Bairbre Power... Out and aboutOur resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
You couldn't throw a macaron in the St Martins Lane Hotel in London's Theatre District recently without hitting a designer. The occasion was the Designers at Debenhams high summer salon show and we gathered in the swish white hotel, with its whimsical Philippe Starck interiors, for an afternoon tea attended by Danish model Helena Christensen.
The exclusive party was hosted by TV presenter Emma Willis, pictured (below, left) with Christensen, who had us in knots as she recounted how she had a fashion designer boyfriend 20 years ago who was "totally in love with you, Helena, and our wallpaper was your face". Two decades later, Emma got to text her ex and tease, "Guess who I'm working with today?!"
The Mancunian with the best quiff around, designer Henry Holland, was full of chat about the latest shoot for his House of Holland label - and, surprisingly, it's taken until now for him to shoot it in the Netherlands! We had a good laugh about that before he was grabbed for more photos, including with model mamas Portia Freeman (left in main photo, above) and Jade Parfitt, who is positively blooming. Expecting her baby this summer, she looked fab in a Studio by Preen navy daisy dress. Sitting beside me for the afternoon tea, Jade recalled coming to Dublin for Ali Hewson's legendary 1996 supermodel show for the ISPCC in The Point.
The fashion afternoon was like a family reunion, as all the Debenhams designers caught up with each other's news and summer plans. Ben de Lisi introduced me to Aliza Reger, above, daughter of the late legendary lingerie queen Janet. Ireland's adopted son, John Rocha, sure is one busy man but still took time to pose with me for a snap, below. He's been working with his daughter, Simone, on the interiors of her New York store. John told me becoming a grandad "has made me look at things differently and enjoy life even more".
Limerick's true gent of fashion, John McNamara, is being remembered two years after his death with an achievement award and exhibition at the city's Hunt Museum. Guests at the launch party next Thursday are invited to "check your wardrobe and wear one of John's creations".
Rita Shah (centre, above) with Lottie Pearce (left) and Tanya Shah turned out to a party to mark the official Irish launch of Urban Veda Natural Skincare in House on Dublin's Leeson Street. The vegan range is formulated to Ayurvedic principles that embrace the therapeutic properties of plants. The morning party included some pampering and henna artistry, and the botanical theme continued into the garden at House, which was decked out with an impressive foliage wall and a beautiful array of flowers. Guests sipped herbal teas and enjoyed a special Ayurvedic-designed food menu.