Saturday 1 October 2016

Vicki at large: Style set out in force for Arnotts collection

Published 10/07/2016 | 02:30

Courtney Smith at the Arnotts Autumn Winter 2016 womenswear show. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Courtney Smith at the Arnotts Autumn Winter 2016 womenswear show. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Ruth O'Neill at the Arnotts Autumn Winter 2016 womenswear show held in Clodagh's Kitchen, Arnotts. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Savvy: Beyoncé
Fair City actress Jenny Dixon at the Humans of Dublin event. Photo: Brian McEvoy

There are several dates on the Irish fashion calendar that our style set wouldn't dream of missing, and the biannual Arnotts new season fashion shows are definitely among them.

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It's that time of year again - after February's international fashion weeks, the buyers have been busy selecting the latest and greatest styles from the catwalks of Milan, Paris, London and New York, and despite the muggy heat of Dublin in July, the Autumn/Winter press shows begin.

On Wednesday, bloggers, journalists and stylists arrived in Clodagh's Kitchen on the top floor of the department store to witness the launch of the new collection, and even with the 8.30am start time, they were a perky and very stylish bunch.

TV personality Courtney Smith, new Xposé presenter Ruth O'Neill and a plethora of glossy magazine editors were among those who watched models Thalia Heffernan, Teodora Sutra and Sarah Morrissey sashay down the makeshift runway in styles by Tara Jarmon, Pinko and J Lindeberg, while social influencers and stylists snapchatted and tweeted their way through the presentation.

Originally set to take place in the brand new Bagots Hutton location on Ormond Quay, a last-minute change of location must have put the store's PR team under pressure, but none showed.

I'm not the biggest follower of fashion that's ever lived, but the wearable clothes were a sight for sore eyes in a world of crop tops. That early, a coffee and a nose at some clothes are just what a gal wants.

Queen B? I'm more ­admirer than superfan

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I'm one of the tens of thousands heading to Croker tonight to see Beyoncé's Formation World Tour, but I'm not a rabid fan of the woman they call Queen B - more of a cautious admirer. Some think she can do no wrong, an upper echelon angel of the celebrity universe that's beyond reproach due to her undeniable talent, but I beg to differ. Of course, she's an incredible singer and a formidable performer, but that doesn't mean she's no more above a publicity stunt than say, Kim Kardashian, a woman that's often compared unfavourably to Beyoncé because their husbands happen to be friends and collaborators.

The way Beyoncé announced her pregnancy on stage at the MTV Awards in 2011 screamed of headline grabbing, as did the world première of her latest visual album Lemonade on national television, where she clearly alluded to Jay Z being unfaithful.

I'd argue that B is as guilty of selling her personal life as Kardashian, albeit in a far more slick and savvy way. Nonetheless, I'll definitely be getting down with my bad self later on, because life would be that little bit less interesting without attention-seeking celebs.

Taking a closer look at  the 'Humans of Dublin'

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I went to the launch of the latest Vodafone smartphone on Tuesday night in the gorgeous environs of Drury Buildings. Oddly enough, the focus wasn't on the technology or specs of the Smart Platinum 7, but on the "Humans of Dublin".

Vodafone teamed up with the man behind the popular Facebook page of the same name, social commentator and photographer Peter Varga, to capture some of the most intriguing people in the city using the phone's camera. Entitled "Take a closer look", it was an opportunity for the subjects to tell their own personal stories as well as to showcase the handset's photography chops.

A duo photographed together for the exhibition were Andrea Horan and James Kavanagh; the former owns popular South William Street nail bar Tropical Popical, while the latter is a well-loved star of Snapchat. However, their story revolves around Horan's new website The Hunreal Issues, something she hopes will be a platform for promoting conversation around hot topics, like the debate on the Eighth Amendment.

"It's aimed at those young people who might not necessarily be scrolling through current affairs or reading analysis," she told me, while Kavanagh piped up "we kind of put glitter on boring issues!"

One of a rake of new social celebrities, 20,000 people watch Kavanagh's "snaps" every single day. This week his account was hacked, much to his fans' dismay, but not one to be deterred by spiteful techies, he's jumped right back on the horse with a new account. He's one to watch; his personality will soon be jumping off social media and on to television on RTÉ2's Taste of Success, as he and his partner William aim to get their catering company Currabinny off the ground.

Other well-known faces at the event included stylist Darren Kennedy, RTÉ's Bláthnaid Treacy and Stephen Byrne, and Fair City's Jenny Dixon, pictured above. Le Galaxie spun a DJ set, as singer Mick Pope was one of the featured "Humans" alongside GirlCrew founder Elva Carri and scriptwriter and playwright John Murphy.

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