The Fashionable Four – Irish Designers

FOR SUCH a small island, we really have a plethora of talent in the design industry across the world. In a country that has no fashion week, no internationally recognised fashion magazines and models that adhere to photo-call modelling rather than high fashion and runway, it’s hard to imagine that such amazing talent could be present on the international stag. However, some of the biggest names in the design world are indeed Irish so here we will have a look at the four biggest names in Irish and international design!

Philip Treacy – Hailing from Galway, this designer is a firm favourite with everyone from royalty to A-list celebrities. He has designed hats for various Harry Potter films and Sarah Jessica Parker’s hat for the ‘Sex and the City’ movie premiere. His name was hugely publicised when thirty-six of his designs were worn at the Royal Wedding including Princess Beatrice’s one, which was widely spoken about in the media. He is also a firm favourite of Lady GaGa and designed her space-inspired hat for the Grammy Awards in 2010.

Orla Kiely – Based in London, Kiely began her career in the National College of Art and Design before enrolling at the Royal College of Art (RCA) to do her masters degree. For her exit show at the RCA, she showed her hat collection, which was bought by Harrods but soon changed to handbag design on advice from her father. Described as the ‘Queen of Prints’ by the Guardian, her petal and stem design is instantly recognisable and her designs have been seen on stars such as Kirsten Dunst and Alexa Chung.

Paul Costello – For the last 30 year, Costelloe has been at the forefront of Irish and British fashion. His father, hailing from our own fair Limerick, moved the family up to Dublin where Paul grew up. In the late sixties he went to Paris to study before moving to America. Upon his return to Dublin, he set up his eponymous label in 1979, which expanded to London in the 90s. His shows are now standard at London Fashion Week and he has designed the uniforms for companies like Sainsburys, British Airways and the Irish Olympic Team.

J.W. Anderson – A recent designer on the scene, J.W. Anderson hails from Magherafelt in Northern Ireland. Born in 1984, Anderson graduated from London College of Fashion and is now seen as one of Britain’s most popular fashion designers. He made his debut at London Fashion Week in 2007 and once used real insects in his jewellery during a catwalk show.

These are just four of the numerous amazing designers that Ireland has to boast about, making a splash in both the Irish pond and the international ocean. With talent like this, there is never a need not to buy Irish design again!

Keep styling, Em x


Scrumptious Sunday Seven July 22

I can’t believe its time for another Scrumptious Sunday Seven already, feels like I’m in a European time warp! Again, apologies for not putting a post up last week but we’ve come across so much bad wi-fi the last couple of weeks, I’ve barely been able to talk to Brian, let alone put up a blog post! But I promise since I’ll be living in Galway for a couple of weeks, all my attentions will be focused on you all, although I may take a small break to work together some ideas for the first issue of An Focal in my new role as Life&Style editor and also plan my birthday/wardrobe for my holidays to Milan! So much happening in August as well, its mad but I will be near computers every Sunday at least, I’ve checked! I’ll be able to update you on my exciting new internship at CMPR as well as the first issue of An Focal and hopefully rope Brian into taking some Lookbook photos for me in Milan! Anyway, back to the Scrumptious Sunday Seven for this week!

1. Brogues. My poor wee brogues fell apart from all the rain we had on Paris and Berlin and I’m lost without them! We’ve bought new ones but they’re not the same as my old babies! They are the most practical and comfortable shoes ever without being the dreaded crocs and I’ll miss them dreadfully!

2. My ‘English Rose’ Lookbook photos. I know I’ve already done a post on this but I really enjoyed doing this particular shoot and enjoyed the theme so much, as you can imagine! My article is now sent off to Linger and I can’t wait for it to be published! We had some great fun with the pictures and I hope everyone enjoyed them!

3. I’m officially a Vogue collector! On my travels I’ve picked up Vogue Italia, Beauty in Vogue (Italy) The Fashion Illustrated newspaper (Italy), The Little Book of Retail (Italy), Vogue Paris, GQ Paris and the Vogue Paris Collections! My backpack is so freakin’ heavy but i cannot wait to get home and open them and have a good look through and write up my first Runway Report in about a year! I’m in love!

