The introduction of a new award for aspiring fashion designers is welcome. Congratulations to Lia Cowan, winner of the first Longines Irish Champions Young Designer Award. The Dublin native studied sculpture at NCAD before earning a fashion qualification in Sallynoggin, and you can surely learn those sculpting skills in her love of manipulating and transforming fabrics.

ia uses quite a mix, from taffeta to cotton to silk dupion, like in the skirt below, which costs 350 euros. She explains how, as an artist and designer, she draws on her Jewish and Irish heritage and is inspired by it, “which has opened a portal in which threads of inspiration from folklore and mysticism are spun”.

Your “Forever Beyond the Limits of the World” Collection includes unique items.

What struck me in particular about this collection was its use of the yo-yo technique, which has its roots in Japan. Lia discovered it in a book about fabric manipulation, and it’s like a series of raised circles of fabric that she thinks resembles quilting.

The aim of the young designer is “to create carefully thought out and lovingly handcrafted works of art – heirlooms that can be passed on from one generation to the next”.

@i_am_liac; liacowandesign@gmail.com

Dior boutique arrives in town

Next week, the highly anticipated Dior boutique opens at Brown Thomas Dublin, the latest luxury designer to open on the ground floor of the Grafton Street store this season.

Here you will find the emblematic accessories from Dior, in particular scarves, belts and glasses from the “Cruise” collection 2022, designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri.

I suspect bag fans will be very interested, especially since this couture house’s iconic “Saddle” bag has been such a hit lately.

The Dior ‘Caro’ lambskin bag awaits you in the new boutique. This model is a tribute to Christian Dior’s sister Catherine, who was affectionately called “Caro” and a classic black. The chain links take up the “CD” signature, which reflects the clasp, and the “Caro” costs € 3,900.

The Cannage motif is inspired by the upholstery on the Napoleon III chairs that Christian Dior used in his first exhibitions in Paris. It is also very easy to recognize on the ‘Lady Dior’ bag designed by Gianfranco Ferré for Princess Diana.

In the entire range of handbags and accessories, I have a great preference for the Dior house motif “Oblique” designed by Marc Bohan.

Anyone who’s watched designer handbag sales before and during the lockdown can wholeheartedly expect a new zeal to be unleashed especially in the run-up to Christmas, and I suspect Dior will receive much of that love.

I base this forecast on the number of serious fashionistas who have come to Paris and London to see the exhibition. Christian Dior: designer of dreams.

The pioneering work of the couturier, his motifs and his legacy are of deep interest, which Chiuri cleverly reinterprets time and again.

The new boutique offers a selection of silk twill scarves from € 285, sunglasses from € 330, jewelry from € 350 for the embroidered bracelets by J’Adior and other jewelry creations by Victoire de Castellane, including the Rose des Vents collection with prices from € 1,000.

Cashmere indulgence

The mere mention of cashmere coated hot water bottles immediately caught my attention and I was in a flash at the Irish Design Shop on Drury Street to check them out.

The € 78 miniature hot water bottles are made by Ekotree im Burren from 100 pieces of hand-spun cashmere in delicious autumnal berry tones.
Jaffa orange and mint as well as beige and gray.

Check out the new Irish Vernacular 2022 calendar (€ 30) in the shop, a collaboration with Kenmare photographer Norman McCloskey. It features images of native architecture in beautiful natural landscapes and features 12 unique frame-ready prints, and the cover photo features copper foil details. irishdesignshop.com

Dates and days

Waiting lists for hero Christmas gifts are popping up everywhere. I’ve added myself to notification lists for concert tickets, restaurants, and pre-order services. I know it’s only mid-October, but as supply chains get active it’s a new retail reality.

There has been a lot of talk this week about the first-ever Brown Thomas luxury beauty advent calendar. It landed two days ago and costs € 295 while the content is estimated at € 690. There was a waiting list for the limited edition set, but it’s definitely worth checking in store for availability. Never ignore giftedness.