Saturday 15 December 2018

Liadan Hynes

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Fashion designer Deborah Veale. Photo David Conachy

The long goodbye - designer Deborah Veale on her father's dementia 

When someone is suffering from some form of dementia it can be hard to spot the signs. If that person is an older adult, the onset of a certain forgetfulness, even the occasional out-of-character behaviour, can be easily ascribed to age. Who, after all, wants to broach the possibility of this most awful of diseases? For Deborah Veale's family, there was a whole other, terrible reason for not really clocking the first signs of the disease in her beloved father Ken Meehan. In 2000, Deborah's younger sister, Alacoque, a mother of one, was diagnosed with cancer which would eventually...

Aoibhin Garrihy for Life Magazine, Sunday Independent. Image: Kip Carroll. Dress, €45, River Island. Earrings, €29.95; necklace, €49.95; bracelet, €29.95, all Knight & Day

Aoibhin Garrihy on branching out in her career: 'I'm really making a conscious decision to do what keeps me happy' 

Acting is one of the world's most uncertain professions; nevertheless, its inherent vagaries have taught Aoibhin Garrihy numerous valuable life lessons: how to cope with stress, the importance of self care, and, not least, the importance of diversification - she recently graced our screens on RTE's Dancing With The Stars; she runs wellness workshops for women, and she's now the face of Knight...

'Rose' wedding dress, €779, Whistles. Photo: Kip Carroll

Say yes to the dress 

Like all life's big events, weddings evoke a visceral reaction. So if your dream has always been to get married in a huge white dress purchased in a bridal store, then look away now. Because I'm going to suggest that spending thousands on a wedding dress is totally unnecessary. These days, the high street has such a comprehensive selection of wedding collections that really, unless you want the full meringue, that's the best place to purchase a dress you will only wear once.

Looking radiant, blogger and entrepreneur Pamela Flood is enjoying being a full-time mum to her three children. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Pamela Flood: 'TV is not the be all and end all. I don't think any job is' 

One would be justified in suggesting that we have reached a peak with lifestyle blogging. That the market for everything from beauty to fashion, food to travel blogs has been well and truly saturated. In fact though, it's saturated specifically with those in their twenties and early-thirties. Unlike Britain, whose 40-plus blogging business is booming, no one of that age here has really captured the public's imagination.

Bertie Daly and wife Louise at home in Maynooth

'We just thought the value for money wasn't there in Dublin' 

Bertie Daly and his wife Louise have been living in Maynooth for 10 years. Originally from Cork, he moved to Dublin after being headhunted by biopharmaceutical company Wyeth, now Pfizer. "I said I'd go to Dublin for a year, to get some experience, and then go back to Cork," he explains. "Thirteen years later I'm still in Dublin." Having rented for three years in Dundrum, the couple decided to buy a three-bedroom semi-detached house in Maynooth, in a new homes development, Straffan Wood.

Violet wears: shirt (from menswear), €125; trousers (from menswear), €130; pashmina, €179.Jago wears: Jacket, €259; shirt, €120; trousers, €130

Modern classics from Magee 

It is a little-known fact that Donegal brand, Magee, designs and creates some of the most sought-after luxurious fabrics for the world's finest fashion houses. Innovation, as well as heritage, has always been the heart of this family-run business. "We've got all this heritage, bags of heritage," says Charlotte Temple. This year, her family's business, Magee 1866, celebrates its 150th anniversary. It began life as a draper's shop that sold hand-woven tweed, then Robert Temple, a cousin of John Magee, bought the business in 1900, and it has been in the family since.

A new priory unit enjoys floor-to-ceiling windows.

In Pictures: New look for Priory Hall after complete refurbishment 

Originally built in 2007 by former IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely, the Priory Hall complex was revealed to be suffering from serious structural and fire safety regulation issues in 2011. The apartments were evacuated by order of the High Court, with the debts of all owners eventually being written off by the banks after a long, painful struggle for the families concerned. Buy-to-let owners received a moratorium on their mortgage payments.

Claire O'Connor

Runway success for homegrown design 

The elegant surroundings of the Hibernian Club in St Stephen's Green provided the perfect runway for Peter O'Brien. His years as a couturier in Paris showed in every garment, from the olive-green hounds-tooth check coat and his signature "New Look" numbers, to his wide variety of dresses, this time adding an early 1960s flavour to his ballet-length sunray-pleated number. His show stopper was a vivid red cocktail dress with a train from the shoulder. With Martha Lynn's Star Wars hat.

