the audience.

“You’re impossibly beautiful, is that ‘cause I’m waiting Is that ‘cause I’m looking or is it just ‘cause you are.” Julie’s most recent album Clocks can be found on iTunes or in HMV stores.

Ju lie

Feeney The Irish Regina Spektor




I love the vibrant colours and patterns you have used in your designs. Where did your inspiration come from? My inspiration for this

collection came from vintage transistor radios and abstract art from the 1950s and 1960s. The whole concept was to draw in a very abstract, simplistic way and use these to create textural, fun prints. Colour wise, its my love for all things retro again that led me to a mix of neutrals and greys with bright reds and turquoises. Those MGM musicals from the 50’s always inspire me to be quite brave with colour. Would you ever move to London?

I probably will have to. Unfortunately the opportunities just aren’t in Ireland at this time, which is sad as I’m a bit of a reluctant emigrant. But experience and furthering my career are really important to me and if I can do that in London, it’s a very necessary move. And there are worse places to find yourself living. What do you love most about textile design? I suppose it’s the ability to create

unique, interesting surfaces that feed into other areas of design. Something that started as a little idea can be walking down the street as a garment or decorating the interior of hundreds of homes. Can you tell me your top five sources of inspiration? Number one

is retro, it all stems from that. Film, old magazines, travelling to different places and museums are what I naturally seem to be inspired by. What is your favorite colour? It

changes every week. Right now it would be different kinds of blue like cobalt and aquamarine shades.

Who is your favorite textile designer worldwide? I love Scandinavian design, so



Jessica Bermingham, a textiles graduate from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, designed a final collection so vibrant and eclectic, we decided we had to ask her about her inspirations.

Marimekko is my favorite. Also Orla Kiely for her simplicity and beautiful use of colour.

Retro Revival



Style Crush: Saoirse Ronan Saoirse Ronan, the precocious little girl from movie Atonement has transformed into a captivating actress who takes risks in both her movie roles and her style. We are in love with her dainty Irish freckles, opalescent blue eyes and unorthodox outfit choices. In New York Times Style Magazine, photographed by Paolo Roversi and styled by Jonathan Kaye.



Saoirse Magazine  

Saoirse is a fashion and lifestyle magazine for the Irish in London.