Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Diversity Fashion Show

Music to my ears..coming across an advertised Diversity Fashion Show a few weeks ago, I felt this was an opportunity not to be missed.  "Right up my street" as I heard it described, and rightly so.

Organised by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, the event marked the official launch of their Festival of Social Inclusion.

The show featured models from all areas of the community, as did the audience, at the Dundrum Town Centre. 

Of particular interest to myself, for obvious reasons, was the inclusion of people with disabilities as models.  Something I have been working on in the past with a charity fashion show, this is an issue you could say I feel strongly about.   
Great as it is to see events like this happen, I live for the day that these shows are no longer needed as we've already achieved inclusion within all areas of the fashion industry.  No harm in dreaming right?

Set near the ground floor entrance of the busy shopping centre, the show was well placed for optimum exposure, and audience participation certainly reflected this. 
The pink ground level catwalk succeeded in catching attention, though the unfortunate addition of two steps up to a platform caused me some concern given the nature of the show and the participants involved.

A very engaging and positive event however, the show certainly lived up to its aim of community involvement and participation. 

Clothes and accessories were provided by stores of Dundrum Town Centre, such as Penneys, Best, Coast and Lifestyle Sports, and outfits were put together by stylist Roxanne Parker. 
MC for the event was Andrea Hayes from Sunshine FM.  Hair and make up was taken care of by Hair and Beauty students of Sallynoggin College of Further Education.  

The models certainly gave it their all, and evidently enjoyed their modelling experiences.  With an inclusive mix of males and females, age groups, ethnic groups and abilities, community groups were well represented, with the inclusion of members of the local Garda Siochana for good measure!

With stellar modelling debuts, we saw some serious moves on the catwalk with enthusiastic support from audience and passers-by. 

Having been involved in a similar show last year for Social Inclusion Week, I was delighted to see the move to a new venue and wider participation both in the show and by onlookers.  The increase in both participant and audience numbers can only signify a positive result and provides encouragement for future inclusion initiatives. 

I've included below some of my favourite photos from the event, after some tough decision making.  

Congrats to all involved in creating this event, I'm already looking forward to seeing what next year's show has in store!

Do you have a favourite pic? Would you, or do you know anybody else that would love to participate in future shows such as these? Ah, go on, go on, go on..... 

Monday, 7 September 2015

Museum of Style Icons

Well, finally I made it, after months of promising myself the time out to visit the Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge Silverware. 

Not one for driving long distances due to fatigue, I tend to postpone such outings for a time when I’ve more energy. Whenever that arrives!

The drive wasn’t too far this time though as it turned out, and we didn’t get lost either between Dublin and Newbridge.  Though we did almost have an accidental detour through Naas.

Anyway, first things first, let's start with one thing I always need to check out before venturing anywhere - accessibility.  And they seem to have this well covered here.  

  • Accessible parking close to the entrance
  • Ground level access
  • Clear signage inside the main door, and staff to direct
  • Lift up to MOSI (though my poor PA was a little worse for wear in the platform lift)
  • Audio narratives of the biographies around the museum, although I didn’t notice any Braille signs now I think of it

I didn’t think to check out the toilet facilities I’m afraid, but I hear from trusted sources that they are wheelchair accessible.

The only negative I would point out is the plush carpet around the museum can make pushing a wheelchair a little difficult, even if it does add to the atmosphere. 

So, practicalities checked out, time to get back to business..

First up, as it happened was my all-time favourite style icon, Audrey Hepburn. With a section all of her own, dedicated to a mix of her movie and personal outfits.  The cream dress and mustard coat from “Charade”, posing elegantly among a dedicated photo gallery of her most memorable film and fashion moments.  


I could literally have stayed there all day.  Around the corner then led to one of her own pieces, a grey wool coat, and a floral dress worn in one of my fave movies “Funny Face”.  
Not to mention the “one” I really went to see if I’m honest, the pink rhinestone encrusted dress from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.  #letstakeamoment.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Another one of my favourites and a very close second to Audrey has to be Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly.  This elegant embroidered chiffon dress from “High Society” in 1956 has to be seen to be believed.  Oh, for the chance to try that on!

