Tuesday 26 September 2017

Society: New Dawn for Joan at film fest, Zoe's baby news and the 'Croatian sensation' on love

Costume designer Joan Bergin is set for Fastnet Film Festival. Photo: Frank McGrath.
Costume designer Joan Bergin is set for Fastnet Film Festival. Photo: Frank McGrath.
'Croatian sensation' Mateo Sania
Eddie Jordan and Zoe Jordan attend the Zoe Jordan KNITLA:XY Quiz Night at The Larrik Pub on Wednesday in London. Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images for Zoe Jordan Ltd
Jamie Heaslip, Danielle Hayes and Marco Pierre White at Marco's restaurant in Donnybrook for the Irish Rugby Football Union Charitable Trust fundraiser last week. Photo: Nic MacInnes.
Mairead Ronan is the new brand ambassador for Renault Ireland.
John Fitzpatrick, Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton at the 'Irish America for Hillary' event at Fitzpatrick's Grand Central Hotel, NYC. Photo: James Higgins.
Camilla Gray
Katie Harrington,Camila Speirs and Tamso Doyle at The Lemongrass Restaurant in Naas for the launch of The Punchestown Festival and the Lemongrass leading Trainer and Jockey Award.
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Designing the picture perfect loincloth is a tricky business.

But I've no doubt costume designer extraordinaire Joan Bergin is up to the task.

Joan is currently working on MGM's new Neanderthal-based drama Dawn, which is due to be shot here this summer.

"People think it's just old animal skins and a few clubs, but there's a lot more to it than that," she said.

The show will feature several well-known Hollywood stars but Joan was reluctant to name any names.

"I have signed confidentiality contracts and will be garrotted and strung up on a mammoth tusk if I mention anyone."

However, she did mention that the creative team behind the pilot have previously worked on James Cameron's 3D spectacular Avatar.

"They have five Oscars already so no pressure!" Joan said at the launch of the Fastnet Film Festival this week.

The Emmy-winning designer will hold a workshop as part of the Cork-based film festival and promises to share several "wardrobe war stories".

Joan's old pal Jim Sheridan will also be heading down to Schull in May for the festival to discuss his upcoming movie The Secret Scripture.

The film stars 'Smoldark' himself Aidan Turner, Eric Bana, and Jack Reynor.

Sheridan admits filming with such chiselled leading men left him with a "humiliated ego".

The festival organisers unveiled all their 'star talent' at a Cinematographers Party in Donnybrook's apothecary-chic pub Arthur Maynes.

Movie buffs, including Mexican ambassador Carlos Garcia De Alba, organiser Hilary McCarthy, and Rebellion casting director Maureen Hughes tucked into canapes as band Les Paul & Co played 'How High the Moon'.

There was plenty of jitterbug dancing and jazz tunes at Film Fatale's fifth birthday bash in The Westin's Mint Bar several nights earlier.

The theme of the knees-up was the Golden Age of Hollywood; ladies arrived in elbow-length gloves while gents opted for wide-leg slacks (a trend which I, for one, desperately want to return).

The evening kicked off with a screening of 1936 flick Swing Time but the party only began in earnest once the Tin Pan Alley Cat took to the stage.

'Croation Sensation' remains coy about love

Kirsty Blake Knox

There was intense one-upmanship at the launch of First Dates Ireland as attendees and members of the press recounted their dating nightmares.

No-shows, bad kisses and awkward bill splitting - it didn't sound pretty.

But the stars of the reality TV show were much more enthused about the dating world and told us about getting wined and dined as part of the show.

"Croatian Sensation" Mateo Sania (below) takes on the role of the Maître D' - following in the footsteps of Channel 4's smooth talking French man Fred Sirieix.

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'Croatian sensation' Mateo Sania

"This is Ireland, whatever you plan is never going to happen," he told reporters.

"If it's a car crash - what can you do? Keep walking."

But Mateo wasn't so forthcoming about his own love life. Spoilsport.

Zoe Jordan celebrates her baby news

Bairbre Power

I've seen Eddie Jordan in action in the Formula One pits at Grand Prix and talking sport at London Fashion Week. But on Wednesday he was playing the spoons in the Larrik pub in Marylebone as his designer daughter Zoe celebrated the launch of her new Knitlab jumpers for men.

And we had more to celebrate as Zoe and her husband, Steve Aspinall, are expecting their third child in September. The couple, who live in West London, have two daughters, Eden and Dylan, aged four and two.

The Larrik opened its doors for an evening of topical trivia and Irish fare. Guests were tested on their knowledge by quiz master George Lamb, and were accompanied by the sound of Eddie on the spoons and his band Eddie & the Robbers.

