In the good old days, when Dunnes was the brand leader for the high street, if you were wearing a nice item and someone admired it and wondered where you got it - the response of the day was either ‘Dun-nez Store’ or ‘Ben’s Boutique’, much the same as the response to that same compliment morphed into “Penneys!” So much so, the story goes that foreign students (Spanish and Italian in particular) actually thought that this was a form of thanks for receiving a compliment in Ireland. Anyhow, suffice to say that Penneys cornered that particular market.
Dunnes Stores has re-branded in recent times, and I am just not sure how well this has worked. We see in Dunnes now, a higher quality selection of new ‘designer lines’ with significant but somewhat modified price-tags to go with it. That’s why I would hesitate to spend big money. They have very impressive designers including Paul Costello, Carolyn Donnelly (LOVE her highly patterned designs), Peter O’Brien, and Michael Mortell. But it is Joanne Hynes that I would like to mention in particular as she recently launched her Autumn/Winter collection for Dunnes Stores. Last Saturday morning I happened to hear her being interviewed by George Lee on The Business. I like how passionate she is as a designer and how emotional she is when it comes to actually designing a new line. What I was most impressed with though, was her brief, "to be herself", from Dunnes Stores. What a fantastic carte blanche to be given and a freedom that I think is reflected in her collection, which features a very varied and quirky selection of clothing. The line is not, I think, to everyone’s liking. It is colourful, geometric with big shapes, and mixes which are quite challenging. I look forward to seeing what some of you fashionistas style some of these items with!
I rambled into my local Dunnes Stores in Roscommon recently, to see what they were favouring this season. Dunnes has always been a great spot for sourcing good basics that will take a good few wears and last the season. I was greeted by a row of TREGGINGS! What are treggings, I ask you, or maybe you might ask me? Curiosity got the better of me. What could these strange trouser/legging items be? The end of leggings and trousers? No, they are actually a very useful item, made with a nice soft stretchy (beware!) fabric. They seem to only come in black but could be life-line in a gal’s wardrobe! The difference between these and the beloved ‘jeggings' is that they have a loose leg. They're more trouser width at the end, not tight like jeggings. I’m thinking that they might work well with a nice pair of loafers. Whilst I dislike intensely these word combinations, be it jeggings, treggings, or whatever, I guess they ‘do what it says on the tin'! At an even €20, treggings are definitely worth a try!
Fashion trends come and fashion trends go.... and come back again, often in 7 year cycles! So, whoever said if you haven't worn something for 6 months 'get rid of it.... 'I disagree wholeheartedly. In fact, I have been known to store an item that I probably picked up on my travels a number of years before. Eureka! I buy some other item, that actually 'goes', and hey ho, away I go, with a fabulous 'new' ensemble, happily out!
Whilst I love fashion, I am not a slave to it. I ‘tip’ my hat to the seasonal trends and certainly like to embrace some of the current trends, IF, I like them, they suit my figure, and sense of style. I tend to observe the various lengths that are trending... I think this is one of the key fashion ‘rules’ to be observed. It can take a year or two before a length goes really out of style, so you need to keep an eye on the fashion scene. Who want to appear out in last season’s length, however fashionable at that time? So, following on from last season where, apparently, EVERY length featured, we are seeing a return to midi and maxi lengths, which I really like. Some of these look not unlike dressing gowns, and are twinned with loose long dresses, often with a shiny fabric and flats - great news! However, the micro mini is still featuring and I just need to be convinced that anybody can pull this look off and look elegant.
Top of the list this season is TWEED, with Marc Jacobs, (see photo) bulking it up with an interesting mix of fabrics, tweed, married with silk, leather with ruffles and bows, all in beautiful berry shades… Some styles I love to see coming around again, but NOT culottes (’80’s) and not ‘Bay City Roller’ style plaids, and the horror of horrors - the mullet!!!
Cozy knitwear and throws are right back in there much to my joy. It is so easy to finish an outfit with a nice throw, even over a bulky sweater that you won’t fit a coat over anyhow. Quilting is making an appearance for the first time in ages, apart from the many ‘horsey’ quilted jackets, it hasn’t featured on the catwalks for some time. So far so good. However, I think I will be drawing a line at some of the flashier trends such as feathers and multiple fringes in high fluorescent colours. Maybe, if there is a fancy dress over the festive season! What is this hybrid design? Sorry, not for me! Basically, two styles with a complete contrast of fabrics are designed and merge down the middle of your body - really unattractive.
Bright colours are billowing their way into the winter, brightening our days, so if you buy a few pops of colour try and include fuchsia, apple green, mustard, poppy red or cyan (blue). Happy shopping! Until we meet again, keep smiling! Siobhan x
Wednesday the 19th of September 2018 left a fatal mark on Ireland as two people, a man and a woman, lost their lives during Storm Ali.
The loss of life was truly tragic and came very close to visiting the community of Tulsk during the storm too when a postman who has been working for a number of years in the Boyle area avoided tragedy. His post van was struck by a falling tree during the storm when on his post route. He got out of the van but was subsequently trapped on a narrow country lane for over an hour as numerous further trees fell with one more hitting his post van and others blocking his escape. The postal operative who is a well known and active member of the Tulsk community narrowly avoided death, as he dodged falling trees and falling, live, electricity cables for the best part of ninety minutes. The postman had his mobile phone with him and managed to make contact with An Post and Roscommon County Council who alerted the emergency services to his situation. ESB networks contacted the trapped postal worker and advised him on what to do in order to minimise his risk of injury. While the incident escalated gradually, the Tulsk man found himself in serious danger quite quickly, once he realised he had no route by which to escape, with live electricity cables possibly having electrified the wet boggy ground on one side, and the trees which had fallen and blocked his escape by road. The trees too had possibly been made live by falling cables, and wet and windy conditions made the entire situation even more perilous. Thankfully, ESB networks isolated the live cables and Roscommon County Council managed to remove over 25 fallen trees over a two hour period to free the man. While extremely shocked by the incident, the man is glad to have walked away without serious physical injury. It is hoped he will recover from what was no doubt an extremely traumatic incident as quickly as possible.