Grace Kelly

Next in line on my list of preferences had to be Princess Diana.  To say I was a little like a child at Christmas would be fair, and you can hardly blame me..Her pink silk embroidered dress with crystal beads speaks for itself really.  And don’t even get me started on the toile of her wedding dress, there are no words to even begin a description of this gown. Not to mention its accompanying miniature models of the flower girl dresses.  Sigh.

Princess Diana's bridal party

Moving on, eventually, and more pink dresses, this time belonging to Marilyn Monroe.  A fuschia pink Pucci dress, and red polka dot umbrella were accompanied by artifacts from her life including telegraphs and doctor’s prescriptions.  Found myself developing a sudden interest in history that I never possessed in school.. better late than never, eh?

Marilyn Monroe

Next up, some of the iconic actresses of the Film Noir era, some of whom I recently became acquainted with through a fashion history assignment.  
Elegant dresses worn by Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable and Greta Garbo stand side by side to tell their stories. 

Rita Hayworth

Childhood favourites of mine like Julie Andrews and Judy Garland also make an appearance, with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds and Barbara Streisand.

Julie Andrews

Not to neglect the male icons of bygone eras, such as a red jacket belonging to Elvis Presley, a denim jacket of Bob Dylan and a few pieces from the late Michael Jackson. 

Elvis Presley

So much to take in, in a relatively small space!

As the natural course of the exhibition moves to an end, we see some pieces from modern day icons, like this chiffon Victoria Beckham gown, and Angelina Jolie's coat. 

Victoria Beckham
So, there you have it.  A selection of my favourite pieces from a long awaited visit. Well worth the wait I say, and I'd definitely recommend it for any fashion and/or history enthusiasts out there.  

Should also mention, the exhibition is free of charge.  And I recommend learning from my mistake – leave some time for the nearby Whitewater Shopping Centre.  I may have to go back a second time for that one.

Has anybody else been to the exhibition, did you have any particular favourites?

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

There's always one..

Hey everyone,  I realise my little blog has been a bit neglected these past few weeks. My love of fashion has been laid up in hospital, and is getting a bit restless now.

It's not the ideal situation for creative thinking, so I thought I'd write instead a bit about where I currently find myself, and who with.

Drawing upon the lunchtime conversation today, I thought I'd share some of those inevitable features of hospital, any hospital.

I'd be interested to hear what particular memories or associations you'd add to the list!

  • Lights off before it gets dark. Lights back on before it gets bright.
  • Dinner at lunchtime, supper at dinner time, and breakfast in the middle of the night.
  • A table with the dimensions of a ruler and temperament of a shopping trolley, on which to store your entire life. Usually piled high with chocolate. And fizzy drinks.

  • A comedian. In the form of a patient.
  • Another comedian in the form of staff. 
  • The patient who needs the window open 24/7 despite the weather. Then the one who needs it closed 24/7 despite the weather. And the one caught in the crossfire. 
  • The private patient shoved in a public room, and not a bit happy about it.
  • The public patients listening to the private patient, and not a bit happy about it. 
  • The one forced to wear the flimsy piece of material as replacement for the pyjamas they didn't bring. 
  • The one who bought new co-ordinating pyjamas especially. And a dressing gown to match. (Would like to say this is me but afraid not). 
  • Pedal bins that more than half the population can't use. 
  • Squeaky wheels. Everywhere. On everything. 
  • A continuous round-the-clock queue for the bathroom. Make that every bathroom. 
  • Milky tea and soggy cornflakes. Or even vice versa. And a digestive biscuit to dunk. 

  • A pile of last year's gossip magazines with remnants of the above tea and digestives.
  • And to save the best for last. My all time favourite. Peas. Peas. And more peas - the things most likely to put me in hospital had I not been there already!

Did we miss anything??