4. Zebra Print. The print of the season and a million times classier than leopard print. The celebrities have been doing zebra print in a big way the last few months and its on everything at the moment, including heels which I love. To create a zebra print look that’s a bit different, how about doing it in different colours, not just black and white?

5. Burgundy lipstick. I recently bought a tube of burgundy lipstick as a wee bit of an experiment cos I’d seen it so much recently. Its alright but I haven’t worn it yet, for fear I’ll look ridiculous but I’ll pluck up the courage at some stage!

6. Celebrities in recent ad campaigns. There are some fantastic ad campaigns being released this season using that celebrity edge, I’m especially loving Burberry’s new shoot pictures, what are your favourites?

Kristen Stewart for Balenciaga

Mario Testino’s shots of Gabriella Wilde & Roo Panes

Iggy Pop and Daisy Lowe for Eleven Paris

Lara Stone for Calvin Klein collection

Mila Kunis for Miss Dior

7. Last but certainly not least, some life affirming, fun and beautiful photos to get us all through the hectic busy week ahead!

I hope everyone has a really great week! I’ll be writing next Sunday from London, we’re going to Amsterdam tomorrow and taking the Eurostar to London Thursday! So I’ll be in London till Tuesday to see my family and then back to Ireland to spend some quality time with my lovely boyfriend before a very hectic few weeks all before uni starts again. I hope to update during the week but if not it’ll be next Sunday, promise there will be a routine then! Until then….

Keep styling, Em x

Scrumptious Sunday Seven June 3

For once, its been a quieter week here in Budapest. Most of my friends are either gone home or they’re planning to leave now and the weekends are suddenly going to become a lot less busy. There has been no chasing Bruce Willis around the city and I can only say thank god to that, the man is pretty boring, no scandal at all! I’ve gotten a good bit more responsibility in work and I worked on a spread for National Geographic Traveller during the week which was really cool. I suppose, even though I was so looking forward to summer here, when everyone is going home, there is no-one to enjoy it with and at this stage, I’m looking forward to Ellen arriving in a few weeks so we can get out of here and on the road through Europe. I’m looking forward to having someone to chat to all the time, and Ellen is the best person to do that with! We’ve been best mates for 5 years and never been stuck for words so I can only imagine with all the sights we’ll see, there will be much banter on the way. I’ll stop whining now, it’s just been one of those times where I really miss home and my friends, but in a way I’m sad this adventure is nearly over, its been really life-changing!

On an unrelated note, but the reason why you’re all here: Scrumptious Sunday Seven time again! I’ve been looking forward to writing this all weekend cos I’m between freelance jobs right now and any writing is exciting right now! So these are the things that I’ve been looking at this week, been thinking a lot about inter-railing so there is a huge influence of that this week.Oooh getting excited! Can’t wait to pack that bag and attempt to be the most fashionable backpacker in Europe!

1. Polka Dots. I think every girl has a secret love for polka dots..its the Minnie Mouse inside all of us! Maybe a little more subtle than red and white but there is something very fifties about polka dots and it was one of the best eras for fashion!

2. The Cambridge Leather Satchel Company. I WANT! I’m stuck between black and tan or red but there are so so many choices. They are a lot of money but at the same time, its such a good investment and they are SO well-made!

3. Asymmetric hems. In my last shopping trip alone I bought two pieces with asymmetric hemlines and absolutely love them, such a great addition to any wardrobe, especially in the summer months!

My new Stradivarius skirt and shirt from H&M

4. Cheryl Cole. A lot of people aren’t keen on her style but I love it! Especially the new style she is sporting recently. She’s such a modern style icon and you can see why Roberto Cavalli loves her!

5. I’ve been looking around for a new pair of wedges this year, preferably not the cork ones. Everyone seems to have these great high suede wedges and I’m looking to get a piece of the action! I’m loving Millie MacIntosh’s choices right now, she’s always got her style face on!

