Saturday 23 September 2017

Showcase designed to rock recession and fashion

Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Where would fashion in Ireland be, I ask you, without women such as Fiona Foy-Holland and Ashling Kilduff? These two sartorial stalwarts are determined to transcend the clouds of recession and provide a showcase for Irish designers. The only co-ordinated showcase left.

The proof was in the pudding (a roulade of chiffon and crystal) at Foy-Holland's annual charity fashion show and luncheon at the Stephen's Green Hibernian Club on Friday.

As usual it was sold out; it says something about the women in the fashion industry in Ireland that these events are always so well supported. Everyone from Liz O'Donnell and Deirdre Kelly to Andrea Roche and Amanda Kevlin were present in all their finery to support the best in Irish fashion (and the Order of St Lazarus where all the money raised was going).

The new talent was not just confined to designers. I was thrilled to spot beautiful Holly Carpenter (grandaughter of the original incumbent of this page, the late Terry Keane) on the catwalk. Hollywood beckons -- you read it here first.. All this and our own Brendan O'Connor MCed the proceedings too.

"The importance of this event is to show the best and brightest of what Ireland has to offer in design from established names like John Rocha, Philip Treacy and Synan O'Mahony to the emerging and brilliant talent of designers like Claire O'Connor and Sean Byrne," strawberry-blonde beauty Foy-Holland told me, adding that Ashling Kilduff, owner of The Design Centre, "has championed Irish design, and has generously lent her support and time for a worthy cause".

The Award for Retailer who Rocks the Recession has to go to the unsinkable Alan Kelly who had a special evening at his Gentleman Please emporium in Blackrock last weekend.

The CEO of Duchamp, Marc Psarolis, who travelled from the UK for the event, told me on the night that Alan "is a great entrepreneur and a man with great energy and ideas. He is an inspiration in difficult times". And he doesn't just mean in Ireland.

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