Wednesday 22 November 2017

Society: Donal and Sofie say 'I do' today

Donal and Sofie after their engagement in Paris. Photo by Rhianne Jones
Donal and Sofie after their engagement in Paris. Photo by Rhianne Jones
Jeanette Jordan and Maria Lucia Fusco at the launch of the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show taking place on August 5th-9th. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Danny O'Reilly & Lya Solis pictured at luxury designer Lya Solis's pre autumn / winter 2015 fashion show in the Westin hotel
Courtney Smith
Panti Bliss
Denis McGettigan and Sile Seoige at the opening of McGettigan's Galway located off Eyre Square on Prospect HIll.
Andrea Roche and Owner Fiona Kelly were pictured at the grand opening of Suesey Street, a new social destination on Fitzwilliam Place in Dublin 2.
Amanda Byram
Angie Dromgoole and Andrea Martin pictured at the L'Oreal Colour Trophy Awards 2015 which took place in the O'Reilly Hall, UCD, Dublin (22nd June 2015).
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Weekend magazine's cookery guru, Donal Skehan, exchanges marriage vows today with his gorgeous girlfriend of nine years, Swedish beauty Sofie Larsson.

Donal and Sofie met in his local pub in Howth through her best friend, who is half-Swedish.

Today's joyous occasion will be watched by over 30 of Sofie's relatives who have travelled over from Sweden for the wedding. There's a large gathering of the couple's Irish friends and family, headed up by his parents, Dermot and Liz, with whom he launched his Skoff pies last year.

And the ceremony wouldn't be complete without the couple's much-loved rescue dog, Max. A cross between a border collie and a jack russell, Max is regularly snapped out on walks with the couple on the hill of Howth.

"Max has a new little collar and is coming to the afters," explained Donal when I caught up with him after his stag party in Sligo.

"We went surfing and I got a video of Max surfing with a Go-Pro which I must put up on my blog when I get a minute," he said.

It would be inconceivable for the foodie pair not to want great cuisine on their honeymoon "so we are heading off to Italy and travelling around Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi," Donal told me.

"I filmed my Grandma's Boy for FOX International and 24Kitchen in Italy and we travelled to 13 towns. Sofie came over to visit me during filming and thought it would be lovely to go back together," said Donal, who proposed to Sofie in Paris 13 months ago. He presented her with a stunner of a vintage diamond solitaire, from John Farrington, in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Ireland's answer to Jamie Oliver will be far too busy to do the food today "but I am guiding it," Donal laughed, explaining how the couple's friends at the Eastern Seaboard are doing the food for the wedding.

On the fashion front, I can reveal that the bride's dress came from Sweden and Donal got his suit from Ted Baker.

"I'm really looking forward to spending time with Sofie as I only got home last week after filming a TV series in five countries in four weeks," said Donal. Even when the couple went on holidays to Palm Springs last March, Donal found himself working on his next cookery book so a relaxing holiday in the home of great food is totally deserving.

And they're off... to a champagne start

By Bairbre Power

The 142nd Dublin Horse Show was launched in fashionable style on Tuesday night in the Minerva suite of the RDS with a mini fashion show courtesy of Dundrum Town Centre, who are the new sponsors of the Ladies' Day on August 6.

Michael Duffy, CEO of the RDS, was spotted in deep conversation with Jeanette Jordan of Dundrum as invited guests enjoyed wine and champagne supplied by Cassidy Wine.

Stylist Maria Fusco sported a new hair colour - fuchsia pink for the summer months, she told me!

When I admired her dress, Maria, who is heading to NYC with her daughter Sophia, told me it belonged to her late mum, Concetta, who wore it in the 1970s.

The famous Webb Ellis rugby trophy was brought to the RDS by Melanie McCourt of Land Rover, who sponsor the infamous Puissance class with its iconic red wall.

Designer thief fails to nab Lya's swag

By Kirstie Blake Knox

Having your latest fashion collection stolen the night before a runway show is the stuff of sartorial nightmares.

Thankfully, Irish designer Lya Solis managed to escape such a fate thanks to the valiant efforts of her trusty crew of assistants.

A group of rotten robbers were in the middle of ransacking the designer's building when her assistants arrived at the studio and frightened the reprobates off.

"Luckily they didn't get into the studio," she said. "I think they would have just trashed the place and torn everything up. So it was a pretty scary start to the day."

The catwalk show was hosted by RTÉ golden girl Kathryn Thomas.

