Bairbre Power... Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
From one couturier to another, the tweed baton was handed over in sensational style at the Showcase 2017 event at the RDS. Back in 1956, couturier Sybil Connolly went north to Mourne Textiles in Rostrevorin Co Down and commissioned Gerd Hay-Edie to make her 'Mended Tweed' in a salt and pepper basket weave. Fashion scribes at the time raved about its enormous threads and "weave as clumsy as bad darning, but the fabric that looks so primitive is cunningly subtle and soft," according to Anne Scott-James, Lady Lancaster.
Sixty years on, it was the turn of couturier Peter O'Brien to use the very same tweed as Sybil and he fashioned it into an amazing bodice and full skirt as well as a coat that made hearts beat faster and was, as stylist Catherine Condell reported, "worthy of Dior in 1947".
Peter was photographed with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, and chief executive of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, Karen Hennessy, who was faithfully wearing Irish fashion throughout the four-day trade show.
Kasia and Brendan McEvoy (above) celebrated winning the Local Enterprise Showcase award for their 'My Name is Ted' luxury tech bag. The business started when Brendan upgraded an old leather bag made by his late grandfather, Ted Carbery, in 1962.
And speaking of fashion, it was lovely to meet up again with menswear designer, Paul Galvin (below), pictured here with Ray Shah. Paul was in Naas to launch the Osprey Hotel's newly refurbished gym, Fitness & Leisure. Ray MC'd the event and got the crowd going with an up-tempo playlist and dared several guests to some fitness challenges.
I quizzed Paul about his upcoming SS17 collection for Dunnes Stores - and it sounds amazing. More of that soon!
Dry January called for some tempting morsels, so I headed off to Milano on Dublin's Haddington Road for a very enjoyable Disco Dinner, with music by DJ and radio presenter, Kelly-Anne Byrne. The-family friendly restaurant has been totally transformed, and features a new pizzaiola and the artwork has a strong rugby influence due to restaurant's proximity to the Aviva Stadium. I chatted with Milano brand manager, (above) Loraine Butler, pictured with Xanah Robinson. Other guests included RTÉ presenter Stephen Byrne, Snapchatter James Patrice, PR Roisin O'Hea, and (below) Rebecca Brady, a producer on RTÉ's Today Show.
After a break of a year, the Mr Gay Ireland competition is returning again in 2017 as its organiser, Brian Merriman, had promised it would. This year, the MGI finals travel outside Dublin for the first time and take place at Chambers Bar, Washington Street, in Cork on Saturday March 4.