Thursday 29 September 2016

The Edge: Emma finds the right position for John and Blaise brings bling to Barcelona

Published 04/04/2016 | 02:30

FAI chief Executive John Delaney and his girlfriend Emma English in attendance at the PFA Ireland Awards
FAI chief Executive John Delaney and his girlfriend Emma English in attendance at the PFA Ireland Awards
FAI Chief Executive John Delaney with Emma English before the start of the UEFA EURO Final Tournament Draw. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Emma English names her celebrity team.
Blaise was the trend-setter at the smart hen party
Norah Casey
Ann Finn dressed the men.

I have a world exclusive for you. Emma English is about to reveal her incomparable boyfriend, and my good friend, John Delaney's favoured position. But I'll get to that in a moment . . .

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First, the beautiful blonde fashion icon will announce in this column what she calls her "celebrity soccer team" that she has modelling at the Freedom Of Dublin Charity Fashion Show (sponsored by Manhattan Popcorn) for the John Giles Foundation and the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People at Citywest Hotel this Thursday. Sitting comfortably? Then I'll let Emma begin. . .

"Up front: Minister Alan Kelly and Glenda Gilson.

"In midfield: Eamon Dunphy and Johnny Giles.

"In defence: Jason McAteer, Sarah Morrissey and Ray Houghton.

"In goal: Nicky Byrne."

So, I asked Emma, what position will her FAI boss other-half be in? "The manager!" she laughed, when I met her for a spot of early tea in Emma's "favourite spot", Marco Pierre White's fine establishment in Dawson Street last Tuesday before the Ireland v Slovakia game at the Aviva Stadium. When your diarist complimented Emma that it is younger she is getting, she replied that "that's what happiness and love do to you." Maybe Emma should give motivational talks to the Irish team before the games at the Euros in France in June. We'd hockey the Italians and the Belgians.

Indeed, ace soccer tactician Emma would surely find a way to nullify that big girl's blouse Zlatan Ibrahimovic - not least because, after over a decade running fashion shows, Emma knows a thing or two about big girls' blouses.

Blaise brings bling to Barcelona hen trip with the posh gals

You have to hand it to her. The Air Miles, that is.

Blaise O’Donnell’s almost spiritual search for a stunning sea-view ever since she and her family sadly left their home in Killiney’s Gorse Hill (lest we forget — it was overlooking the blissful expanse of Irish Sea) last year continues apace.

And with some gusto.

The reason I say she is continuing her quest for a sea-view that might remind her of her old home is that last summer she was in Sorrento, Positano, and Capri overlooking the equally blissful Tyrrhenian Sea, to say nothing of a more recent trip to Hawaii overlooking the North Pacific Ocean. But I digress. . .

The upmarket Irish beauty was in Barcelona (overlooking the alluring  Mediterranean Sea) the weekend before last on a suitably smart  — posh even — hen party for her VBF Sarah Rothschild.

There was a large group of glam girls, all there to ease Ms Rothschild towards the altar very soon.

A group of 14 of these lithe, lovely ladies posed discreetly for a picture at Barcelona Airport with a sign proclaiming  — Sarah’s Hen.

The la-di-da hens had dinner off La Rambla in central Barcelona and generally helped to

give stunning Sarah a great launch into  married life.

Naturally, Blaise was de rigueur in a striking metallic silver mini, a white cape and heels.

We expect nothing less from the beautiful Blaise after the stunning and unforgettable orange guna she wore to my party last summer.

I’m sure they have a word for it in Catalonia.

Brown Thomas’s Ann dresses the Irish at White House shindig

I’ve just finished binge-watching the latest series of House Of Cards, so the dark arts of politics is very much in the DNA of this diary. Therefore, with my fiercest Doug Stamper death-glare, I can solve the mystery of why many of the top male movers and shakers from Ireland at the St Patrick’s week high-end shindigs in Washington were all wearing Canali.

Step forward and take a bow — Ann Finn at Brown Thomas in Dublin. . .