Kathryn donned one of Lya's sheer and sexy black dresses when she won the VIP Style Award for Most Stylish Woman in 2014 and the pair have remained close pals ever since.

This evening, the Voice of Ireland host looked angelic in a white lace gúna as she darted around the room.

"I got drunk one night and told Lya I want her to design my wedding dress so I think she is trying to push me in that direction," Kathryn joked.

The fashion show was styled by Courtney Smith (below) and was filled with blush-coloured dresses, leather trousers and capes.

"I was inspired by the Irish weather and the changing colour of the sky," Lya explained.

Runway models and rock stars go hand in hand so it was fitting that The Coronas were the guests of honour.

Shoe-gazing frontman Danny O'Reilly belted out a few songs before the models had stalked down the catwalk.

"This is unlike any gig we have ever played," Danny said looking around the room.

I can imagine it's very different from the festival scene - there wasn't a welly in sight.

"The Victoria Secrets models got Hozier so The Lya Solis models get The Coronas," Kathryn Thomas quipped.

"Plus I hear they are big fans of Lya's lace and embellishment. Danny has just placed a big order."

Having cheered the band on, guests returned to the Mint Bar for cocktails and custard-filled canapés.

Also at the event, TV3's Aisling O'Loughlin caught up with weather wonder woman Audrey McGrath.

Panti's noble cry to  go down in history

By Kirsty Blake Knox

With Pride in full swing, there seems no better time to tell you that the Abbey Theatre are planning on immortalising Panti Bliss's rousing Noble Call in a hard-backed book.

"It will be published by the Abbey Press and will be full of iconic speeches made on stage," director of the theatre, Fiach Mac Conghail, explained. "We're very excited about it."

Fiach was full of chat at the launch of Handbook of the Irish Revival this week. The beautifully bound book is filled with essays, articles and letters written during the years 1891-1922. James Joyce, Synge and Maud Gonne all make appearances - natch. There was a lot of fuss when the Prez and Sabina arrived. "It really is the most compulsive book," Higgins said.

It was an aul eventful week for bookworms with the Hay Festival kicking off. Model and author Rosanna Davison was in Kells to explain why we should ditch Mars bars for goji berries.

Galway girls at McGettigan's

By Bairbre Power

Galway girl Síle Seoige joined Dennis McGettigan and his sister Lorraine for the opening of the McGettigan family's 11th venue at Prospect Hill in Eyre Square. Dennis, who is CEO of the group, welcomed guests including the new mayor of Galway, Frank Fahey. Michael Ring, Minister of State for Transport and Sport, did the official honours with Dennis and was canvassing hard for a McGettigan's to open in his constituency!

Sky hurling analyst Ollie Canning dropped by and the prize for those who travelled the furthest went to Malcolm and Wendy Dainty, who travelled from Dubai after winning a competition in McGettigan's at The Bonnington Tower.

I heard that the venue was buzzing over the weekend with McGettigan's putting on a free concert on Saturday with Mundy, where he had everyone singing his appropriately named hit 'Galway Girl'.

Meanwhile, Fiona Kelly welcomed guests to the opening of Dublin's newest restaurant and bar. Suesey Street on the corner of Fitzwilliam Place is located in the former Brasserie Le Pont. Suesey Street was the original name for Leeson Street back in the 1700s. The venue's chef, Lumir Tousek, is ex-L'Ecrivain and the art collection is worth checking out.

Trevor's hair for a good time

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Celebrity hairdresser Trevor Sorbie (the man who coiffed Queen Elizabeth's tresses into its current guise) reflected on his most memorable clientele at the The L'Oréal Colour Trophy Awards this week.

"I thought Grace Jones was a delight," he said. "But the following day she went on Russell Harty and slapped him around the head so perhaps I got her on a good day."

Sorbie was in town for what colourists claim is "the Oscars of the Irish hairdressing world".

Now in it's 49th year, the Colour Trophy Awards took place in UCD's O'Reilly Hall.

Clouds of Elnett hung in the air as hoards of hairdressers backcombed like there was no tomorrow.

"I love the madness of the Irish show," Sorbie said. "Everyone goes all out."

Amanda Byram (left) hosted the shindig and recalled some of her former hair faux pas. "I used to backcomb my fringe and pluck all my eyebrows off." Celebrity favourite Brown Sugar Blackrock took home the top prize and, boy, did they celebrate in style.

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