Bairbre Power: Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
Dancing dynamo, Paula McClean certainly knows how to throw a great fashion party and the country's top fashionistas and charity supporters flocked to the RHA Gallery on Friday to support her Style Targets Breast Cancer event, with funds raised going to Breast Cancer Ireland. The sell-out event coincided with the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and was the brainchild of Paula who is a breast cancer survivor and tireless fundraiser.
As Paula says herself, she turned her "shopping addiction" into something worthwhile and up to €20K was raised at the event, at which the Brown Thomas fashion show was the highlight of the evening.
Guests were treated to an exclusive viewing of the new autumn/winter international designer collections. I chatted with Michelle Curtain, personal shopper at BT, pictured above with Aisling Hurley of Breast Cancer Ireland (centre) and Paula (right) who looked fab in her new Alaia dress.
It's been a memorable year for Paula, a mum-of- three, who won the Strictly Against Breast Cancer fundraiser at the National Conventional Centre last November. She was reunited with Elaine Crowley, one of her dancing rivals, on Friday, as well as Lorraine Keane, who was a judge on the night.
"I smiled for a full eight weeks when I was doing Strictly and I think everyone should do it. You dance from the heart," said Paula. Other guests included Joanne Mallon who owns Ribbon Rouge in Navan and her mum, Carol, above, from Kells, who I bumped into the next day at the Gluten-Free Living Show where she was promoting her daughter Dorene's rather yummy Farmer's Daughter burgers.
Meanwhile, Centra kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their Live Well seminars at which Pippa O'Connor, above, gave lifestyle advice. Talk about being busy, Pippa has a new book to launch next week.
I spent a lazy afternoon in excellent company at Balfe's restaurant beside the Westbury where it was a pleasure to raise a glass to birthday boy Brian Kennedy, and mark the end of his chemotherapy treatment just the previous day. Brian turns 50 next weekend but, first, he has a concert at Vicar Street next Thursday night. Brian told me he will be performing iconic songs from his A Better Man album which he has re-recorded after 20 years and given them a twist. Guests on the night will include Brian's VBF, cook Clodagh McKenna, who I met with him at the Irish Derby in June. I can't wait to hear Brian belt out his classics like
Life, Love and Happiness...and I wish all of those to him.
Retailer Jacqueline Nolan had 'White Door' fashion and lifestyle boutiques in Dunleer, Co Louth, and in Dublin, but decided to take time out to study the history of art at Trinity. She's back in biz again with a new gift shop in Sutton where she exclusively stocks Christian Lacroix candles.