Thursday 8 December 2016

Bairbre Power: City meets country

An adventure into the heart of Ireland yields some surprise buys

Published 02/10/2016 | 02:30

‘Samphire’ cape in Teflon-coated 100pc pure new wool tweed. The toggle-front cape in moss has a faux fur collar and costs €549; ‘Fermoy’ Gore Tex leather/suede boots in Mahogany, €39
‘Samphire’ cape in Teflon-coated 100pc pure new wool tweed. The toggle-front cape in moss has a faux fur collar and costs €549; ‘Fermoy’ Gore Tex leather/suede boots in Mahogany, €39
Simone Rocha's feminine suiting with frilled trim on the trousers
Simone Rocha's double-breasted coat in sharp white with ties on the sleeves
Simone Rocha's sheer plastic mac with floral detail
'Glanmire' Gore-Tex boots in walnut, €395 BUY: Dubarry of Ireland store, College Green, Dublin and dubarry.com
Tulle dress, €550

So there I was, heading off to the Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, armed with my city girl boots, a warm hat, and hoping it wouldn't rain. Well, it lashed out of the heavens, prompting spontaneous retail therapy on the muddy fields of Screggan.

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It was the sight, on day one, of a girl standing in a basin of water that pulled my gaze off the very cute pic of Bruce Springsteen wearing his Dubarry 'Galway' boots while performing at Glastonbury. Turns out that Bruce and his horse-mad family all own Dubarrys, and wear the iconic, leather-banded suede boots that were designed in Ballinasloe and are handmade in Portugal.

I reckon I should have shares in Dubarry by now for all the pairs of 'Dubes' brought into our house by teenagers who adopted the sailors' deck shoe for their Dublin urban school uniform. Somehow, I never thought I'd have need for their waterproof boots but they were a blessing at the ploughing, especially on day two when the mud was reduced to thick gloop!

Back at the Dubarry tent on day two, I embarked on what I can only describe as a boot adventure. I was up and running in my 'Galways' and there was no need for plasters on night one, which is always a good sign of something well made. I came back to buy a faux fur snood as autumn turned bitter and my ears peaked when I heard a customer enquiring about different width fittings.

If only I had a dollar for every email and letter I've received over the years from people with chunky calves, desperately looking for boots with expandable calf fits. Well, it turns out that Dubarry employed some west of the Shannon wisdom and introduced Galway boots with extra fit for those with bigger calves. They go up to a size 48 and, on the flip side, they also have a slim fit (up for a size 43) for those blessed with slim calves, and all boots cost €370.

If you are someone who is out in the elements or waiting for public transport, the 'Fermoy' boot (pictured top left) might interest you this winter. The leather Gore-Tex, waterproof boot comes in four different shades including all leather, riding-boot style, and a sister version which has leather foot and suede leg, which lends itself to a smart-casual, jeans-in-boots city vibe. New to the Dubarry boot family this season is the 'Glanmire' (pictured top right), which boasts an attractive and practical elasticated lacing system up the back of the calf. The boot has an internal stretch membrane and Lycra panel for stretch and goes from a slim fit through to extra fit calf sizes. Suddenly walks in the rain talk on a whole new appeal this winter.

@bairbrepower

Simple as black & white

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From cows to catwalks... Undoubtedly one of the highlights of my recent London Fashion Week foray into SS17 was the Simone Rocha show at Southwark Cathedral. The 30-year-old Dublin-born designer captivated her audience with stunning, uber-romantic dresses, a fresh take on white shirts and feminine suiting with frilled trim on the trousers (above).

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I loved the series of trenchcoats in a range of fabrics, from a Prince of Wales plaid, to a double-breasted coat in sharp white with ties on the sleeves (above), and a sheer plastic mac with floral detail (below). Simone's range will be available at Havana in Donnybrook, havanaboutique.ie, her sole Irish stockist.

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Meanwhile, I was delighted to come across a new brand to throw love upon. JV by Jorge Vazquez is new to Costume. I can think of so many occasions to wear the €550 tulle dress (below).

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Costume is at 10 Castle Market, Dublin 2. See costumedublin.ie

Bravo Simone and hola jorge

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