6. Big handbags have always been a love of mine and I have a huge amount of them and I love that they’ve come back into fashion in a big way for the summer.

7. And last but not least, some wee inspirations to get us all through the week, until it’s the weekend again!!

Have a great week, everyone!

Keep styling, Em x

Met Ball 2012: Best and Worst Dressed

So the 2012 Met Ball was on last night and it brings the celebrities out in their drones every years. As with every other event, there are some amazing dresses and there are some disastrous misses. I’m going to show you my favourites and my   opinions on the worst dressed, because believe me, there were a few! But the best dressed really shone, especially Ginnifer Goodwin who recovered from her bad outfit choice at the Kentucky Derby earlier in the week!

The Best Dressed:

Scarlet Johansson

Cate Blanchett

Gisele and her husband Tom Brady

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski


Amber Heard

Camilla Belle

Jaime King

Brooke Shields

Chace Crawford

Ed Westwick  AND the Worst Dressed. Unfortunately there were quite a few of those but I’ll try to keep it short. Spot the mistakes these usually fashionable people should have steered clear of:

Beyonce. Although she looks great for a new mother, in my opinion, dresses shouldn’t be both massively feathered AND see-through!

Kate Bosworth. Looking like a hybrid between Morticia Addams and Big Bird

Alexa Chung. The PVC looking dress MAY have looked ok, had you not teamed it with the crumpled white shirt!

Chloe Sevigny. Oh dear.

To have a look at most of the dresses at the Met Ball last night, check them out HERE on British Vogue’s website and think up your own opinion on the dresses you think are fabulous or should have been left at home!

Keep styling, Em x

Only the best for a festival!

festival clothes

There’s something so…British about a festival. The weather, the acceptance of the mud, the cheap, non-waterproof tents, the fashion. Everybody who is anybody has attended a festival or at least wishes they had.

Festival fashion is one of the biggest fashion trends discussed amongst the masses every year. Although some people push the boat out, there always seems to be a set uniform of denim shorts, t-shirt and wellies. The last few years, however, as the celebrity count rises at festivals like Glastonbury, V and the Isle of Wight, it’s easier to see how the usual moulds of festival fashion can be distorted for outfits with a little more oomph!

Kate Moss flies the flag for every Brit girl who wants to have her own fashion moment when everyone else is looking awful! No-one can embody the true British style and cool like Moss and the festival veteran always brings her bit of the catwalk to the mud lined avenues of whatever venue she’s gracing with her presence.

festival clothes

Daisy Lowe is always another star who we love to watch during the summer months. Her genetic effortless cool and her indie strange, albeit kind of cute boyfriend Matt are the perfect accessories for summer and we can’t help but pick our jaws up from the floor as she struts through the fields in her Barbour and wellies. Alexa Chung is the same, a perfect celebrity who is able to transcend from A-list red carpet events to a muddy field with the same grace all the way through.

festival clothes

Even Coleen and Wayne Rooney took a break out of their busy schedules to attend Glastonbury, showing that a festival being for hippies and students is a thing of the past. Coleen even got the leopard-print Hunters out of retirement to mark the occasion.

festival clothes

So to see what you can get away with, have a look at what celebrities like these are wearing and create something with your own twist. It never pays to look the same as someone else but at least you can pull inspiration from other people! And if all fails, I suppose it’ll suffice to go back to the old denim shorts/wellies combo, just make sure you get an awesome hat or accessory to go with it!

Photos c/o,,,

Spring/Summer 2011

spring/summer 2011

IT’S TIME to put the winter woollies in the back of the wardrobe because we’re about to hit the summer with a bang! Gone are the warm colours like red and purple, we’re going to follow in Henry Holland and Betsey Johnson’s footsteps and bring back the vibrancy!

