Monday 26 September 2016

Best of 2015 in Society: The most memorable fashion, food and fun moments

Kirsty Blake Knox and Bairbre Power

Published 27/12/2015 | 02:30

Yomiko wears a Carina Blossom Encrusted Lace Dress at EUR2995 pictured this morning at 56 Merrion Square at the launch of the Louise Kennedy Spring Summer Collection 2015.. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Yomiko wears a Carina Blossom Encrusted Lace Dress at EUR2995 pictured this morning at 56 Merrion Square at the launch of the Louise Kennedy Spring Summer Collection 2015.. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Simone Rocha’s pearl encrused red check Linton tweed for autumn winter
Cork actress Sarah Greene in the yellow Helen Cody dress at the 2015 IFTAs.
Don O'Neill and his fiance florist Pascal Guillermie
Roisin McVeigh at the preview of Hendrick's Chambers of the Curious Picture. Photo: Andres Poveda
Michael O'Doherty helps Amanda Brunker after an unwelcome seagull swoop at the VIP style awards.
Dympna Cunniffe, organiser, Sharon Bannerton, Ballinasloe; Marion Donaghue, organiser and Tina McNabola of Colm Quinn, sponsor supporting 'Breast Cancer Research' at 'Lunch by the Lake' in Wineport Lodge, Athlone
Naomi Campbell being announced as the new face of Newbridge Silverware. Photo: Steve Humphreys.
Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan at the launch of his book. Photo: Brian McEvoy.
Rosanna Davison signs an autograph for Steve Singleton.

Our experts pick their best events, speeches, gúnas etc in 2015.

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Kirsty's Best Dress

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The sunflower yellow Helen Cody dress Sarah Greene wore to the 2015 IFTAs was without question my favourite gúna of the year. It was a bundle of joy with feathers and crystals and a cinch waist. She stood out a country mile from all the usual sweeping nude and lace ball gowns.

She finished the look off with sparkling black court shoes and plenty of swagger. My other favourite outfit of the year was designer Sonya Lennon's Leopardstown Race day ensemble. Her Maleficent inspired headdress was a delight to behold.

 

Bairbre's Best Dress

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So many gúnas to love but my favourites came from the uber talented Irish designer, Simone Rocha, whose Autumn Winter 15 collection of pearl encrusted red check Linton tweed ended up on all the best catwalks and was sported by Angela Scanlon on The Late Late Show. The cheek of Ryan Tubridy calling it a rug. It only triggered a rush to buy Simone at Havana, in Donnybrook.

 

Kirsty's Best Food

The grub served at the opening of Hugo's Restaurant at Druids Glen in Wicklow was just heavenly. Eight courses of Fennel and Basil sorbet, melt in your mouth steak, foie gras, Mille-feuilles and eclairs so pretty they looked like they should be framed.

 

Bairbre's Best Food

Chef Kevin Thornton surpassed himself at the Irish Design Dinner at the RDS back in January and talkabout a backstory to the culinary gems, they are still slagging me in the office about my headline but Kevin served hand-snorkelled sea urchins he dived for off the Aran Islands, and duly served them on a bed of seaweed with dry seamist infused with the smell of the sea.

Kevin pampered guests with king scallops from Bere Island, aged fillet of Black Angus beef and Cashel blue cheese from his native town. It was more than a meal - it was an experience - and Kevin's attention to detail included butter he buried in the bog to achieve an earthy taste. Laura Magahy, chair of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, hosted dinner to celebrate the Year of Irish Design 2015.

 

To marriage, music and a great cause

Kirsty's Best Fun

There was only one place to be on the day of the Marriage Referendum - crammed into Panti Bar watching the Queen of Ireland work the room with aplomb. Punters including news reader Aengus MacGrianna, and 2fm's Louise McSharry, cheered loudly as the results started to trickle in. As if that wasn't enough excitement, the Yes Vote was followed by Sweden winning the Eurovision Song Contest - it was like Gay Nirvana. Douze points!

