My style: Mixing business with pleasure
Restaurant boss Martina Fox tells Joanna Kiernan why she's no slave to fashion, opting instead for classical pieces
'My clothes are all kind of classical pieces. I'm not into fads and never have been," Martina Fox tells me as we rummage through her wardrobe.
"Even when I was in my 20s I was never into wearing something just because that's what was deemed to be fashionable. I wear what I'm comfortable in and what I like."
It's an ability that many of us envy -- to truly know which trends suit us and which we should ignore. It's an ability which I'm sure Martina has cultivated from her years as a model, throughout her marriage to nightclub boss Robbie Fox and while at work, treading the boards night after night in the Bridge Bar & Grill.
Skinny jeans are many people's bete noir, but that's not to say we don't attempt to squeeze our sizeable calves into them on the odd misguided occasion.
The fantastic Mrs Fox is thankfully a little shrewder when it comes to personal style. "I do tend to go for classical pieces purely and simply because they can carry me from work to social life or from casual to more dressy occasions and they last," she adds, "I have some pieces in my wardrobe that are there years and years because they're classical shapes and they're well cut. I am big into the fabric that's in my clothes. I like nice soft fabrics and tailoring."
So what would Martina say is her most hardworking item of clothing?
"It has to be the black dress. I mean everybody should have a black dress in their wardrobe; it takes you anywhere and everywhere. Also my black leather skinnies, they have been my staple all through the winter. You can dress them up or you can make them a little bit more casual looking.
"I do dress up going into work, because I'm in the restaurant so much it's almost like my social life as well. This winter, the place was actually so busy I went completely for comfort dressing and I even took out the flat boots." Martina looks almost aghast at the admission, so much so, you might be forgiven for thinking that the flats in question were a tired old pair of Uggs. Not so.
"They are a pair of flat Prada over the knee boots," Martina tells me, "I must have bought them 12 years ago and when I bought them I wore them once or twice and then I never wore them again. But they cost me so much at the time that I refused to get rid of them."
Martina's love of dresses for both their practicality and elegance is evident.
"I love dresses purely and simply because they're so easy. You put one item of clothing on and bang you're done," she muses, "I love Dina Bar-el and Nicole Miller dresses. My purple Nicole Miller dress I really love, I don't know why, it's a really comfortable dress."
Being very much a boutique babe, Martina sourced as much as 90 per cent of her wardrobe in Diffusion, Clontarf. "I'm not a huge spender on clothes, but when I do go to buy something, I buy something that's going to last. Diffusion just make it very simple for me. I have been going there for years and at this stage, they know what I like and I can go out and they'll say: 'OK we've got, this, this, this and this put aside for you to have a look.' If I go into a big department store and there are loads and loads of things, I get fed up trying to find something and I end up leaving with nothing. I think that an awful lot of women's boutiques really lack in customer service ... Diffusion don't and it's why I go back.
"Obviously, like everybody else in this country now, I have to watch the pennies, so I am quite good. Unless I really like something I won't buy it," Martina says, adding, "I have to get wear out of it, because I really do wear all of my clothes."
Sunday Indo Living