Thursday 29 September 2016

Vicki at large: Coveting clothes I can't afford at BT's show

Published 17/07/2016 | 02:30

Style queens: TV3's Anna Daly and Cassie Stokes. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Style queens: TV3's Anna Daly and Cassie Stokes. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Taylor Swift
Roisin Murphy

The glossy posse descended on Brown Thomas's flagship Grafton Street store early on Tuesday morning for their bi-­annual fashion show, an event with an even earlier call-time than Arnotts the week before, and which warrants even more glitz and glam from those attending.

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Held in the accessories hall of the country's fanciest department store, it's always a spectacle both on and off the faux runway, as members of the press vie to present themselves as best they can first thing in the morning. Guests were primarily media, and seated according to zones.

There didn't appear to be a hierarchy as such, or at least that's what I told myself all the way over in Zone 6. I spied TV3 presenters Cassie Stokes and Anna Daly, and model-turned-lifestyle-blogger Pippa O'Connor in the mix. Pippa recently gave birth to her second child, a son named Louis who arrived in May, but you'd never know it to look at her - the wagon.

Styles by Gucci and Oscar De La Renta stole the show, and I was agog - even though I could never afford to own them. The models' make-up, applied by the in-store "beauty style team", was avant garde, featuring bleached brows and dewy skin - again, something I could never aspire to but beautiful and striking nonetheless.

My only criticism of a gorgeously glamorous show was the music, which, at 8.30am, went through my skull like a piercing racket. Think the 'end of the world' noise in The Beatles' 'A Day in the Life', and you're halfway there.

Taylor Swift's halo has slipped in a big way

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This week, the hashtag #taylorswiftisover trended on Twitter after the paparazzi-loving singer confirmed that she co-wrote ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris's latest smash hit. He lashed out in a string of glorious tweets, and fans took the superstar DJ's side, much to my delight.

Penning songs under the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg, the blonde pop star had a big hand in the tune 'This is What You Came For', which has been in the charts since April featuring the vocals of Rihanna. Swift allegedly assigned the pen name because she wanted to keep the collaboration with her then-boyfriend a secret, but now their relationship has ended, her people confirmed that she was the brains behind the melody.

Harris responded to the news confirming that Swift sings on the track too in a deliciously bitchy way, alluding to her long-running feud with fellow singer Katy Perry and wondering why, if she's so happy with Tom Hiddleston, she's trying to make Calvin look bad. This kind of delicious celebrity gossip is rare at A-list level, and I'm savouring every little bit.

Longitude brings the noise to Marlay Park this weekend

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Longitude continues today in Dublin's Marlay Park, and if the weather behaves, it's bound to be a treat for concert goers in the capital. At the time of going to press, there were still some Sunday day passes left for the urban festival if fans of Róisín Murphy, above, The National or Jamie xx could be persuaded to part with €64.50 at the last minute.

I was at the inaugural Longitude in 2013, covering festival season for this very title - the jammiest assignment ever, perhaps? - and from the moment I walked into Marlay Park, I knew it would be a fixture of Irish summers for a while to come. The lack of campsites cuts down on a lot of the messing, and the site is nice and compact with only four stages. You don't have to walk for miles to get anywhere, there's an abundance of bars and eateries and at 11 o'clock, you get to go home to your own bed or to a nearby pub to continue the party.

I'm most looking forward to seeing Diplo play, both in the afternoon by himself and headlining tonight as part of Major Lazer, but for me, festivals are so often about more than just the big acts. I'm all about the atmosphere, the free-flowing pints and cocktails and just the general vibe that comes with being at an outdoor gig. You can sense the excitement in the air, and there's something almost therapeutic about the pounding speakers.

The latter half of my twenties was coloured by my experiences at gigs in Ireland, in a very good way - I doubt I'll ever forget watching Bon Jovi at Slane Castle (yes, I like dad rock, okay?), Chic playing Electric Picnic or even Beyoncé last weekend in Croke Park. But festivals aren't just for kids or even thirty-somethings. They're marketed in this country to be for just about anybody who can handle the queues and the noise.

Festivals, and outdoor gigs in general in Ireland have become the hottest ticket in town in recent years, and business seems to be booming for promoters. But if you're missing out this weekend, don't fret - Indiependence in Mitchelstown, Co Cork takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend in a fortnight, Electric Picnic is back in early September and the Punchestown Music Festival is happening this day next week with Lionel Richie headlining. One thing is for sure - revellers will be revelling.

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