Sunday 17 December 2017

Society: We'll always have fashion in Paris

Fashion guru Carine Roitfeld.
Fashion guru Carine Roitfeld.
Julia Restoin Roitfeld in the 'Nike' dress from H&M's latest collection.
Anne Doyle and William Doyle at the launch of 'Audrey', an exhibition at the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons. Photo: Kieran Hartnett.
Roz Purcell.
Rosie Connolly, Louise McSharry and Shauna Lindsay at the launch of the Peter Mark Style Awards 2016 which will take place at the Marker Hotel, Dublin on May 6. Photo: Brian McEvoy.
Dubliner Ruth Kearney in Flaked, Netflix's latest show.
Actress Ruth Bradley pictured at The Westbury Hotel ahead of the premiere of Pursuit on TV3. Photo: Brian McEvoy.
Brendan Courtney
Sinead & Shane Mitchell at the launch of the New look Asador Restaurant on Haddington Road, D4. Photo: Anthony Woods
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Paris celebrated St Patrick's Day in style with everyone exchanging trefoils, their 'mot' for three-leafed shamrock and treble French kisses.

The chicest party was on the eve of the big day when style maven and sustainability champion Julia Restoin Roitfeld hosted a cocktail party in the Napoleon ballroom of the Westin Hotel.

The stylish hotel overlooking the Tuileries was filled with 150 guests celebrating the new 34-piece collection from the Swedish fashion giants H&M.

As the only Irish journalist there, I raised my Paddy's Day glass to festivities at home, and to the new fashion pieces which go on sale on April 7.

All eyes were on the door to see what Julia, the face of the new collection, might wear to the party. Would it be the mini asymmetric dress inspired by a painting by Gustave Moreau or the liquid dress adorned with a slice of Botticelli's Three Graces?

She opted for the vintage-feel, ivory 'Nike' dress, one of three wedding dress options in the collection which features intriguing materials like organic silk and hemp and recycled linen.

Julia grew up on the fashion front row as daughter of Carine Roitfeld, former editor in chief of Vogue Paris who now publishes her own influential glossy, the CR Fashion Book.

I had chatted with Carine at London Fashion Week a few seasons ago after she dashed from a Tom Ford show to catch JW Anderson - that in itself underlined her interest in the talented Irishman.

Speaking with Julia on Wednesday night, I found she had the same easy charm and petite, Gallic rock chick gait of her mum. Julia was charming and friendly as we mingled with Ann-Sofie Johansson, the H&M creative director. Now based in New York where she works as an art director, Julia looked tanned and relaxed after returning only that morning from Courcheval.

"I'm just back after taking my daughter skiing," explained Julia.

Earlier in the day, we visited the Louvre for a private preview of the Fashion Forward - 300 years of Fashion at the Musèe des Arts Decoratifs. The 2016 Conscious Exclusive Collection is full of historic charm.

I sauntered up the street to take a peek at Colette after passing Charlie Haughey's favourite shirt store, Charvet on Place Vendome, and then stopped on the corner of rue Cambon.

The last time I was there was to visit Coco Chanel's apartment and to sit on her quilted suede couch. Now Monsieur Tom Ford is installed on the corner of the Saint Honore/Cambon intersection. Tom is a friend of Julia's family and he invited her to be the face of his fragrance, Black Orchid, in 2006.

Romyandthebunnies, Julia's lifestyle blog, is very cool and is named after her daughter.

Newbridge nod to a Hollywood icon

By Bairbre Power

Audrey Hepburn, Kim Kardashian and Joan Collins have more in common than you might think. They all feature in the fashion exhibits at the Newbridge Silverware's Museum of Style Icons and have various connections with Ireland.

Kardashian and hubbie Kanye West honeymooned here; Joan Collins has been a regular visitor; Audrey Hepburn had family here - her father, Anthony Hepburn Ruston, lived with his third wife, Fidelma Walshe, in Ballsbridge.

Guests gathered at the Newbridge Silverware's Museum of Style Icons this week for the launch of the 'Audrey' exhibition which celebrates the life of the Hollywood icon, and the exhibition includes items from designers Hubert de Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent.

Former RTÉ presenter Anne Doyle, who is a long-time supporter of Newbridge Silverware and a relative of William and Oonagh Doyle of Newbridge, introduced the event to guests.

The Museum of Style Icons is free to enter and open seven days a week. However, to enhance the experience, a limited number of spaces are available each day for a guided tour at a cost of €5 per person.

Michael's VIP wardrobe malfunction

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Publisher Michael O'Doherty, a man known for his pithy putdowns, was left speechless at the launch of the 2016 VIP Style Awards when his trousers split.

Yes that's right; the seat of his shiny suit trousers bust wide open as he welcomed nominees to the launch.