The guests were served Guinness and oysters, and joining in the celebrations was golfer Paul McGinley. Leah Woods, the singer daughter of Rolling Stones band member, Ronnie Wood, was there, looking très chic in a Zoe knit.

The quiz was won by the team in the corner which included James Cook, who is married to Poppy Delevigne.

It was a hectic week of fashion and sport and we were awash with rugby talent at the Marco Pierre White restaurant in Donnybrook where a huge crowd turned out last Thursday for the memorable fundraiser in aid of the Irish Rugby Football Union Charitable Trust.

The MPW restaurant on Belmont Avenue has become quite the 'in spot' amongst rugby fans. Marco Pierre was in top form and flew over for the night specially to meet the players attending. They included Jamie Heaslip, Ian Madigan, Devin Toner, Marty Moore and the recently retired Leinster captain, Kevin McLaughlin. Of course, Marco and Jamie have a lot of common - they both own steak restaurants.

RTÉ radio sports presenter Michael Corcoran did a great job interviewing the lads in front of an august crowd that included Michael Dawson, CEO of Leinster. On the eve of a game, it was an early night for all.

The affable Mick Quinn from the Charitable Trust did a sterling job organising the night as did Patricia Kearns, marketing consultant at MPW.

I sat at a lively table hosted by Geraldine Fitzpatrick whose family run the Fitzers catering group and are in business with Marco. Her guests included Danielle Hayes, whose dad Joe was a boss at the Indo many years ago, and the mum-of-three runs her own diamond business.

Mairead's in the driving seat with new role

Bairbre Power

We had ourselves a convoy on the Stillorgan bypass on Thursday after lunch at the Radisson to celebrate Mairead Ronan being appointed a Renault Ireland Brand Ambassador.

The Today FM producer and Ireland's Fittest Family presenter was all smiles after picking up the key card to her new cream and black Renault Captur.

"I'm glad you had the keys for me today because it would be a very expensive taxi back to Glasnevin," joked the mum-to-be, who is expecting her second child in September.

"The massive boot space will be great, and the removable, wipeable covers are a godsend when you've got a nine-year-old boy who likes to take half the pitch home with him after his matches, a puppy that thinks rolling in puddles should be applauded and for the baby on the way too," said Mairead.

The logo for her new business, Faro, a set of hair brushes launching the next day at The Loop in Dublin and Cork, was on the side.

Faro is made up of the first two letters of her old surname, Farrell, and her new married name, Ronan. While her husband, Louis Ronan, is a businessman, Mairead's late mum, Maureen, was very entrepreneurial too and set up a convenience store on wheels in Finglas west.

Patrick Magee, Country Operations Manager, Renault Ireland, says Mairead is a great match for the brand: "It's great to have Mairead on board as she is always on the go."

Hillary and Bill stick with Irish

Kirsty Blake Knox

Plaza resident and Dubliner in New York, hotelier John Fitzpatrick, was delighted this week to see two of his most loyal customers return to the Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel.

The night before she went head to head with Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, US Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill made a pit stop at Fitzpatrick's Wheeltapper Patio on Manhattan's East 44th Street for the 'Irish America for Hillary' rally.

"It's the same place Hillary held her fundraiser when she was running for the Senate in 2000 so it was fantastic to welcome them back," John told me.

"As Bill said 'It's good to finish with a home game'."

According to John, the atmosphere on the night was nothing short of electric with star spangled flags decorating the walls. "And we were delighted when she beat Sanders the following day," he added.

John has had the most incredible career; he cooked Christmas dinner for Joan Collins, and is on first name terms with movie stars and political heavy hitters. But when I suggest he writes it all down, he laughs.

"No, no. I think there are enough people writing books don't you?" he said.

And they're off... to Naas for the festival launch

Bairbre Power

Camilla Grey (below) and her partner Vincent O'Leary hosted the social launch for the Punchestown Festival at their Lemongrass Restaurant in Naas.

The couple were also celebrating their sponsorship of the Leading Trainer and Jockey Awards at the famous festival where champion trainer and jockey Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh will be defending their titles again.

The party was a who's who of the Irish horse racing set. Guests including jockey Kate Harrington, Olympic eventer Camilla Speirs and PR queen Tamso Doyle were treated to a special fashion show.

The Walsh family were all present - RTÉ pundit and trainer Ted and his daughter Jennifer as well as champion jockey Ruby Walsh and his wife Gillian.

Former Apprentice stars Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin called in to see the style and were chatting with Rathsallagh House owners Joe and Sarah O'Flynn as well as Punchestown chairman David Mongey and his genial General Manager Dick O'Sullivan.

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Camilla Gray

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