Tag Archives: Womens clothing

The Boston LowDown

The very significant upside of my day job is that I get to travel to some of the most amazing places. It is because of this that I have practically been given freedom of the city of Miami. Since Thursday last I have embarked on the latest

Hats by Marie Galvin

US adventure. First stop…Boston to visit my friend Julie who told me she was going to convince me that Boston (aka Ireland on Tour) is the latest must visit spot on the fashion map. I am no stranger to Boston having done the college-swearing-in-process that was a J1 visa to Newport, RI back in 2003. I used to take regular bus trips up to Boston just to hang out in Harvard. I figured that if I ran into people like Michael Porter or Henry Mintzberg (two of Harvard’s most famous Business lecturers whose many papers on strategic management and organisation structures were the bane of my existence during my time at Trinity) that I could magically convince them that I was an ideal candidate for a scholarship for a Masters at the best business school in the world. I had the speech prepared and I headed out on the T to Cambridge a couple of times to hang out. I even had a great idea ready for my thesis….the strategy of fashion. I haven’t given up just yet on the idea of an MBA. But maybe not in Harvard. I never did make BFFs with Michael or Henry and the whole Harvard thing didn’t happen. Nevertheless, I’m pretty happy with my lot and I land in Boston ready to take on the city of my early twenties.

Hairbands start at $35!

Friday morning we check out the Prudential centre which is probably Boston’s biggest mall, housing everything from stand alone Gucci and Michael Kors shops to Wet Seal (similar to F21). The mall is spans over a couple of streets and each area of the mall is linked with very fancy glass footbridges over the street. Given that Boston is FREEZING anything that keeps you out of the cold is a good thing. Speaking of cold, Julie was rocking the New England must have, Hunter wellingtons. At $125 (€85 approx) these are an investment but here they are a necessity along with some UGGs or UGG equivalent. We hit The Tannery, an amazing shoe shop full of every shoe imaginable to see if I wanted to speculate on these babies. I try them on and I admit they look great, but unfortunately they not suitable for my very narrow feet. Still I highly recommend them if you intend on visiting this part of the States during Winter (or should Ireland get freak snow showers once again). One thing to note about the peeps of Boston, is that although the weather can suck, this city does not stop. Snow ploughs are out, pavements and roads are clear, before you hit the snooze button for the first time. It’s astonishing and forward thinking.

Day two, Saturday, Julie takes me to, what I am officially calling, the best vintage store in the world, aptly titled, “The Garment District”. This store is so in tune with the vintage world it even has sections specifically for the 70s, 80s and 90s, along with a great selection of designer vintage. I did come across this great pair of Ferragamo pumps but I resisted the temptation. This is a Boston must-see! After a little R&R at a nail bar, we take a trip back to Europe by looking through the sales rails at H&M. Wow is it cheaper here. I picked up a great white silk shirt (shirts are a staple this season) and a skinny tan belt to match for $20 (€16 approx). It’s a steal. With an exchange rate of about $1.34 to the euro your money goes further, hence, for every white shirt you buy at H&M, you can buy an accessory to match!!!! The day ends with an amazing dinner at trendy downtown eatery Atlantic Fish. The who’s who of Boston hang here and if you wanna be seen in your best dress, take it for a night out here. My evening attire consisted of a pale pink satin shirt from Penneys, black cigarette pants from Awear worn with some loose curls in my hair (Julie is great for a quick hair do!).

The lazy Sunday in Boston requires you to do one thing…eat Brunch. According to my tour guides, South Boston is the latest trendy area (formerly one of the worst) to live and eat and shop. With a stroll through a beautiful neighbourhood we pop into gorgeous boutiques like Looc (who had an Isabel Marant coat reduced to $200!) and Flock. It’s also great for the furniture lovers with some of the city’s best modern and antique stores.
The gems of the day however, have to be Galvinised and Bobby’s of Boston. Galvinised is the shop and workshop of Milliner Marie Galvin, originally from Mayo and now an established designer in the city, whose pieces have featured in the top US fashion magazines. Marie has introduced the fascinator to the US market and the response has been overwhelming. Starting with hairbands from about $20 to commissioned pieces, Marie told me that she gets customers from all over the US. How great is that for an Irish Designer? We had a giggle trying on some beautifully crafted creations adorned with feathers, at Marie’s consent. Hidden away in South Boston, this store has to be my favourite so far. Bobby’s of Boston takes vintage to new levels in my eyes. Primarily stocking Men’s vintage clothing, the store carries just a small collection of womenswear , mainly accessories. This was like a treasure trove and Bobby himself, though not young, still works in the shop he set up decades ago.

So I am convinced. Boston has a lot to offer, aside from the mainstream more commercial stores. Taking a trip to an up and coming area opened my eyes to a more fashion forward city, that appreciates great design and aesthetics. The shops are pristine and unique, owned by friendly people all of whom were more than willing to engage in a bit of chat.

I’m writing this post onboard an American Airlines flight to Miami where I begin chapter two of the trip. Highlights on this stay will be attending the launch of Miami Fashion Week on January 27th. I can’t wait! Oh and stay tuned to http://www.stylenation.ie where I will be bringing you all the latest fashion news for the week!

