So another year has spun around and it’s Christmas time again. This morning I headed into the city centre. Traffic was light so I was all parked up just before eight o’clock and I started the day ensconced in a cosy café (Hatch & Sons), breakfasting on a scrumptious date scone and coffee.
Tag Archives: Shopping
Towards the end of February I went on a short trip to Paris. A very short trip. Just, in fact, for the day. It’s perfectly doable from Dublin as the flight time is just over one hour thirty; plus there is an early flight which leaves Dublin at around seven am and one that takes off from Charles De Gaulle airport after nine pm, so even taking into account the loss of an hour, this allows for a goodly amount of time in Paris without it costing an unruly amount of cash (ie: the cost of an overnight stay).
Aeons ago I lived in London. In the arc of my life thus far it was for a relatively short period – a mere seven years. I loved living there but paradoxically only truly appreciated all London has to offer after my return to Ireland when world-class major museums, great art collections, a slew of shops, and a plethora of theatres were no longer a short tube or bus ride away. Not of course that Dublin doesn’t have a humongous amount to offer but the relative sizes of the two cities (Greater London population nearly eight million: Greater Dublin population not yet two million) means that Dublin is never going to provide the same vast array of choices that London does.
I asked vintage expert Wendy Crawford, one of the talented trio who co-owns Bow a wonderful independent shop located in the Georgian Powerscourt Townhouse Centre in Dublin, what her top five tips are for vintage-clothes shopping. Bow, incidentally, is one of my favourite shops I have written about it here. Bow stocks: clothes by gifted Irish designers such as Eilis Boyle (the second co-owner of Bow) Tim Ryan and Emma Manley; vintage gems sourced by Wendy; and a treasure trove of jewellery made or sourced by Margaret O’Rourke (the third co-owner of Bow).
I put myself on a clothes-spending diet in January; my goal was to buy no clothes, absolutely none, from the begining to the end of the month. I also decided that the time was right for a serious clear out of the contents of my over stuffed wardrobe. As this is the last day of January I am reflecting on how the spending cut back and the wardrobe clear out went.
This is the last of the pre-Christmas shopping posts. I won’t go through the whole preamble again but will just say, as a quick reminder, that the emphasis in this series of posts is on: craft, home/handmade items, and independent shops. If you are entering the final run up to Christmas with some present shopping left to do, it would of course be lovely to stumble on a shop where you could scoop up diverse items to match all the gaps on your list. The Irish Design Shop, which carries a large range of items spanning different craft disciplines, is that sort of shop. Below are a few of the items they stock that caught my eye.
This is the second in a series of posts showcasing items that I think would make very acceptable Christmas gifts. The emphasis in the series is on: craft, homemade/handmade items, and independent shops. My hope is that wherever you live in the world that the images might inspire you (if you don’t do so already) to check out locally made beautiful items that are far removed from the madding mass-produced crowd and independent shops that are a world away from the homogenous high street.
Liberty is by far and away my favourite department store. Aeons ago when I lived in London, Liberty was a short bus ride from home and I took it so much for granted that I could pop in to browse when the mood took me. It was great deal larger back in the day when I lived close by but fortunately the essence of the store hasn’t suffered from its shrinking.
I find it difficult to explain the why and the wherefore of my fascination with Coco Chanel and the brand she created. When I mull over this fascination I sometimes wonder if Chanel is either simply a monumental marketing triumph or more complicatedly a form of Jungian archetype and part of our collective unconscious. That is not to detract from the magic the brand creates or to underestimate how much and how enduringly Coco Chanel, in her time, changed the way women dress. Gone were the restrictive clothes of previous periods and she introduced many style classics: the little black dress, striped Breton tops, long ropes of pearls…