Showcase is Ireland's arts and crafts exhibition , featuring the best and most gorgeous of Irish , gifts , fashion and interiors . I must admit I had not visited this fair for many years as I assumed it was still "twee"and not directional or a la mode . How far from the truth was I ?????
I was blown away by the talented designers I met . I would love to see the organisers of the Creative Fair inject a dash of fashion into their pr and marketing strategies .
So ...... I headed straight for the Creative Island . It was launched in 2010 to place Irish Craft at the center of Showcase , providing a platform for quality Irish artisans to meet retailers from all over the world in a single contemporary area .
This area reminded me of fashion fairs I would visit in Paris and Milan during my other fashion life .
I was strolling along one of the alleys when I spotted gold crotchet !
Wow , I was in my sparkly element and started immediately ohhing and ahhing to Edel MacBride , the gorgeous designer behind these fabulous creations . We bonded instantly as we have the same fashion values .. she also believes that life is too short for basics ! She wore a silver shawl and matching silver fingerless gloves and as we chatted she knitted ! She concentrates on high end knitting and crochet skills with a uniqueness exclusive to her .
I continued chatting with Edel whilst gold fingerless gloves and gold crotched back warmers kept talking to me !
Edel , I love your work and am so looking forward to the gold creation that you are crotching ! XX
Next on my love list is Yvonne Beale . Yvonne recently contacted me to view her work . She has a love for vintage haute - jewels from Cartier and Boucheron and because these sumptuous jewels are not within most of our price ranges , I now totally adore yvonne for reproducing some of these pieces in crotchet ! Yvonne has a love for the style and elegance of the 1940's . She collects Vogue knitting magazines from this era and she uses recrafted stiches to create hand-crotched jewellery and bags .
Yvonne's black crochet necklace combined with fresh water pearls is simply stunning ! Check this crothcet jewellery collection as soon as possible ladies ! To be treasured as a family heirloom .
I met so many friends at this fair that it was fairly difficult to carry on with work . I bumped into my wonderful friend Gerri Rafferty . I thought she was in NewYork working on her jewels ... Disaster !!! Gerri and I share a love for art and all things beautiful so needless to say , I was only too happy to help her shop for gorgeous things that she did'nt need for her NewYork apartment ! I ❤ you Lady Gerri !
Gerri exclaims at one point in her dramatic drawl " Maria , you must have this !" A delicate white felt hat with diamonds and plume ! So off we went to meet the creator , Wendy Louise . Wendy is a self-taught milliner , she told us her grandparents had a hat factory in the UK .
Stunning collection of hats ! 70% of Wendy's work is to order , mainly for races and weddings . She also makes exquisite turbans which I think every self respecting girl should own at least one !
I was overwhelmed by Christina Brosnan jewellry . I won't get too technical and bore you . However this lady 's collection feaures three-dimensional bead weaving techniques .Cristina's necklaces can be worn as tiaras ! Love them , every princess should have one !
I was attracted to a ultra sultry stand , Clara Bella . Cool hangers , great merchandising , and fabulous clothes ! The cutey behind this new exciting label is Clara Traynor . You dressed me for my debs , she said . I remembered her immediately and was not in the least surprised by this young girl's stamina and talent !
Clara's collection has a strong rock chic feel so obviously I would be immediately inarmoured ! Clara is a hands -on girl . Each garment is made by Clara and then further embellished by her own signature stitching . I spotted some ultra cool black lace legging embellished with black crystals ! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ !
This is Clara first collection .. and to think she was due to study medical science ?! She deferred this to do a portfolio course in fashion . As we all know , once the fashion bug attacks , there is no cure !
Love your collection Clara , wishing you all the success you deserve sweetheart ! XX
At this point one could possibly think that I am just another shallow fashionista with eyes for only dresses and tiaras !!! Well you 're mistaken !!! ... Ceramics , pottery , and glass also rock my world !
An abundance of creative designers had their wares on display and I was spoilt rotten for choice .
Now if only I had the interior of an Irish Castle to revamp I would be in my element .......
It could be so fabulous ............ Maria , stop dreaming !!!! ........
Karen Morgan designs and handmakes her range of porcelaine . I adore the pureness of these white vases etc . Some of my favorite pieces included the crumpled aspect of the object , almost as if the porcelaine had melted !!
A tv appearance on Dragon's Den has secured her an investment from the charming Niall O'Farrell to open a shop and studio in Kilkenny . Niall has always had a sharp eye for beautiful things.
I fell upon Susannagh Grogan 's luxurious silk scarfs . In 2009 Susannagh launched her inspiring collection of delicious silk scarfs for women who take their scarfs seriously and appreciate the art of accessorising .
Her love of print and colour experimentation is obvious and she also adores literature . Each scarf carries a quirky inspirational or humorous quote .
My little favorite had to be of course by a man who has a special place in my heart Oscar Wilde . A mix of sultry beige cream and rose , named Vintage Saint . It reads .... Every Saint has a past , and every sinner has a future .
I love your work Susannagh and girls lets not forget ... scarfs are multifunctional and can be worn as tops or skirts . Simply a matter of getting creative !
For all bag lovers , Gucci move over !! I would strongly suggest you take a serious look at Inti Leathers . Catherine Prendegast has been working with fabulous leather for over 25 years . I had to forcibly drag my friend Gerri away from the exquisite purple doctors bag even though I fully understood her dilemma as I had fallen for a gold snakeskin weekend bag !
We walked away ... bag-less ... only to walk into a heavenly scented stand Bog Standard ...... basic luxury from Ireland . Fragranced candles are their signature products that extends to soaps and scented sachets . Each fragrance is inspired by Irish lifestyles and landscapes .
Walking into my room now recalls a hazy summer day with the hum of a distant lawnmower .... and that lovely fresh cut grass scent ! It's all thanks to a scented sachet , Irish Feild ! Love love love !
I met the lovely Yvonne from Bonzie Crotty . They were recently awarded the Top designer in Ireland award and I must admit , they so deserve it .
Yvonne spotted me from the balcony and came to fetch me . Her beautiful tulle collars and hats were on display . Yvonne was quite a vision in her tweed jacket and full lenght skirt with tulle godets on the derriere . A victorian godess darling ! lots of bisous . See you at the awards soiree cherie ! X
I was to meet another of my sweehearts Vivien Walsh . Vivien has always been one step ahead in the fashion world and she now design her gorgeous jewels from her home . However knowing this wonderful creative lady , who knows what she could be conjuring for us ???
Lets keep in touch Vivien honey . xxxxxxxx
I was also delighted to see the charming Mr. Adam King was exibiting his contempory silver and copper jewellery . I love Adam's work , he's a perfectionist and when it comes to packaging ... he is King !! Beautiful wooden boxes he makes all by himself ! Very nice cheri !
Last though certainly not least , I was very impressed by a certain lady Anna Nielsen . Anna sees life as a series of images . In her drawings , her stylised silhoutte people tell a story by their body language .
Her drawings are powerful, but for Anna the real power lies in the combination of Images and Words .
She is inspired by everything around her , especially her family .
She likes to draw Life ... just as it is ! Life is all around us and inspiration is everywhere .
I love this womans mind , so strong and inspirational !
Please take a look at Anna's work , I know that like me you will fall in love with it . All her work is in black and white . A gorgeous addition to ones coffee table would be Serendipity , Anna's new book which contains all her work to date .
Anna , you are a lady and it was wonderful to meet with you . I love Serendipity ! X
Phew , there was so much talent at the crafts fair I could write for ever !!! As I said before , we have some seriously talented designers in Ireland , we need to encourage and support them !!
Slan !........ my gaelige is limited darlings ! X