The captain just announced that the New York Jets are beating the New England Patriots 21 to 11 at the fourth quarter. God bless America.
Styleisle out.

PS this post is dedicated to Julie for being such a wonderful friend. x


Karen Millen – on trend for A/W

Karen Millen’s collection for A/W and Christmas epitomises the classic look which has been synonomous with the label for many years. Not departing from this tradition, too much, KM has introduced new textures, cuts and hues for this collection, bringing together its penchant for classic tailoring and the need for the lady to keep it up in the trend stakes.

With names like, Tokyo Weekend, Crystal Lights and Dark Romance, the aroma of feminity is in the air. New ideas like, making a coat the key piece in an outfit, sequins as day wear and the famous cape, make the collection attractive but wearable.

Here are some of my personal favourites:

I fell for these thigh high taupe suede boots, but at €450 a pair, I better start saving!

The on trend cape for A/W, this one is a really wearable and flattering shape.

The classic KM party dress with ruffles, also comes in coral. The ruffles soften the constructed look of the dress.

The military look with grey hareem style jeans.

The styling of the looks was impeccable which is attributable to the amazing taste of KM’s  Trend Manager, Ainsley and Creative Director, Gemma. KM will be styling its Irish Brand Ambassador, Karen Koster at this weekend’s Dublin Festival of Fashion, so watch out for this lovely lady in this season’s looks. Also, I spyed Aurora Fashion’s Ian Galvin and stylist extraordinare, Constance Harris, checking out the collection!

Here are the gorgeous Baiba and Sarah who delighted the press with some of looks on display:

Thank you to Gemma at Presence PR for the beautiful images.

M&S does trendy

Winter is a great season for style. It would be a great season all round if it wasn’t so darn wet and cold. But I have good news. The food and fashion institution of Marks and Spencer has come up with a classic but contemporary womens and menswear collection for the cold season. Amongst the fashion glitterati of Ireland in the breathtaking setting of the Aviva Stadium, M&S put on a show of all shows. Following a relaxing champagne and canapé reception, food prepared by the wonderful Mark Wright, Executive Chef at the Aviva, we were treated to style at it’s classical height.

Tailored , constructed looks were softened with splashes of colour and accessorised and styled beautifully by the fabulous Catherine Condell. Inspired by Mad Men and the aviator look of the season, M&S has gone all trendy. Dabbling in the realm of textures like leather and velvet, the must haves of the season. Retro inspired looks had movement and were not glued to the body and adding colour like bright green really gave a young look to a collection which has tended to suit the more mature amongst us.

Bohemian looks were wearbale and it was great to see models not drowning in oversized chunky knits. The Alpine inspired -cum- gypsy looks were layered, matching cardis with leggings or skinny jeans which elongate the lower half of the body. Textures in this look included the ever popular faux fur and wool. This look was a wilder but casual look and will be perfect on those busy Saturday mornings running around town, as the pieces looked so comfy and cozy.

Head of the Autograpgh collection, Marc O’Neill, really knows how to fit a suit to a woman’s body. Exquisite tailoring prevailed but there were some great alternatives for the office, deviating from the traditional trouser suit. Grey body con dresses and a grey and black two tone jumpsuit were my personal favourites.

M&S have also gone down the “hunting” look path. This look runs the risk of looking too masculine and slightly old. Cardis, quilted jackets and tweed were the key trends, with a lot of mid-calf length skirts, which are not really my cup of tea, but are a key A/W trend. Well you don’t have to like everything do you?

The college inspired looks brought chic to geek with plaid mini skirts, cord jackets, v-neck jumpers and even a bow tie for the boys! This is like chic college for adults. Understated colours balanced the complicated layered looks. Stripes were everywhere!

My favourite look for the season is military (will this look ever go away?) A real Burberry Prorsum look came stomping down the catwalk, with sherling jackets, ankle boots, leather leggings and faux fur. Last but not least, the desk to dinner look brought two models down the runway with a common item on, like a dress or a jacket. I did wonder at one point whether one would be allowed to their desk in some of the outfits, but I think the purpose of the styling was to show the versatility of the pieces.

My verdict! M&S have an affordable range of on trend clothes which can be mixed and matched to create several looks. With the Limited Collection and Autograpgh, M&S are now appealing to a younger audience, which is good to see, since cost is clearly that demographic’s biggest concern.

Forever 21 is paying us a visit

A buddy of mine gave me a heads up today that American retail giant, and a personal favourite of mine, Forever 21, is to open in the Jervis Centre in the Autumn.

Now I actually don’t know how I feel about this. F21 has been sacred to many ladies of Ireland who shop in the States intermittently throughout the year, in that, you can pick up a dress that costs less than $20 but looks more than $200. Moreover, close to no one here will have it, adding to the pleasure of your newly procured bargain.

When I am in the US,  I get so excited about shopping there, that I fear, when and if it does arrive here, the excitement will fade, like it did when Zara, H&M and American Apparel landed on Grafton st and its environs.

So I guess we have a fashion debate on our hands, should the American retailers move to our market? I’ll leave it up to you, I’m undecided.