Zip poncho, €119.95; shirt, €99.95; skirt, €69.95; all Peruzzi. Necklace, €24, Something Special by Gionni, Pamela Scott. Bag, €79, Gionni; tights, €9, Marie Claire, both Debenhams. Boots, stylist’s own

Style and substance - Peruzzi customers want something with an edge 

'So what are this season's trends?" People ask this question when you work in fashion, usually in the weary tones of someone already slightly exhausted at the very notion of having to 'nail' this season's latest. And really, to a great extent, who cares? Once you get to a certain age, the years have, hopefully, provided an accumulation of knowledge as to what works on you. Hopefully, some sort of personal style has been ratcheted up, that can stare down the latest take on Stevie Nicks or Miss Havisham, and allow you to say: Not for my wardrobe, thank you.

Liadan Hynes viewing rental properties in Dublin last week

Would-be tenants now offering more than the advertised rent 

'I'm paying almost €900 to share a room with two other people. There are 10 of us in the house and only two bathrooms." Margaret Path is a student from the US. She has been living in Portobello but this week, along with two of her fellow students, she attended a viewing in Irishtown. Soaring rents and landlords' preference for tenants who are professionals - seen as more likely to fulfil a full year's lease and maintain the upkeep of a property - makes finding rental accommodation as a student challenging.

Homes in Clontarf

Settle down by the sea in Clontarf for €850k 

Clontarf is often described as 'the Ballsbridge of the Northside' - although locals would contend Ballsbridge is the Clontarf of the Southside. And like Ballsbridge, property prices are notoriously high as demand consistently outweighs supply. The combination of abundant amenities, the seaside location, St Anne's Park, a number of good schools, proximity to town, and excellent bus and Dart transport links all make this one of the Northside's most sought-after areas.

Jacket (on model's shoulders), €770, Paule Ka; lace blouse, €600, Sacai; culottes, €360, P.A.R.O.S.H; boots, €750, Marni. Hair accessory, stylist's own

TrailBlazer - Cork boutique owner Clodagh Shorten 

Just over a decade ago, running a boutique had become something of a hobby. As a buyer, on buying trips, I would regularly see fellow buyers for whom running their own store was as much an extension of their social life as it was a career. They favoured the 'one for me, one for the shop, one for my BF' method of buying. But the crash separated the wheat from the chaff, and now it is mostly the pioneers who remain as boutique owners. Women who have a strong, individual aesthetic, and who tirelessly chase exclusive labels, rather than just imitating what others are doing.

Embroidered dress, €1,950

Back to Bohemia 

Since moving home to Ireland several years ago, Helen Cody has successfully rebuilt her fashion business. Now, with her first show in almost a decade, she is about to become the only designer ever to put on a fashion show in Christ Church Cathedral. "It's a really big deal for me," she says of the event, all proceeds of which will go to St Francis Hospice. Tickets for the show are on sale now, from Havana; Costume; Só Collective, and St Francis Hospice (contact details in credits, page 37). Partly inspired by the show's location, for autumn/winter 2016, Helen has created a...

Louise Bowden is glad to be home with new projects. Photo: Mark Condren

From tiny dancer to leading lady 

Even at the height of her career, Louise Bowden was aware of the brutal nature of life as a performer. One day she might be starring as the lead in a West End musical, the next day, production over, she could be out on the street handing out leaflets for a living. "One minute you're on the stage, your poster's outside the theatre. The next minute you're trying to look for work to pay your bills. It doesn't matter how successful you are. I could be 55 and it would still be the same. And I just didn't see myself wanting that life."

Brickfield Walk in Irishtown, Dublin 4

Three-house development in Irishtown fills in the gaps 

During the boom, infill sites were popular as any viable land was mined for its potential. Now, as the new homes market gets going again, infill sites provide a good entry-level way in for developers returning to the market, or for those new to building who want to move up from one-off projects or home renovations. They are also a less expensive option than a larger project - although they still require the same construction plant, much of the infrastructure and services will already be in place.

