Bairbre Power: Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
Isn't it lovely when your fashion girl crush turns out to be as divine as you suspected she might be? I was very fortunate to sit in dappled sunlight at the InterContinental Dublin last Friday and shoot the breeze with the very charming and eloquent supermodel Erin O'Connor.
The occasion was the BT AW17 collections show, the annual autumn fundraiser for the ISPCC's Childline and a great favourite for a catch-up after the summer holidays. More than 360 guests sat down to a sumptuous lunch and glittering runway show. But first, there was Moët et Chandon Champagne in the Ice Bar. There was a giddy queue of ladies waiting to pose in front of the very striking wall of red roses and blooms, which floral genius Ruth Monahan of Appassionata Flowers created for the day. Talk about schoolgirls queueing up for photobooths - the Christian Louboutin team had a photo machine which gave us all passport-sized photos with our besties.
Visiting designer duo from London, Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vas had sadly missed their customer evening in Brown Thomas, after their flight from their holidays in Japan was delayed. As a result, the pair were swooped on by Irish fans who wanted to talk about their beautiful dresses, coats and velvet. Shelly was sporting one of their draped tops and Erin O'Connor's luxe black velvet dress created lots of gúna envy. I have to tell you, actor Rory Cowan gives the best hugs, and he was on the receiving end of lots, after walking in with his host Caroline Downey. Leaving Mrs Brown's Boys affords Rory more time to spend with his darling mum, Esther, but we can still catch his dulcet Dublin tones on TV3's Goggle Box.
There aren't many people I'd drive to Clare and back in one day for, but I did for milliner Margaret O'Connor. I was delighted to cut the ribbon on her first ever store, located in Summerhill, just off Ennis's market area. Margaret (above, centre) was joined by supporters such as fashion blogger Sharon Connellan (left) and actress Aoibhín Garrihy. Margaret's designer pal Derek Lawlor (below right, with retail consultant Eddie Shanahan) flew in from London, and Margaret brought him on a tour of Co Clare, which included the Burren - and, of course, the Father Ted house, just up the road from her family's farm in Boston, in the north of the county.
The pair had also travelled to China together earlier this year, where Margaret won the Global Innovation Design Award at Guangzhou International Fashion Week.
Entrepreneur Andrew O'Neill has just extended his Dry & Fly hair salon concept by introducing a blow-dry boardroom on Dublin's Merrion Row with complimentary G&T or Prosecco.