Tuesday 6 December 2016

Society: Adi, Ali & Imelda wow Monaco

Published 11/10/2015 | 02:30

Brian Long with Adi Roche at the Ireland Fund of Monaco gala. Photo: Eugene Hogan.
Brian Long with Adi Roche at the Ireland Fund of Monaco gala. Photo: Eugene Hogan.
Paul and Lisa Fitzpatrick in Monaco
Adi Roche, Bono, Olivia Taylor Long and Ali Hewson
Adi Roche and Kathryn Thomas in Monaco
Chef Richard Corrigan
Emma Bunton at Specsavers

The Ireland Fund of Monaco 2015 Weekend Celebrations certainly lived up to expectations with Irish, American and Russian guests attending events in the principality over three days, wrapping on Sunday afternoon at the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo.

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Over 500 guests were on their feet on Saturday night to applaud Adi Roche and Ali Hewson as they received the Princess Grace Humanitarian Award in recognition of 30 years of their tireless efforts working with the children of Chernobyl.

Bono did an excellent job stepping in for Prince Albert who was unable to attend after an electrical storm broke out just as the gala night started.

The awards were presented in his absence jointly by President of the Ireland Fund of Monaco, Olivia Gaynor-Long, who owns Residence private club on St Stephen's Green in Dublin and Bono, who read the Prince's speech.

Ali Hewson looked fabulous in a black column dress and pals on the night cheering her on included former PD Minister and TD, Liz O'Donnell, who wowed in electric blue. Dave Fanning looked like a rock star in a sequinned shirt while his wife, Ursula, wore midnight blue.

Ali, who I last met at the Edun show during New York Fashion Week said that she and Adi were "immensely proud to receive the award but knew that it belongs to the Irish volunteers and supporters of CCI over the three decades since the accident. All that CCI has achieved is due to their dedication".

Afterwards, the action moved to Jimmy'z, the HQ of Monaco hipdom, and the celebrations ran on into the night.

Friday night saw an impromptu party after everyone ended up in the Sass Cafe on Avenue Princesse Grace, for dinner.

"Saturday was such a memorable night, it was so emotional and I burst out crying when Imelda May sang Dreaming," said Lisa Fitzpatrick who wore a gown from Frock n Fabulous on Dublin's Drury Street.

She travelled over with her husband Paul, Noel Kelly and his wife, Catriona.

Kieran McLoughlin, President and ceo of The Worldwide Ireland Funds said they were "proud to salute and honour Ali and Adi". New York based couturier, Dr Don O'Neill watched the fashion photos drop with interest in Brooklyn. Adi Roche wore one of his shimmering gowns that featured antique silver sequins, beads and sparkling Swarovski crystals. Don also dressed Kathryn Thomas who MC'd the night.

Lunching on Irish beef in London

By Bairbre Power

It was celebratory cake for breakfast at the airport and then champers poured by no less than chef Richard Corrigan after the inaugural CityJet flight flew from Cork to London's City Airport last Thursday.

Richard greeted us at his Bentley's Oyster Bar and Grill, his Piccadilly eatery and literally jumped off his Vespa scooter, after a commute from his family's home in Muswell Hill, and served Hereford Prime from Tipperary while the delicious broccoli came from his estate at Virginia Park Lodge farm in Co Cavan.

It was a red letter day for the CityJet which announced that it had been awarded a major contract by SAS (Scandinavian Airlines).

The airline's flagship Dublin-London City route has seen a 40pc growth in the last six months so there was lots to celebrate and airline founder, Pat Byrne, confirmed that it is also considering operating summer routes from Cork to regional airports in France and Italy.

Emma and Vogue have specs factor

By Kirsty Blake Knox

If the prospect of meeting a Spice Girl and Panto King Christopher Biggins isn't incentive to go to a party I don't know what is.

I hopped over to London this week for Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards.

The shindig was hosted by Baby Spice herself Emma Bunton and celebrated the beauty of specs/ bins/ frames.

Happily separated couple Brian McFadden and Vogue Williams arrived early.

"I'm exhausted," Vogue said. "Since my 30th it's been non stop parties."

Loveable baby faced reality TV star Joey Essex brought two pairs of spectacles with him."I don't wear them cos I have to," he explained. "I wear them to look dead intelligent."

