Wednesday 21 March 2018

The pleasure list: Lucy's designs get BT platform

Lucy Nagle
Lucy Nagle
Luna restaurant
Graham Norton
Soft pastel pink necklace from Blaithin Ennis

Now in its fifth year, Create at Brown Thomas will feature up to 50 talented Irish designers, in a showcase that runs from July 7 to August 16 and builds on the wonderful work done by the on-going Year of Irish Design.

Create is a cornerstone of the Brown Thomas tradition of discovering and promoting Irish talent, and a celebration of innovation and design. Create will feature throughout the entire flagship Grafton Street store and as a selection of pop-ups in the Limerick and Cork stores.

It provides a valuable platform for ready-to-wear designers such as Lucy Nagle, Mariad Whisker, Richard Malone, Rebecca Marsden and Natalie B Coleman, milliners Laura Kinsella, Aisling Ahearn, and John Shevlin; and jewellery designers Maria Dorai Raj and Vivien Walsh.

Craft designers are also represented, including Caulfield Country Boards, Foxford Woollen Mills, Little Tree Crafts and Jerpoint. This year the showcase features menswear and footwear for the first time, an indicator of the steady growth and potential contained within Create, and the dedication of those behind it.

Italian American glam at chic new Luna restaurant

John Farrell knows a thing or two about restaurants. He's the man behind Super Miss Sue, Dillinger, the Butcher Grill and 777. No wonder then that his latest, Luna, in the space below Super Miss Sue, looks so likely to hit the ground running and shake up the Dublin dining scene. Opened just a week ago, Luna is rocking a very glamorous, 1940s New York American gangster chic and serving excellent Italian fare, courtesy of Karl Whelan (formerly Chapter One) and Hugh Higgins (formerly Forest Avenue), along with top notch charcuterie and a distinctly gown-up, night-time vibe. On a recent visit, the steak, aged for five weeks on the bone, cured and lightly smoked, was the best we've had in a long time, while a plate of freshly-made pasta with truffles was equally delicious. Currently open Thursday to Saturday nights, Luna is likely to fill a gap for sophisticated dining and late night lounging.

Graham back on the old sod for hippest of literary festivals

West Cork has long had a reputation for attracting famous holidaymakers, but this year it's the Literary Festival that is pulling the really big names. Taking the trip down are  Graham Norton, David Nicholls, Rachel Cusk, John Boyne and Michael Faber, along with journalist Nick Davies, who exposed the phone-hacking scandal in the Murdoch newspaper empire, who will be in conversation with Alison O'Connor, and travel writer Dervla Murphy who will host a literary brunch. Workshops have been a major part of the festival since the 1990s, and this year will be facilitated by Sarah Webb, Leanne O'Sullivan and Carlo Gebler, among others. Discussions of poetry, literary fiction, memoir, children's literature, young adult, nature writing, travel and short stories will take place, along with a debunking of The Myth of Overnight Success, by Sara Baume and her publishers, Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen. Something for anyone who cares about writing or reading.

Blaithin goes for a softer look

Jewellery designer Blaithin Ennis is known for her eclectic use of materials and attention-grabbing avant-garde style, as well as her determination to source, manipulate and combine unusual materials from around the world to produce wearable, special and striking pieces.  Her latest collection is something of a creative departure, with a move to soften the edginess of the metal designs by opting for shades of soft pastel pink in place of her traditional gunmetal; it's a move that adds grace and femininity. The new collection boasts a range of striking statement necklaces, cuffs  and her classic teardrop earrings and is stocked in the Kilkenny Shop, natural home to new and exciting talent from fashion and jewellery designers to contemporary craftspeople.

The Kilkenny Shop have been promoters of Irish design for over 51 years and continue their commitment with a regular influx of vibrant, dynamic ranges of accessories, clothes and homewares.

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