First lady will bring a splash of colour to the Aras
SENSIBLE but sassy, Sabina Higgins's election wardrobe has left no one in any doubt that the new first lady at the Aras adores colour and cherishes Irish fashion.
Sabina's zeal to buy Irish -- and to shop local -- will come as a relief to the indigenous fashion industry who have enjoyed 21 years of high-profile exposure on the back of styling Presidents Robinson and McAleese.
Embracing attractive jewel colours like amethyst and ruby red during the campaign, Sabina's pops of colour delighted photographers and the blonde mother of four displayed strong resolve in fashion thriftiness -- wearing her favourite purchases time and time again.
Case in point was her snazzy purple coat. From Michael D to Michael H -- Sabina moved from campaigning for her husband to flying the flag for the Irish fashion label Michael H, one of the few to survive the ravages of recession. Sabina's favourite election buy of all was the high-impact, €340 purple coat from the Kate Cooper collection at Michael H.
Last night her daughter Alice-Mary told how many of the pieces her mum wore during the campaign had been bought locally at The Treasure Chest on Shop Street and Nestors and Marians of Boyle, both located on Eglinton Street.
"Her style is classic and she likes tailored, nicely cut clothes with not a lot of fuss," explained Mary Bennett, owner of the Treasure Chest, where Mrs Higgins has been a customer for years.
However, for a special inauguration outfit -- an occasion loaded with pomp, ceremony and symbolism, Sabina won't have to look very far for advice as her close friend is three-time Emmy winner, costume designer Joan Bergin.
The pals met years ago at Dublin's Focus Theatre and Joan, godmother to Alice-Mary, has a deft hand with fabric and was responsible for some of the 'Riverdance' costumes.
While Bergin is permanently clad in black, Sabina won't park her passion for colour. If anything, colour and Irish symbolism will be amplified in Sabina's wardrobe at the Aras. The new first lady will be very conscious of how she can turn a spotlight on our fashion heritage and native fabrics like tweed, which she wore to cast her No 1 vote one on Thursday.