Feb 2, 2011

Showcase - Ireland's Creative Expo .

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

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