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Sunday 18 March 2018

Society: Suite mix of fashion and politics

At the Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel
At the Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel
Jane & Brian Hogan with Chloe Townsend pictured at the Launch of Willow & Clo Jewellery, Chloe Townsend's new Flagship Store at the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre in Dublin. Photo: Anthony Woods.
Guggi and Gwyneth Warren attend Juno and the Paycock at the Gate Theatre, Dublin. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov.
Julia Stiles
Director John Carney
Emma Manley at The Kiehl's Masque launch at Kiehl's in Wicklow Street,Dublin.
Roisin Tierney Crowe at The Kiehl's Masque launch at Kiehl's in Wicklow Street,Dublin.
Kathleen Watkins and Gay Byrne
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

New York Fashion Week always throws up some great parties and no one heeded those -15°C temperatures! The grande dame of New York fashion Diane Von Furstenberg treated guests to "an experience" and instead of a catwalk show, she invited the fashion press round to 'hers', a six-storey block in the meatpacking district, which houses her HQ and her penthouse apartment with great views of the Highline.

Bono and Ali Hewson mingled with guests after the Edun party on Sunday and the celebrity studded frow included Liam Neeson.

Liam also turned up on Wednesday night in the penthouse suite at Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel when John Fitzpatrick, the genial ceo of Fitzpatrick Hotels, hosted an exclusive fundraising event for US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Hillary and John are old friends and got to know each other well during the Clinton presidency. Sure weren't her NYC election offices last time around virtually opposite John's Grand Central hotel where the penthouse is named after, would you believe it, Liam Neeson.

John Fitzpatrick renamed the penthouse suite after Liam, following his role in Michael Collins which will have a special 20th anniversary screening at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival tonight and Aidan Quinn, who played Harry Boland, is slated to attend. This time, Hillary's HQ has moved to Brooklyn Heights to 1 Pierrepont Plaza. Once she saw the address I reckoned she had no choice. The back of the building faces Clinton Street!

Hillary herself missed the night but guests enjoyed a glass of champagne and the view from the penthouse on the 17th floor. Among the guests were the former US president, Bill Clinton, Niall O'Dowd, Irish America magazine, Stella O'Leary, Irish for Democrats, and the stars of Suits - the hit US TV show starring Sara Rafferty and Meghan Markle.

They posed for photos with John and Liam (pictured). I guess every female snapped with Liam these days instantly sparks speculation: 'Could she be the one?' You know, the "incredibly famous" woman Liam spoke to the Sindo about! Meghan (in peach) was once linked romantically by the tabloids to golfer Rory McIlroy.

She was last here in 2014 for the One Young World Summit where she met Ali Hewson at Dublin Castle.

Family get together for Chloe's new store

It was a lovely family get together last week when jeweller Chloe Townsend hosted a party to mark the opening of her uber cute store in Powerscourt Town House Centre, Dublin.

It's located on the ground floor opposite the elevator just beside Mo Muse, another cool destination for shoppers.

Chloe's uncle and aunt, Brian and Jane Hogan attended along with their son and daughter, Patrick and Julie.

Chloe's late mum, Lorna Townsend, was Brian's sister and Chloe is very much part of the Hogan clan. She has a keen entrepreneurial spirit, just like her uncle Brian, who is the ceo of the Kylemore Services Group (KSG). Brian started working at Kylemore aged 10, packing cakes. He now runs a massive restaurant/hospitality service business which seems to cater for half the country.

When we met, he was nursing a broken arm after a skiing accident.

Chloe's brother, actor/writer Dylan, was also over from LA for the party and is doing well in the City of Angels.

Jordan trades Riviera for Abbey Street

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Julia Stiles

It's not long now until Neil ­Jordan, John Banville and former U2 ­manager Paul McGuinness flit over to the South of France to begin ­filming their crime drama series ­Riviera.

As the name suggests, the show is set along the French coast aka "the sunny place for shady people".

The 10 part show will star Monica Bellucci and 10 Things I Hate About You actress Julia Stiles (above) - remember her?

Acclaimed director Jordan took time out from plotting the series on Tuesday night when he stopped by the Abbey Theatre for the opening night of David Ireland's new play Cyprus Avenue.

