Thursday 27 October 2016

Bairbre Power: ever so personal

There's nothing confusing about monogramming - you just know it's yours!

Published 13/12/2015 | 02:30

All wrapped up: Rae Feather's cashmere scarves are causing quite a stir in Brown Thomas.
All wrapped up: Rae Feather's cashmere scarves are causing quite a stir in Brown Thomas.
Sarah Morrissey models one of Rae's creations.
Louise Stokes' 9kt-gold satin matt finish 'All you need is love' necklace.
Ansley watch gift set.

I wasn't a big fan of the whole 'Carrie' nameplate necklace, one of the few things I didn't like in Miss Bradshaw's compelling wardrobe in Sex And The City. Jewellery with names in script around necks or wrists certainly save on introductions.

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Some fashion designers boast that they don't have to advertise because their customers do it for them but, frankly, I don't want to wear my name, let alone a designer's name in script, or their logo, emblazoned on my handbag or on the shoes and clothes I wear. However, I must confess I have a growing penchant for very subtle monogramming. I'm not talking monogrammed slippers or PJs here, just something simple like my initials on an iPad cover or a Montblanc pen or a piece of luggage.

Very much back in vogue this Christmas, monogramming has been around for years and dates back to ancient Greece. For years, a silver mug with the baby's initials was the tried and tested gift for a new infant, but now it's moved to something more practical that the baby will actually use like a soft rug monogrammed with the baby's initials.

At Christmas, there were always the set pieces like the box of monogrammed handkerchiefs for your maiden grandaunt, and hands up who came back from their first holiday to the US with velour hand towels with fancy satin motifs with your initials? They only ever saw service when the cousins were coming!

Irish woman Rae Feather founded her own fashion and lifestyle brand and her cashmere scarves for women and men are creating enormous interest at the Marvel Room in Brown Thomas where there is a two-day turnaround in getting the scarves monogrammed and beautifully customised with your initials.

Rae's style philosophy is 'with simplicity comes longevity'. Made in Scotland, her luxe-sized scarves for women cost €395 and measure 220cm long and 60cm wide. This generous size means they can be worn as a scarf or body wrap. I particularly liked the contrasting border colour which is very glam on the black version (worn by model Sarah Morrissey) as it comes with a subtle metallic thread. The men's scarf is slightly smaller and costs €295. Chatting with Rae, I discovered she has exquisite taste, just like her famous interior designer sister, Helen Turkington. What talented siblings.


The jewellery box

Couples usually have their 'favourite song' and it's often the one that was playing when they met and they treasure it so much, they chose to play it on their wedding day. Savvy and ever so romantic jewellery designer Louise Stokes of Loulerie (14B Chatham Street, Dublin) has devised a lovely range of bar necklaces where you can have a short line of lyrics from your favourite song written across the front and back. It is too late to have one completed in time for Christmas but it sounds like the kind of gift that would appeal to lots of girls, and maybe guys could place an order and in the meantime, write out the lyrics on a card and explain what's coming in 2016. In the store at the moment, Louise has the 9kt-gold satin matt finish 'All you need is love' double-sided bar necklace with slogan, €699. It measures 14in in length with the option to wear an 2in extender.


Show me a man who doesn't like nice watches and I will eat my Peter O'Brien hat. Irish brand Ansley have a lovely offer ideal for festive gifting. For €320, you get the sleek timepiece, a tan leather wallet and two extra straps, ideal for the man who likes changing his look. More info from

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