We’re talking pastels with a bit of sass, rainbow colours and of course, the new black: white! Style that doesn’t make you think of your grandmother’s wedding suit or velour tracksuits from the nineties. Think English garden party from the forties with a wee bit of an oriental twist. Think a photo shoot straight out of the spring edition of Italian Vogue. Think Tommy Hilfiger with attitude!

This season will see a more relaxed and tribal vibe, the fashion world’s way of combating the recessional times we’re struggling through. Design houses all over the world from Calvin Klein to Givenchy, from Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel to the child prodigy, Alexander Wang, have adopted white as their statement colour, not only because its fresh and bright, perfect for summer, but because it’s the colour of the dove.

The dove, of course, is the symbol for hope and all these designers are trying to convey that even in financial times as bad as these, there can always be a silver lining, and why shouldn’t you start with your clothes? Usually the colour white is associated with virginity and innocence but everyone from Max Mara to Chloe are creating white that isn’t virtuous but a beam of pure energy!

We’ll all be channelling our inner Alexa Chung for the next few months and wearing a lot of blues, creams, and greens and of course whites for quite an aquatic feel, as shown by Agyness Deyn on Alexander Wang’s catwalk. Forget what everyone says, everyone can pull off white in one way or another!

Style this season is going to have such a British feel to it, the best thing you can do is watch fashionistas like the aforementioned Alexa Chung, Agyness Deyn, and Emma Watson to see how they achieve the effortless and relaxed cool that going to be so in this season.

Most importantly, statement pieces are the way to this season so make sure you have a few of these in your wardrobe: a white shirt, trench coat, patterns and prints, a blazer, ankle boots and a leather biker jacket. If you have the basics, you’ll be sorted!


Photo c/o

The New Sexy

The New sexy

Sexy has turned over a new leaf in terms of fashion and got our heads in a spin. Gone are the days of bodycon dresses, extensions and smouldering for the camera. The Paris Hiltons, Brad Pitts and Cristiano Ronaldos of the world are no longer the fashion forward and instead, people like Carey Mulligan and Alexa Chung are the new sexy instead of being categorised as alternative and bohemian.

The new sexy isn’t about looking as polished and perfect as is physically possible. No no. The new sexy eludes intelligence, modesty and unpretentiousness. The new sexy is natural, confident and just a little unkempt. The new sexy, most importantly, is about keeping it buttoned up.

The designer who made this all possible is of course, the fashion veteran, Marc Jacobs. He has inspired numerous fashion houses from Derek Lam to Stella McCartney to even high street stores like River Island to embrace the midi length skirt, sheer blouses and structured flares.

Christopher Kane, who brought neon twinsets with knee length skirts to the runway this season, names his inspirations as Princess Margaret and Marilyn Monroe to name a few, “I’ve never seen Marilyn Monroe in a short dress, and people say she was one of the sexiest women in the world“. Good news for us, no?

Looking at the style icons of the moment, it becomes clear what the new sexy is all about. Emma Watson’s understated nude Valentino at the Bafta’s, Alexa Chung in that beautiful Peter Pan collared Chanel shift, even American Kate Bosworth in those beautiful Proenza Schouler shift dresses.

Erdem, the new sexy brigade’s design favourite, sums it up in a few simple words, “They’re not pretty pretty, there’s certain intelligence to them, they’re smart women. And there is definitely certain sexiness in keeping something back“.

Watch out for sheer blouses, fitted flares and knee/midi length skirts this season, they’ll be absolutely everywhere. Karl Lagerfeld opened his new Chanel couture show with flat pumps rather than dressing the models in heels, both creating a stir in the fashion world and starting a new trend that would travel from high-end Chanel to high-street stores like Topshop.

The new sexy is a strict rebellion against the old sexy, and the perfection of it all. Could our skirts have got any shorter, or our shoes any higher? I think not, so why not go back to the drawing board and create something more function and fluid?

Erdem says “Every woman wants to look like the most beautiful version of herself and this [new sexy] is about being in touch with what she wants.” In this case, we can really say that for the new season, less is most definitely more.


Photo c/o