Bairbre Power: never suffer for your style
Shoes have the power to seduce to the point that we ignore pain
I suspect there will be a lot of standing around waiting for taxis in the run up to Christmas but last week, as I hopped from one burning foot to the other after a night in skyscraper heels, I made a festive pledge to myself that I wouldn't be caught out again selecting an elegant, if impossibly tiny clutch, which is far too small to take my saviour footwear, the flat ballerinas.
The first few drinks serve to minimise the pain and discomfort but looking under the table for my dropped napkin at a dinner recently, I laughed at the number of kicked off shoes resting under the linen tablecloth. How many of those will be successfully reunited with their owner's swollen feet after a night out on the town?
On the shoe circuit this week, I pounced upon Amy Huberman's latest collection for her Bourbon footwear. It's an Irish venture, driven from Co Monaghan, and you will find the most comprehensive selection of her shoes at Shoe City in Castleblaney, a short spin after turning off the M1 at Dundalk.
The entire range is made in Portugal and her ankle boots have a reputation for being so comfortable, girls go back to buy them season after season. Not everyone wants to do glitter heels for Christmas and if you are more of a rock chick, Amy's boots (top left) called The Quiet Man - oh, how the late Maureen O'Hara would have loved her choice of name - come in a lovely brown leather. A brogue with a heel is something I like and the ones I selected from her shoot have a retro glam feel with a blend of midnight blue and silver. They also come in plain brown leather and glide in under €100.
Sitting in a giant puddle of shoes in the Arnotts Shoe Garden last week, I fell for a brand that up until now, I've only previously bought for my son. ECCO shoes have a reputation for comfort and once I tried on the fashionable trainers from their Intrinsic range, with slick-knit fabrics and punched black leather, I was smitten. While I totally love trainers with relaxed summer looks, I've had my issues with the whole Melanie Griffith look in Working Girl, and fought the concept of wearing trainers with a suit, or black coat. However, now I've bitten the bullet and I'm floating on air on the commute to work. I've also sparked some shoe envy judging by the number of people who stopped to ask me where I got them.
Gifting season is upon us
Louise Kennedy has a deft touch when it comes to adorning her clothes with crystal and pearls but a real head-turner this Christmas gifting season will be her new jewellery collection, which is sold at her store at 56 Merrion Square.
Each piece has been handcrafted and composed using the finest single-cut diamonds and semi-precious stones. The magpie in me totally fell in love with the enormously tactile 'Baiba' pendant (pictured above, centre). 'Baiba' is composed of the gemstone known as black spinel and the necklace features three single cut diamonds. Louise wears it, and its twinkling power in candlelight is compelling. All the pieces here are from Louise's collection with the exception of the L'Objet candle.
Prices clockwise from top left: 'Cleo' gold plated cuff, €295; 'Freida' onyx rock crystal cuff, €395; L'Objet black porcelain spider candle, €159; Darcy 25in black onyx gold plated necklace, €295; 'Layla' gold cuff with petal appliqué, €450; 'Baiba' tassel pendant and single-cut diamond necklace, €1,295; and Darcy 26in black onyx & sapphire necklace, €295.
Vintage Art Deco-style earrings and scarf clip set, €140.