Louis Walsh chatted X Factor, heading into the Australian jungle, and Daniel O'Donnell's killer dance moves with pop couple Natasha Hamilton (Atomic Kitten) and Ritchie Neville (5ive).

In the foyer I bumped into Anne 'The Weakest Link' Robinson.

"I am the oldest woman on the box not baking cakes," she said proudly.

Former Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding shouted about bringing the geek chic trend back while our very own Darren Kennedy flitted about.

There was a rake load of Made in Chelsea cast members wandering about and saying very little. "We can't talk," Stephanie Pratt said. "We're all under embargo." Phfft, whatever love.

Vicki Michelle (aka Sally O'Brien and "the way she might look at you") posed for pictures while Twiggy gossiped with footballer turned actor Bradley Walsh.

I was delighted to see Christopher Biggins saunter across the room in a purple velvet jacket and matching slippers.

"In the seventies I had 700 pairs of glasses," he said. "And then Timmy Mallet came along and I thought enough is enough. I fell out of love with them but now I have fallen back in love."

Biggins advised us all on how to stay relevant in the fickle world of show business.

"Laughing is the secret," he said.

"It is such a ludicrous and stupid profession you have to laugh."

The curious miss Colin on theatre's red carpet

By Kirsty Blake Knox

How's this for a neat trick? Colin Farrell avoided the red carpet scrum outside the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this week by arriving a fashionable 30 minutes late to the show. It's as simple as that.

Farrell, who is in the middle of filming JK Rowling's Harry Potter spin off Fantastic Beasts, snuck into The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with his brother Eamon and sister Claudine.

Broadcaster Marty Whelan, Pat Kenny and Aoibhinn Garrihy were also spotted in the stalls.

Across town, rugby star Gordon D'Arcy was enjoying a dram of whiskey at pop up speakeasy The Powers Backroom.

D'Arcy was full of chat about the thrills and spills of the Rugby World Cup.

"I am now officially a fan," he laughed. "I think it's the best tournament since 2003. It's a real spectacle." He was joined by Mike McCarthy, Tommy O'Donnell, Jamie Hayes and King of the Cloth Louis Copeland who all savoured the amber spirit.

Joan holds court in style museum

By Kirsty Blake Knox

She doesn't "do" handshakes, keeps her diamonds in her purse and thinks a dropped hem is, quite frankly, unforgivable.

Joan Collins held court at the Newbridge Museum of Style this week.

Collins arrived all Betty Boop eyes, bouffant hair, and strong lips with her fifth husband Percy Gibson by her side.

"Today's fashion is ugly," she told the room matter-of-factly. "Women want to look like they haven't bothered, which is not my style. I know people are busy," she continued rolling her eyes.

"But my mother was always perfectly turned out, and that was during the war." No excuses so.

With each sound bite, rows of ladies and gents simpered.

"I have no question for you Dame Joan," one attendee said. "I just want you to know I really like you."

Joan nodded and talked about the items she has donated to the museum including a YSL jacket and lots of diamante encrusted gowns.

She plans on returning to our shores next year to shoot a movie.

Asked if she likes Ireland, Joan replied; "Of course, I love to walk around and get wet."

Up at dawn for a big breakfast with the stars

By Bairbre Power

It was an early start on Monday with the launch of this year's Cheerios Childline Breakfast fundraiser in the Fire restaurant at the Mansion House. Naturally Cheerios was on the menu along with the full Irish all provided by the Fire team who worked free of charge. Sharon Hollywood told me that Fire is celebrating 10 years in business and has had everyone in to eat, from Bill Clinton to Bono.

Amongst those that enjoyed breakfast were ISPCC President Caroline Downey just back from NYC with Hozier who was joined by her son Jett and his friend Jack Conan, Leinster and Ireland rugby player. Hector was broadcasting live with Today FM. Mairead Ronan looked sparkly at 7am in a stunning sequinned jacket.

Bernard Brogan arrived sans Sam Maguire.

Shane Filan performed and told me how thrilled he was to have his second solo album at number one and was very complimentary about Nadine Coyle who duets with him.

John Redmond hosted a Brown Thomas table and looked sartorially elegant as always.

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