HomeFashionStyle Notes: Adare Manor’s new boutique, luxury white dresses and Caroline Duffy...

Style Notes: Adare Manor’s new boutique, luxury white dresses and Caroline Duffy to honour St Brigid in Mexico


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Christine was general manager of Mount Juliet when she decided to leave the hospitality industry and study at Limerick School of Art and Design. She received a commission for throws from Adare Manor when the resort reopened with new Irish owners in 2017. This season, they were back to Christine again to commission a cardigan in 100pc merino in bespoke shades of grey, moss green and ice blue, and it is one of the first things you see when you walk into their new boutique.

Urban Aran’s 100pc merino cardigan, €349, and bandana scarf, €149, Adare Manor Boutique. Photo: Paul Lehane

I say new because the store recently trebled in size and reopened this month. With the expansion and the addition of a scent room, the team have been sourcing Irish and international brands, so you will find local heroes like gloves by Paula Rowan in Dublin and unisex organic cotton hoodies by Begley & Bowie from Kenmare.

The principle of supporting local businesses literally starts at the resort gate because the buy includes pieces from Aoife McNamara, who has a thatched store in the nearby village.

Then, living close by, you have Orla Daly, who started her Limerick slow-fashion brand Cayo in 2021. This was my first time to see Orla’s work in my hand. Inspired by a trip to Peru, the ultra-soft alpaca wool comes from an ethical farm there, and she works with experienced knitters in Italy.

Davina Lynch’s ‘Hestia’ gold origami headpiece, €175, from Adare Manor Boutique

Davina Lynch’s cosy hand-knit Aran hats with feather trims add glamour to even the most mundane commute. This visit to Co Limerick afforded me the first opportunity to try on one of Davina’s origami crown headpieces which are hugely popular with brides.

If I fell for her superlight gold ‘Hestia’ hand-folded crown (€175), it wasn’t long before the magpie in me spotted a gold leather zipped pouch (€395) from the French label 1970-1976.

Leather pouch bag by French brand 1970-1976, €395, Adare Manor Boutique

I really do love a mooch to shops outside of the Pale and I’m always on the lookout for new labels to add to my Little Black Book, and share with readers who email me with queries. These are generous-sized clutch-like pouches, big enough to take a small laptop, and a second new French brand I discovered was Prêt Pour Partir, which does pretty waterproof printed cotton jackets with matching hats. shop.adaremanor.com

The season of white dresses

Time to embrace the SS24 trend of white dresses. How beautiful is the long Lily of the Valley motif dress from Oscar de la Renta shown as part of the Brown Thomas new season show in Dublin last week.

Oscar de la Renta dress, Brown Thomas

I love the statuesque simplicity of the look — concealed buttoning running from the grandfather collar, placement of the motif and how the cotton dress flares out ever so gently, and, yes, there is a high side slit for ease of movement.

Designer dresses come at a price. This one is €3,444 and, if in store, do check out another gem, the Roksanda ‘Radica’ dress (€3,233) with flower head unfolding over a tiered skirt. brownthomas.com

Mexico bound

One thing I always noticed about Caroline Duffy’s art studio in Dundalk was the beautiful portrait of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo on her mood wall.

Frida was famous for her many self-portraits and her personal style, and couturiers Jean-Paul Gaultier and Riccardo Tisci both based collections on her.

Artist and designer Caroline Duffy at her studio in Dundalk with her portrait of Frida Kahlo on the wall

Caroline has been invited to participate in a ‘pop-up’ exhibition at the Museum of Popular Arts in Mexico city next weekend.

A member of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers, Caroline’s visit has been organised by the Irish embassy in Mexico, in tandem with the museum, to mark the 1,500th anniversary of the death of St Brigid.

Caroline will show her collection based on her botanical paintings. She will participate in a panel discussion with local designers and present a workshop for local fashion students.

Garden Kimono by Caroline Duffy

Like Christine of Urban Aran, Caroline has carved out a niche for herself in a second chapter of her career. A graduate of NCAD, Caroline spent 10 years creating surface and textile designs in New York, Sydney and London, and she is another example of just what can happen when you trust your gut, take a punt and go out on your own.

You will find Caroline’s scarves (€65-€280) kaftans (€440), tunics (€380) and kimonos (€490) on her website, and watch out for her new palazzos and wrap skirts coming shortly. carolineduffydesigns.com

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