Society: Vogue sticks to fitness and pizza, Leo and Dairine's baby news and Aaron Heffernan
Squat techniques and swim suit selfies were playing heavily on Vogue Williams' mind when she touched down in Dublin this week. The TV presenter/model/ and spokesperson for dog seat belts (yes really) was back in town for the launch of Zizzi's - a new eatery that serves up pizzas and plenty of Prosecco.
"Today is my cheat day," Vogue said holding a mozzarella laden slice.
Vogue is in the middle of setting up a new fitness bootcamp - similar I'd imagine to Operation Transformation host Kathryn Thomas' Pure Results outfit in Kerry.
"We're just trying to find the perfect venue," she said.
"Basically guests will work out during the day and then in the evening there will be style seminars so you don't get bored. I won't be teaching any of the classes," Vogue added hastily. "I'll be working out next to everyone."
Since announcing her split from her husband Brian McFadden on Twitter, Vogue has been throwing herself into 101 different projects.
"I am doing a new series for RTE and will be flying to the US and Thailand this summer to film them," she said.
Her last RTÉ series Vogue's Mean Girls was recently snapped up by TV channel TLC - home of addictive reality shows such as Love at First Swipe, Breaking Amish, Say Yes to the Dress and chat show If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World.
Asked if she was back on the dating scene, Vogue shook her head saying she was enjoying the single and simple life.
"Between Brian and my ex (graffiti artist Maser) I had been in relationships for 11 years so I'm enjoying the novelty of being single," she said.
The opening of the Dundrum restaurant Zizzi's attracted familiar faces.
Pippa O'Connor arrived with her husband Brian Ormond, model Daniella Moyles enjoyed some midweek cocktails while rugby player Jordi Murphy milled about soaking up the atmosphere.
Across town I ran into Vikings actor Moe Dunford who is up for an IFTA award this evening.
Moe is in the middle of filming new comedy The Flag with Pat Shortt and Rebellion's Ruth Bradley. It should be a star studded evening; Deirdre O'Kane will host and Oscar nominated screen writer Emma Donoghue, Roma Downey are flying in for the bash while Liam Neeson will pick up the Outstanding Contribution to Cinema award.
Oscar in the loo Shaw to cause a distraction
Kirsty Blake Knox
Take heed one and all! Keeping your Oscar/Olivier/Grammy award in the downstairs loo is a no-no.
According to Fiona Shaw everyone sees them when they're popping to the loo - causing much distraction.
"There's no disguising them," the acclaimed actress said.
The Harry Potter star was in flying form as she launched paint company Colourtrend's new ad in the Temple Bar gallery this week.
"I like poetry and paint and colour so it's a nice fit," she said cheerfully.
Shaw will head Stateside in the coming months to work as artist-in-residence at the Kennedy Centre in Washington.
"I'm directing an enormous concert with the symphony orchestra which will be attended by some White House people," she said.
After that Shaw will play Countess Markievicz alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Downton Abbey star Brendan Coyle in 1916 film The Rising.
The movie will be shot in the US this autumn.
"I don't think they'd let us blow the GPO up for a film," she said.
Baby news for Leo and Dairine
Ireland's largest fashion show - the ARC show at the RDS - lived up to its billing on Monday night. Rhona Blake, MD at FleishmanHillard hosted a stylish soirée before the show at Bellucci's Restaurant. Her guests on the night enjoyed bubbles and Italian bites and included Sybil Mulcahy, TV3 presenter; Barbara White of Horse Racing Ireland and Roisin O'Sullivan, sales and marketing director of The Marker hotel.
Also in attendance was style blogger Laura Nolan Horgan whose style and image consultancy business celebrated its milestone first birthday.
At the show I met the glamorous Dairine Kennedy one half of the KDK lifestyle brand. We laughed over the fact that she is usually at the RDS in her woollies, cheering on Leinster who are managed by her hubbie, Leo Cullen. The couple have a young son, Con, and Dairine shared her good news with me - that they are expecting their second baby in September.
