Monday 26 September 2016

Village people - Kildare outlet has doubled its brand offerings

Constance Harris

Published 11/01/2016 | 02:30

Coat, €235, Jaeger. Jacket (worn underneath), €1,000, Karen Millen. Jumper, €209, N.Peal Jeans, €55, Jaeger. Boots (not in shot), €49.95; goggles, €70.95, both Tog 24. Belt, €40, Karen Millen.
Coat, €235, Jaeger. Jacket (worn underneath), €1,000, Karen Millen. Jumper, €209, N.Peal Jeans, €55, Jaeger. Boots (not in shot), €49.95; goggles, €70.95, both Tog 24. Belt, €40, Karen Millen.

Kildare Village, the outlet centre in Kildare for discounted quality brands, opened its phase two at the end of last year. This doubled its brand offerings, and things have changed massively there.

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Aspirational designer brands such as Belstaff, Armani, The Kooples and Gucci have signed up, and now sit alongside Mulberry (accessories and clothing), Louise Kennedy, Anya Hindmarch, Lulu Guinness and N.Peal. This means that Kildare village is now a serious designer-shopping destination for the 'It gals' of Ireland.

Right now, Irish 'It gals 'n' guys' are flying out in their droves to the ski slopes of Europe. It came as a complete revelation to me when I first visited Le Grand Bornand in the French Alps a few years ago, and saw how the slopes were as style-competitive and brand-obsessive as the streets of Paris.

Looking sexy and cool, but not try-hard, is what it is about. This tends to be tough for Irish people to achieve, though, as we have a limited selection of high-quality sportswear shops in Ireland.

But as you can see from our shoot - which is based on Kildare Village's stores, both fashion and activity orientated - we were not short of options to hit the slopes in style. Kildare Village has many sports and outdoor-activity stores that literally take you from the gym and running, to sailing and skiing. It was chosen by activity-wear brand, Under Armour, to house their first ever European outlet store. Premium ski label Napapijri can also be found in Kildare Village, as can Tog 24, a ski and outdoor specialist brand. There is also The North Face, where you can get everything from thermal wear to sleeping bags and equipment. Musto, though a sailing and country-wear brand, also has great puffer jackets and other outdoor wear.

Then you can go to David Clulow, which has fabulous and striking sunglasses by Tom Ford, Miu Miu, Bulgari, Oakley and groovy coloured, mirrored lenses by Ray-Ban.

It is essential to always wear proper thermal wear, weather gear and footwear on the slopes because, although it is pretty, conditions can become dangerous in seconds.

There is more to a ski holiday than skiing; the social life is second to none. So great knitwear, cute T-shirts, jeans and stylish footwear are in the second suitcase you pack (which could be from Samsonite, also at Kildare Village).

Our stylist, Courtney Smith, had a fun time selecting investment winter pieces from Karen Millen, Gerard Darel, All Saints, Wolford, Falke and N.Peal, which specialises in cashmere.

Now Kildare Village has a kind of in-house Courtney - a personal shopper (bookings through their website) to help you find what you are looking for. And you can get your car valeted while you are shopping.

It's all very Ab Fab, dahlings.

Photography by  Alex Hutchinson

Styling by Courtney Smith

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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