The plot of the black comedy is a little bizarre.

In it Stephen Rea plays the part of a paranoid loyalist who thinks his five-week-old granddaughter is Gerry Adams.

Filmmaker Noel Pearson, and author Sebastian Barry talked about their upcoming flick The Secret Scripture which will hit the silver screen in the coming months. Writer Bernard Farrell and Carmel Winters collected their tickets as Fiach Mac Conghail pottered about.

Director Vicky Featherstone was full of chat about the play transferring over to London's Royal Court Theatre.

"We've worked hard but we've had great spirit of adventure," she said.

Up the road at The Gate Theatre, the curtain rose on Sean O'Casey's classic Juno and the Paycock starring the delightful Derbhle Crotty and former Love/Hater Peter Coonan.

RTÉ broadcaster Marty Whelan arrived with his son and talked about writing another best selling book, as you do.

"It's a book about music and it's in the very, very early stages," he said.

"So I can't say much but I always have several things on the boil."

Meanwhile RTÉ broadcaster Keelin Shanley, and Newstalk's Pat Kenny caught up with writer Mark O'Rowe and director of the theatre, Michael Colgan.

"It's 30 years since we last staged Juno," Colgan said.

"It was a huge hit back then so hopefully this will be just as popular."

Colgan can rest assured it will be a success - if the rapturous applause as the curtain fell is anything to go by.

ADIFF-erent take on  film starts with John

By Kirsty Blake Knox

The benefits of leg ­warmers, New Romantics hairdos and the ­resurgence of acid washed jeans were all hot topics of conversation at the premiere of John Carney's 80s flick, Sing Street.

The coming of age movie kicked off this year's Audi Dublin International Film Festival (ADIFF) on Thursday night.

"I think I might have gotten away with it again," Once director Carney said. "People seem to be liking it." The movie tells the story of a young musician trying desperately to impress the girl of his dreams and, according to John, is semi autobiographical.

"The 1980s were an important time for me and for Ireland," John said. "It was when Ireland had its cultural and sexual revolution." Stars of the film Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor and Ferdia Walsh Peelo all chatted to fans before taking their seats.

Festival director Gráinne Humphreys said Irish films open and close the festival.

"We have Sing Street and Viva so it's nicely bookended."

Darren's Bafta foot forward...

By Bairbre Power

Man-about-town Darren Kennedy looked very dapper when I bumped into him at the Kiehl's party hosted by Roisin Tierney  Crowe, on Wednesday night in their Wicklow Street store to celebrate their new product, the Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque.

Darren is just back from the Baftas where he was clearly having great fun with Saoirse Ronan judging by the little video they shot together.

And speaking about dapper men, a host of super well-dressed Italian men are headed this way.

Brown Thomas Dublin launches a series of Made to Measure events in store next week to give customers the unique opportunity to meet the best masters of suiting from the world's most exquisite sartorial brands.

They start with Corneliani next Thursday and Friday followed by Canali (James Bond's favourite label) which take up residence in store on March 3 and 4.

Ermenegildo Zegna's expert tailor Filippo Maranghi will be in store March 9-11. It's like Fashion Week for the corporate suits.

Geldof ropes in famous pals for a show on Yeats

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Kathleen Watkins and Gay Byrne

Sounds like Sir Bob Geldof has been ringing in a favour or three.

The scraggly haired rockstar has enlisted some of his nearest and dearest celeb pals to appear in his upcoming RTÉ documentary about WB Yeats - He's So Modern.

Taken star Liam Neeson, Shane MacGowan, Richard Grant and Uncle Gaybo will all read their favourite Yeats poems while Bob meanders about Ireland talking about Yeats.

"It was short notice but because I'm a big fan of Bob I said yes," Gay told me.

"He has been putting in the calls and roping in all his well-known pals - he's good at that sort of thing." Gay read one poem 'An Irish Airman Foresees His Death' but missus, Kathleen (pictured with Gay), recited four.

It will air on RTÉ, BBC and in the US later this year.

"It was great fun to film but working with Bob always is," Gay said.

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