"The irony of this is not lost on me," MOD said covering his modesty.

Darren Kennedy, who will host this year's shindig, was enlisted to pin the pants back together.

"Michael was putting his phone in his back pocket," Kennedy explained. "It must have ripped because next thing we knew he was standing there with his a**e out."

With the trousers hastily mended, Michael collected himself and began talking about the highs and lows of the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards which is now in it's fifteenth year.

"Rain or shine, Celtic Tiger or recession, it always takes place," he said.

"And unlike that lot at Leinster House - there will be winners and losers. No hung Dáil here, thank you very much."

Roz Purcell (below) and Laura Woods posed for photos in the sun at the launch.

Roz Purcell.

Over the years, there have been some stellar red carpet moments at the VIPs - in 2008 Lisa Murphy arrived in a see-through frock and upstaged Katie Price, last year Amanda Brunker was pelted with seagull droppings as she posed for the cameras and there have been a good scattering of tantrums and hissy fits.

This year should be no different; The Marker Hotel will host the event with Bollinger supplying flutes of champagne for guests. 2FM's Louise McSharry is a first-time nominee and is already thinking about her ensemble. "I am living for the night," she said. "I like wearing things people will talk about. I like glitter and I like gold, I like to look a little bit different."

McSharry has a lot on the cards at the moment; her book My life in Ups, Downs and Crisp Sandwiches is due out this summer. "I'm terrified about it," she said.

Storm Keating, Jennifer Zamparelli, Miriam O'Callaghan and Claire Byrne will also be throwing on their glad rags come May 6.

"Ireland's biggest and brightest stars will be there," MOD said proudly.

"And hopefully he'll have found a new pair of trousers," Darren Kennedy said.

Netflix, LA and hair cuts - it's the tale of two Ruths

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Monkstown native Ruth Kearney is settling in to La-La Land nicely.

The Irish actress stars in Netflix's latest show Flaked alongside Arrested Development's Will Arnett and has spent the past months flitting about Venice Beach.

"It's been amazing seeing all the posters go up for the show," she said. "It felt like a little Indie film so seeing it get so much attention has been incredible."

Ruth is enjoying LA life but will return to her home in London shortly, where she lives with her boyfriend Divergent star Theo James.

"I have a nice base there and it's easy to fly back and forth to Dublin."

Speaking of which, Rebellion star Ruth Bradley flew into town this week to talk about her film Pursuit.

The actress had to chop off her brunette locks into an Andy Warhol-esque bob for the role.

"I got a lot of strange looks when I was off set. I don't think I'm cool enough for that hair style in real life," she laughed.

"But I had to put on three and a half stone for another role so having a blonde bob wasn't that bad in comparison."

Brendan's Big Fat Wedding dilemmas

By Kirsty Blake Knox

When it comes to wedding 'I Dos and I Don'ts', fashion designer Brendan Courtney (below) really knows his stuff.

Brendan Courtney

"The Mother of the Bride must have a better dress than the Mother of the Groom," he said at Debenham's Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 soiree.

"Never wear white - unless you're the bride, do not remove your hat until the Mother of the Bride does and under no circumstances are you to invite an ex."

Got it. Brendan had gathered a group of future wedding parties to help them find their perfect ensembles.

"You don't have to wear a hat," he tells the room. "But if you are make a statement with it." Before guests were whisked off to see the film I asked Brendan if he ever saw himself tying the knot.

"Yes, it'll be an 'ocean lapping at my ankles in the Bahamas' kind of affair, it won't be low key."

Asador's nearest and dearest get a taste of new menu

By Bairbre Power

Shane Mitchell, owner of Asador on the Haddington Road/Percy Place corner, was all fired up for the opening of his new-look restaurant and new season menu.

It's his fourth year in business and Shane and his wife Sinead celebrated with a party for loyal customers, family and friends.

Guests were treated to an array of delights from chefs Florin Vasilache and Josef Cervenka and guests included Jobbio entrepreneur brothers, John and Stephen Quinn, who arrived with their partners. Also spotted were Natasha Obernik, Donal and Leah Quinn, Eamon and Eleanor Booth, Chloe Townsend, Jim and Eileen King, Robert and Sandra Ganly and Hannah Popham.

No one raised the topic of actress Meg Ryan when Sir Michael Parkinson enjoyed a memorable lunch with Irish pals in Dublin this week.

Sir Michael lunched with Peter Caviston, owner of Caviston's Food Emporium in Glasthule, Co Dublin, at a special lunch in his honour at the National Yacht Club.

Enjoying the day were Peter and his wife Maura, composer Ronan Hardiman, John Baker, Damien Fanning and Ronan Murray on piano.

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