Friday 23 February 2018

Kirsty at large: Fashion Week? It's trickier getting into Coppers

Mystical: Designer Olivia Radle with models at New York Fashion Week
Mystical: Designer Olivia Radle with models at New York Fashion Week
Cormac Bourke, Moya Doherty and Marty Whelan at the opening of The Father at the Gate Theatre
Big Brother star Hughie Maughan and his boyfriend Ryan Ruckledge at Apollo Nightclub in Newbridge. Photo: Jerry McCarthy / VIPIRELAND.COM
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

It's mid-September and Fashion Week is once again upon us.

Which means expressions like "FROW", "luxe", "investment piece", and "it's the new black/ gothic/ romantic/ insert any random word here" will start doing the rounds.

There will be lots of people snapchatting and tweeting about how very, very, very busy they are.

Articles will pop up giving out about skinny models. Followed by articles applauding a brave designer who pushed boundaries by asking a woman with cellulite to model his/her threads.

And then a male journalist - who usually writes about cars or sports - will be asked to pen a "hilarious" analysis of one of the more outlandish shows.

"It's like a toilet roll cover!!" he'll say, chortling. "What's the matter - Dunnes not good enough for you?"

Fashion Week is such a weird swirly place filled with hot air and air kisses.

A lot of the people who attend it like to keep the elitist mysticism surrounding it alive.

They talk about "surviving" Fashion Week like it's some sort of Herculean achievement. Or imply that receiving an invite to a show is a mystic honour bestowed upon very few.

But in truth, Fashion Week is just a trade show with notions.

So I am here to demystify some of the palaver surrounding it.

1) Getting into a show is not a big deal. One year I went to London Fashion Week ticketless and snuck into 15 shows. I wangled my way into Burberry, pretended I was Cheryl Cole's stylist to get a front seat at Henry Holland, and got into a photographer's pit despite possessing no camera. In conclusion, it's harder to get into Coppers on a Saturday night than it is into any shows during Fashion Week.

2) Shows last all of nine minutes. They're over before they've even begun.

3) Very few people who attend Fashion Week are good craic. Actual fashion editors are stressed out of their boxes. Designers and their teams are exhausted and delirious. The rest of the people knocking about are more interested in proving how important they are to have a good time.

4) 90pc of it is waiting around for things to start or end.

However, Fashion Week does have one huge redeeming factor.

Much like the Ploughing Championships or any other trade show, it is top notch for people watching.

So if you love scoping out passers-by - affect an air of superiority, look highly irritated and hop over to London. But remember to chuck on a wide-brimmed velour fedora. All the FROW are wearing them, dahling.

Darjeeling express for wonky-eyed comic

Comedian Jason Byrne has headed off to 'Injah' for a whirlwind adventure. "It's going to be mental," he said before his departure. "I'm performing in Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi. I'm going to be in bits afterwards - BITS."

After eight days tearing around the country, Jason will return home to perform in the Tiger Fringe Festival and to launch his new memoir: Adventures of a Wonky-Eyed Boy: The Short-Arse Years.

The book is a bit like a Ballinteer version of Moone Boy - filled with lots of illustrations by Nicky Phelan of Brown Bag Films. "It's like a diary I would have written when I was a kid," Jason said. "About growing up with a wonky eye and being ginger."

In the book Jason (inset)writes about the time his brother encouraged him to eat the grease behind the cooker by telling him it was caramel, and the time his house was blown up by lightning. The launch will take place in Dublin's Sugar Club on October 4 and will mainly consist of Jason's aunties and uncles "wandering about asking 'Is that wine free?'"

Punters wait in wings at the Gate for theatrical punchline

An Englishman, a Scotsman, and a Welshman could soon form the triumvirate of Irish Theatre.

Rumours have been swirling around rehearsal rooms and in the wings that Briton David Grindley is one of the names being touted to take over from Michael Colgan when he steps down from The Gate next year.

While over in the Abbey, Welsh man Neil Murray and Scot Graham McLaren are already gearing up to replace outgoing director Fiach Mac Conghail.

Grindley has previously worked on several Gate shows and will return to the theatre this Christmas for their festive production of The Heiress.

However, Colgan was remaining tight-lipped about any successors at the opening night of Florian Zeller's The Father this week.

"I don't know anything about it," he said. "I haven't a clue. But tonight is all about Florian."

Zeller's play was a commercial and critical hit on Broadway and in the West End. And in 2014, the French playwright picked up the super-duper Molière Award for Best Play.

Not too shabby.

The version at The Gate has been translated and adapted by Oscar-winner Christopher Hampton - who wrote the screen plays for Atonement, A Dangerous Method and Dangerous Liaisons.

Actor Mark Huberman, RTÉ's Moya Doherty and Winning Streak host Marty Whelan were in the stalls and waxed lyrical about lead actor Owen Roe's performance after the final curtain fell.

"What a powerhouse!" Whelan exclaimed. "I felt like someone has walloped me in the face with a baseball bat of emotion."

Marty and his magnificent moustache are currently gearing up for another season of Winning Streak.

"Myself and Sinead Kennedy are back in two weeks," he said. "So very soon I'll be 'streaking' again". Steady Marty.

Across town on a different night, I nipped along to the Tiger Fringe Festival's Spiegeltent for Over the Top Wrestling which was quite simply incredible.

At one point a man armed with a hurl got in a brawl with a bloke wearing Union Jack Y-Fronts. If that isn't art I don't know what is.


Big Brother star Hughie Maughan and his boyfriend Ryan Ruckledge at Apollo Nightclub in Newbridge. Photo: Jerry McCarthy / VIPIRELAND.COM

Big Brother star Hughie Maughan and his boyfriend Ryan Ruckledge certainly know how to make a scene.

The duo were guests of honour at Apollo Nightclub in Newbridge where, according to onlookers, they spent the evening “flirting with female fans, falling down stairs and swinging out of lamp posts”. Sounds like a good night.


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