Dairine was joined by her sister Keira, pictured above with their mum, Deirdre. The sisters received raptulous applause for their cashmere scarf collection, shown off to great aplomb. So too did designers Helen Cody, and Delphine Grandjouan who showcased her new ready to wear collection.
The style squad turned out in force for the Persil Irish Fashion Award at the Dean Hotel. Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney judged and the prize went to Niamh Mannion from Limerick School of Art & Design.
I always salute Xpose's Aisling O'Loughlin for her individual style sense and she looked tres chic when she attended afternon tea at the The Malton in Killarney with Colette Fitzpatrick. The hotel is owned by the Scally family, who also have the Killarney Royal and Hayfield Manor in Cork. Aisling, meanwhile, is poised to give birth to her third son next month.
The Irish rugby boys will be back next week after some well-deserved time off and I look forward to dining at Marco Pierre White's in Donnybrook next Thursday with Jamie Heaslip, Devin Toner and Ian Madigan - the latter will no doubt be tanned after his break in Sandy Lane, Barbados, golfing with his girlfriend, Anna. The €60 a ticket event is being held in association with the IRFU Charitable Trust and includes dinner, wine and music.
Culture in Celbridge's palladian mansion
This week is proving to be a very busy week at Castletown House in Celbridge, former home of the Speaker William Conolly. The Vanishing Ireland photographic exhibition was launched in the newly restored Stable wing on Tuesday. I spotted Ambassador of Italy, His Excellency, Mr Giovanni Adorni Bracces, Matt Dempsey from the RDS, authors Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell, and Martin Manseragh and Claire Hickey from the OPW.
The photos will be on display until the end of October and entry is free.
The Irish Antique Dealers Association Fair takes place at Castletown House too and entry is also free. There will be 20 of the leading IADA members including George Stacpoole along with Grainne Pierce from Courtville Antiques who always has something very special to show - including buttons embroidered by Countess Markievicz herself when she was in Holloway prison. With concerts and talks happening, it's a busy year in the big house.
Global event is Shrew-d timing
Kirsty Blake Knox
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is bracing itself for an Irish invasion this summer.
The Bard's old stomping ground in 'Landan Tan' will stage an Irish version of The Taming of the Shrew aka the farce that inspired cult teen film 10 Things I Hate About You.
Set on our shores, the play will feature an all Irish cast.
Former Love/Hate star Aaron Heffernan (above) will take on the role of Lucentio while doe eyed ingénue Genevieve Hulme-Beaman will play the object of his desire Bianca.
Troy actor Louis Dempsey, Barabbas founder Raymond Keane, Amy Conroy and Fair City alumni Helen Norton will also appear in the stage show which opens in May.
Rehearsals kicked off this week in London with the gents struggling into the tightest of tights while the gals battled with corsets.
Busy Aaron, cousin of model Thalia, has just finished shooting sci-fi action film The Titan in sunny Gran Canaria on an "amazing shoot". Avatar actor Sam Worthington, Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling, model Agyness Deyn, and Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel will also star.
Downfall didn't dampen party and holiday talk
BBQs under umbrellas - it's something we've got used to in Ireland but the eight seasons in a day that the Dublin weather unleashed on Wednesday did nothing to dampen the spirits of Oonagh Clarke, MD of French Cosmetic Distributors.
She threw a garden party at Leeson Street Upper to mark the launch of the Bronz' Express new Magic Radiance Drops which you add to your moisturiser to give yourself a summer glow.
The brand has won a number of awards for best tan for Irish skins. As it happens, in a perverse way, the hailstones followed by a downpour actually concentrated all the chat on summer holidays and getting ready for bikinis.
Guests enjoyed 'Expresso Martinis' and while there were hamburgers served inside, there was the whiff of summer days ahead from the outdoor fire pit.
I bumped into Ella de Guzman of Siopaella in Temple Bar who is off to Morocco next weekend on a buying trip. Funny how the same names keep coming.
Earlier in the day I met tanned photographer Daniel Holfeld who is just back from a stylish shoot there.