Monday 19 February 2018

Don O'Neill jets back to Kerry for mum's anniversary

The late Mim and Don O'Neill - a man who has dressed Oprah Winfrey, Amy Poehler, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood
The late Mim and Don O'Neill - a man who has dressed Oprah Winfrey, Amy Poehler, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood
Blanaid and Roisin Hennessy of Folkster Bridal
Brian and Pippa are heading south to the rebel county. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Aoibhin Garrihy
Daithi warms up for the Roses
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Don O'Neill is running up the air miles as fast as he is running up frocks for Oprah Winfrey et al in America. Last weekend the feted New York-based designer flew home to Kerry for his late mother Mim's fifth anniversary Mass.

He and his husband Pascal were on a whirlwind 48 hours. They obviously don't suffer a bit from jet lag because they had been in Kilkenny only the weekend before, having been invited by Folkster to promote Don's Theia bridal collection.

"I got a huge warm welcome from owners Blanaid and Roisin Hennessy. They are the exclusive stockists in Ireland of my Theia bridal collection," Don told me, adding that only that night he and Pascal travelled to Dublin "and collapsed into our super-comfy bed at The Westbury". And glad I was to hear it.

They jetted home to New York last Monday before flying back again to Ireland for his mother's fifth anniversary.

"Mom loved her style. When she was younger her closet was full of Ib Jorgensen suits, dresses from Bergdorf Goodman, and later was overflowing with dresses designed by me - from Kanga dresses to Badgley Mischkas, and Theias," Don gushed.

"She loved me with all her heart and I love her right back and miss her physical presence every day. She loved Pascal, telling me that he was 'perfect for me'," said the dapper Don before making the Manhattan transfer to start work on his collection for New York Fashion Week on September 6.

The bridal deity who didn't elope. . .

Blanaid and Roisin Hennessy of Folkster Bridal

Quick! Someone stop me before I turn into Constance Harris! I think I am going overboard - plus ca change - this week on fashion.

If you are reading down the page you will be aware that above I mention those fabulous folks at Folkster hosting Don O'Neill's exclusive bridal collection Theia at their premises in Kilkenny.

But sisters Blanaid and Roisin Hennessy are so fascinating that I decided to go the whole hog on them.

"We still can't believe that Folkster, this small Irish family business, could become one of the leading international suppliers of Theia," Blanaid told me.

"My sister Roisin is the real force behind Folkster Bridal. She has such a vision and passion for weddings, and she truly cares about her brides."

I heard a fascinating rumour that bridal deity Blanaid and her acclaimed illustrator husband, Conor Langton, actually eloped.

"No, we didn't elope," laughed Blanaid, "just had a surprise beautiful ceremony here for our family in Kilkenny - and we're very much hoping to have time to plan a larger event in Conor's family business, the Langton House Hotel soon. I wore Folkster Bridal - and I will again."

Like the rest of the country.

It's oysters for all as Alan Clancy opens up in Cork 

Brian and Pippa are heading south to the rebel county. Photo: Steve Humphreys

It's all happening in the real capital of Ireland - Cork, sillies. Ask any Corkonian. They'll tell yo

Or ask Alan Clancy. The tireless tycoon is already behind House on Leeson Street, The Oak on Parliament Street, 37 on Dawson Street, Xico on Upper Baggot Street and House Limerick on Howley's Quay in Limerick. And now he's opening The Oyster Tavern on Market Lane (beside the English Market) on October 3.

Alan's VBFs Brian Ormond and Pippa O'Connor (who opens a Poco Jeans pop-up shop in Mahon Point on August 4), plus Claudine and Robbie Keane will attend the grand opening this Thursday, as will rugby stars Peter O'Mahony and Simon Zebo.

"I'm proud to be part of the history of Cork by re-opening such an iconic premises," 45-year-old Clancy, originally from Clonmellon in Westmeath, told me. "It's one of the oldest bars in the country, established in 1782. I opened House Limerick, so this is a very exciting development. Cork is in vogue!"

Indeed. Speaking of which, Vogue Williams's boyfriend Spencer Matthews was in Alan Clancy's 37 on Dawson Street last weekend, with his brother James - who recently married the regal Pippa Middleton - and sure weren't the almost-royal couple in Cork for a friend's wedding only recently.

Sister act for Aoibhin in Krystle

Aoibhin Garrihy

Just so you know: Skepta's grime classic Konnichiwa is never off the Egan old-school turntable. The North Londoner came into Krystle nightclub on Harcourt Street after his recent show at Longitude.

"We've had some great stars in," Krystle co-owner Rangan Arulchelvan told me (his co-owner is blonde bombshell Eileen Wright). "After his sold-out show at the Iveagh Gardens, Nathan Carter came in - that was the same night as Skepta. And Conor McGregor drops in regularly.

"We get all the big names, all the stars. The club is flying," Rangan said, proudly, adding that Dancing With Stars' star Aoibhin Garrihy (above) was also in the nightclub-of-the-moment recently, along with her two sisters Doireann and Ailbhe.

Daithi has pre-Rose night in Dingle with mum and cousin

Daithi warms up for the Roses

In a last blow-out before he gets his groove on for the Rose of Tralee in a few weeks, Daithi O Se was home in Dingle last weekend. He went out on the town with his mother and his American cousin Danielle Fagan, who was visiting from Levittown, Pennsylvania.

They gravitated towards O'Flaherty's pub, something of an O Se family tradition...

"Fergus, the man of the house, played music with my dad for nearly 40 years and we went to see him. My mother even came with us. And she is like the Olympic flame - she never goes out!" laughed Daithi.

Meanwhile, living legend, and sometime Singing Detective Sir Michael Gambon is in these parts at the moment, shooting a movie in Wicklow. He was out and about with his old mucker Michael Colgan, dining in Canal Bank Cafe on Upper Leeson Street. Next week, Colgan jets off to Edinburgh to put on Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape (he directed both the late John Hurt and Gambon in separate productions of Sam's play over the years) with his new company Clare Street. I tried to find out why Colgan called it Clare Street. Is it either where Samuel Beckett's father lived, or the name of his new girlfriend?

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