Wednesday 22 May 2019

Style queen scoops award en route to the Big Apple

The Diary: Kirsty Blake Knox and Bairbre Power

Style queen: Petria Lenehan
Style queen: Petria Lenehan

Dublin's loss is Williamsburg's gain as one of Ireland's best style visionaries, Petria Lenehan, moves to Brooklyn. But before she departed, she had an important and enjoyable social task.

Petria was one of the recipients of this year's Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Future Makers Awards & Supports programme, worth €24,000, and she was one of 19 emerging designer-makers chosen by an international selection panel for a financial investment.

Clearly marked out as a designer name to watch, Petria won a Practitioner Future Makers Award, an award that acknowledge her creativity and technical ability, offering financial support to continue pushing the boundaries of her practice.

"It was wonderful to receive this award, I was absolutely thrilled," said Petria who was wearing one of her own linen tops, from her line of clothing made in Dublin by an experienced tailor.

The petite fashion force opened the uber cool Dolls boutique on Clarendon Street just as the Celtic Tiger was roaring its last, and her ability to spot unusual labels and introduce them to Ireland made her a favourite with keen fashion shoppers. A true risk-taker, Petria bravely turned her concept around into a destination boutique, moving Doll from city centre to the 'burbs' and the 'des res' quarter off South Circular Road, inhabited by lots of cool hipsters and singletons – pre-mortgage with disposable spends.

Sadly, Doll closed last year and Petria's enterprising catering sister, Maisha, expanded her Bibi's restaurant (named after their granny) into the Doll space, which is now firmly marked out as one of 'the' destinations to brunch-and-be-seen.

Now, 11 months after giving birth to her daughter Robyn, Petria is off to New York with her photographer husband, Richard Gilligan.

It was lovely to see Petria mark her departure with an award which recognises the special quality of her small collection of clothing, which boasts a very Irish aesthetic and spectacular use of tweeds from Donegal and linens in beautiful hues.

"It was a lovely evening and the money will be very useful to developing the brand," said Petria at the party, which took place at Fallon and Byrne, in the shadow of St Patrick's Cathedral.

– BP

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