Bairbre's Best Fun

Ladies lunches can be a whole lot of fun. My gong goes to the cancer charity fundraiser organised by the Athlone friends of Breast Cancer Research Ireland at the Wineport Lodge in Glasson with a fabulous fashion show by Olivia Danielle and cool jazz from Lorraine McDonald.

 

A glass in hand and somewhere to go...

Bairbre's Best Cocktail

 It simply had to be the Mistletoe Magic featuring prosecco, apricot liquer, rose syrup and berries which David Murray of Balfes restaurant created for Mistletoe magazine. Enjoying our get together were jeweller Louise Stokes whose Loulerie store in Chatham Street is a mecca for fans like Amy Huberman and stylist Ingrid Hoey.

 

Kirsty's Best Cocktail

Hendrick's Chambers of the Curious which took place in Georgian house 12 Henrietta Street felt like a mix between a Dickensian novel and an Oingo Boingo video. The place was filled with taxidermy, Victoriana paraphernalia, creepy scientists and open fires glimmering with kindling.

Guests were served up the H'Aloe Hendricks - Aloe Vera juice, elderflower liquor, rosemary, fresh ginger and gin -delish!

 

Bairbre's Best Entrance

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Newly decorated Doctor of Fashion, Don O'Neill stepped out of the rain and into a virtual fanclub of admiring women who wanted to be photographed with him at the inaugural Irish Fashion Showcase in Manhattan in September.

Don, from Ballyheigue, Co Kerry, received an honorary doctorate of arts at UCC in June and back in his adopted home of Manhattan, Don and his fiance, florist Pascal Guillermie (both pictured above), happily posed for photos with the gals who formed an enthusiastic but orderly queue at the Irish Consulate offices on Park Avenue. Good timing because the following night, Barack Obama was staying next door at the Waldorf Astoria and it was impossible to get near Park Avenue.

 

Kirsty's Best Entrance

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Amanda Brunker's entrance to the VIP Style Awards was memorable - but for all the wrong reasons.Striding up the red carpet, former beauty queen Brunker was horrified when a seagull defecated on her head.

 "It was a massive s**t as well," Brunker said. "I thought someone had thrown a bread roll at my head." Thankfully, VIP publisher Michael O'Doherty was on hand to clean Brunker's hair and assure her everything was going to be alright.

 

Breege talks the talk as Marty keeps it sweet

Bairbre's Best Speech:

I travelled to Massachusetts to hear the Penneys retail dynamo, Breege O'Donoghue. Welcoming guests to the opening of the first ever Primark store in the US, Breege announced to the surprise of everyone, "I too come from Boston", only to explain that was "Boston in north Clare". Breege brought the house down and after she ran through her customary welcome in eight languages in rapid fire delivery. Boston Mayor, Marty Walsh remarked "how do you follow that". He did his best.

 

Kirsty's Best Speech

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I'm a firm believer that the shorter the speech the better. Especially at book launches where authors tend to ramble on about things like their inspiration or "creative journey". But broadcaster Marty Whelan was a breath of fresh air at his book launch for That's Life - simply thanking the people who matter in his life namely "the man who gave me back my hair," he said.

It's all about cherry blossom and the benefits of yoga

Bairbre's Best Head Turning moment

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Irish designer, Louise Kennedy, pulled off the ultimate, eye popping photo opportunity of the year when she unveiled her Spring Summer 2015 fashion collection with a head turningly gorgeous gaggle of models in pink and surrounded by delicate cherry blossoms. Louise decorated her townhouse with an abundance of delicate blooms that left guests gasping with admiration.

 

Kirsty's Best Head Turning moment

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It has to be when Naomi Campbell, famous for stalking down catwalks, sauntered into the Merrion Hotel as the new face of Newbridge Silverware. Naomi discussed yoga and the perils of eating refined sugar while we all willed her to showcase her diva antics. But Naomi slinked away quietly.

 

It happens to the best of us

Red carpet fail

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Posing in the nip for German Playboy was a career high for model Rosanna Davison.

However, she looked slightly uncomfortable when super fab Steve Singleton approached her at the 2015 IFTAs asking her to sign the centre fold.

There's a time and a place. The look in Rosie's eyes says it all.

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