My Deep Throat tells me that the fabulous Finn (head of menswear personal shopping in Brown Thomas Dublin) dressed many of President Obama’s Irish guests in Canali suits for the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the White House.

The back story to this — and Washington loves a back-story as much as Dublin does —  is that the night after his election  as President of the United States in November 2008, Barack Obama was photographed waving to the crowds in Chicago, and, as he did so, almost cinematically, his jacket  fell back and revealed  the label for all to see: Canali.

Probably as influential as the most important man in the world wearing Canali, is that the most important man in Irish retail wears Canali too — Waterford-born Paul Kelly, the managing director of the Selfridges Group. BTW, Canali suits are half the price in BTs they are in America.

Norah puts Marbs back on map

Just when some of us were thinking that  Marbella was starting to lose some of its famous allure, Norah Casey enters the fray. Trust the businesswoman and broadcaster (once upon a time she was one  of the best things on Dragons’ Den on RTE) to save the day for Marbs. And just as the Wags were about to re-christen the town, Wagons’ Den, too.

She spent almost two weeks in this part of sunny sybaritic southern Spain  — try to say that after a bottle of Dom Perignon  in Puerto Banus — with her teenage son Dara. (They also took in Seville, Cadiz and Grenada.) During  their stay, Norah and Dara were shown around the town by Irish superchef Marc Quinlan and his girlfriend, Penny Candaras.

“They took us under their wings on the first night and we’ve been with them virtually every day since. We loved it. We are just heading to Beckitt’s for our last night. Love the place,” Norah told me on Thursday evening,  referring to Marc’s  well-known local restaurant: which hosted — especially in the Celtic Tiger years — everyone from Michael and Norma Smurfit, to Bertie Ahern and his one-time flame Anna Bogle, to Kathleen and Albert Reynolds, to Noreen and Charlie McCreevy.

And now Norah. They’ll erect a statue to Norah in Marbella for putting it back on the map.

Lou is in La La Land

My singing voice is somewhere between a drunken apology and a plumbing problem, Colin Firth once quipped. Diplomacy prevents me from telling you my opinion of some of the singing on RTE’s pre-eminent singing competition,  The Voice of Ireland. In any event, they held their wrap party in 37 on Dawson Street last weekend. Naturally, chief among the glam revellers last Saturday night in 37 were the show’s presenters, Kathryn Thomas, right, and Eoghan McDermott. The latter  was joined by The Voice’s judges Una Foden and Rachel Stevens, among others. 

Louis Walsh, one of the leading authorities on all things singing — by dint of his involvement in Westlife and their innumerable hit singles internationally — is away from these shores. He is topping up the tan, and doubtless holding a few business meetings, in Los Angeles. How do I know that Lou is in La La Land? (Lou In La La Land: sounds like a great album title, doesn’t it?) He told me, sillies.

Mark and Jill enjoy the  Wright stuff

The Wrights do everything right, don’t they? Mark Wright -  of the Wright dynasty in Howth - and his model wife Jill chose the in-vogue spot to go skiing with their (count ’em!) six kids: Mont-Tremblant in Québec in Canada. Mark and Jill, who own the equally in-vogue The Seafood Bar by Wrights of Howth on Dawson Street, know about glamorous getaways anyway . . .

They  honeymooned in Barbados after their wedding at the K Club on New Year’s Eve, 2008  — a bling bash attended by the aforesaid Wright dynasty as well as fashion guru Audrey Taylor, singer Una Gibney and model Mary Grimes.

On the subject of modelling, Jill is about to make a return to her former illustrious career. 

“I just started back a few weeks ago,” she told me.“Derek from Assets asked if I was interested. I’m doing a lot of Ireland Am on TV3 for Oxendales. I also did a jewellery shoot for Jo Harpur Jewellery and am doing a shoot with Constance Harris in  the Sunday Independent’s LIFE magazine  — as well as the odd fashion show for Assets.”

I’m sure there isn’t a fashionista who won’t join me in saying it’s good to have Jill back.

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