Houses on the beautiful 535 acre Mount Juliet Estate in Kilkenny

To the manor born - new homes on country estate 

Traditionally, houses on hotel and golf courses tend to be viewed as second homes, as holiday residences. However, such is the appeal of the lifestyle on offer at the beautiful 535-acre Mount Juliet Estate in Kilkenny that many of the homes end up seducing their owners into full time residency. Ken MacDonald of selling agency Hooke & MacDonald has owned a property on the estate for over a decade now. Originally intended as a holiday home, over the years it has become his family's main residence.

Birch style house at Roseland, Cualanor

Green with envy at the old Dun Laoghaire Golf Club 

It seems unlikely that we shall see a repeat of the dramatic leap forward in energy efficiency technologies that happened in the last decade. Now, when it comes to further streamlining the running costs of a new home and increasing its sustainable energy capabilities, it seems likely that it will be a matter of fine tuning, adding the latest technological innovations that will work to shave that little bit more from bills, rather than transformative changes that raise the BER rating of a house significantly.

The properties include luxurious kitchens

Desirable homes on the hill 

It goes without saying that the location of Albany, a new homes scheme on the Killiney Hill Road that launches this weekend, is one of Dublin's most desirable addresses. At one time, the area attracted so many famous musicians that it was nicknamed Dublin's rock broker belt. Over the years, famous residents have included - and in some cases, still do include - Bono and Ali Hewson, Enya, Jim Kerr and Patsy Kensit, Van Morrison, Chris De Burgh, Lisa Stansfield and Joe Elliott.

An Umit Kutluk creation at the Lexus Fashion Collective at Trinity College. Photo: Kieran Harnett.

Fun with friends, family and fashion 

Deborah Veale was visiting her dad Ken at Saint Joseph's in Shankill when she was, as she puts it, "nobbled by the force that is Siobhan Grant". Fundraiser for Saint Joseph's, Siobhan explained that she was hoping Deborah might help her in her efforts on behalf of the centre, which is Ireland's only care centre solely dedicated to people suffering from dementia. Using the Butterfly Approach, which aims to create an environment that is closer to a home than a hospital, it aims to become Ireland's first Dementia Village.

An Embassy Court interior

Refurbished D4 luxury apartments on the market 

If the section of the housing market that is trading down is to have any hope of contributing to a workable solution to the current housing crisis, there needs to be an increase in the supply of apartments that offer an attractive long-term-home option. For starters, that means well-built and cleverly designed apartments that are close to the down-sizer's locality. Add lower maintenance, all-on-one floor living, a sense of community, and increased security and you have a development that might appeal to retirees. If the apartments come with good storage, a balcony with a view, a...

Dakota Johnson in the movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Is Lisa Hilton's new book Maestra the new Fifty Shades of Grey? 

'Let's get the sex out of the way," says Lisa Hilton, dropping her voice to a dramatic whisper as she leans in with a playful smile over tea and scones at the Merrion Hotel. "People say. 'Oh, it's very graphic, it's very shocking'," she reflects of the reaction to the numerous sex scenes in her new book, Maestra. "Have they seen what teenagers write to each other on Snapchat? Have they seen Tinder? Have they seen how quickly a conversation can progress from, you know, 'I like your photo' to '[something very sexually graphic]?' Sometimes that's three messages. Millions and millions of...

Demand is high for new homes countrywide. Photo: PA

Demand is high for new homes countrywide, Liadan Hynes reports 

"WE hadn't put a bucket in the ground since 2007," says Fred Fullard, director of Burkeway Homes, one of Galway's biggest developers, which started building again 12 months ago. Fred and fellow director Michael Burke made the decision to dip their toe in the water, he says, when they felt prices were finally getting to a point where it made sense to build. They are now in phase two of Maoilin, a 73-unit development on the west side of the city. They're taking it slowly; gone are the days of huge numbers of homes launching onto the market, but so far sales have been good.

There are 11 houses at Struan Glen, with a fine eye for the details that work for families. Photo: PM Photography

First-time developer launches 11 family homes in Kilternan 

"Needs must, I suppose," says Patrick Levins with a chuckle, explaining his decision to move into property development. Levins was a quantity surveyor who had run his own building company, Broadstreet Construction, since 1995. When the downturn hit, he worked between London and Dublin for a number of years. Then, in 2012, Patrick had what he describes as "a little bit of a light bulb moment. Late 2012, I decided that [the economy] had hit rock bottom. There was only one way forward, so I started looking for a site and I found this in early 2013."