Monday, January 31, 2005

Couture nails

Nailcare is big business. I remember being surprised at the number of nail bars in New York, where everyone, girls and boys, take the state of their nails very seriously. Julian Fallon, who runs the hugely successful 1st Option model agency, saw the importance of this grooming element and set up The Nail Room a few years ago. Needless to say business is booming. So much so, in fact, that she has just become the Irish distributor of OPI, the Gucci of nailcare.

With celebrity followers like Madonna, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez, it's not difficult to see why the brand has become such a hit.

Julian hosted the launch of OPI - the Japanese Collection in the trendy Aya sushi bar on Clarendon Street this morning. I felt a little bit out of place in a room full of excited girls all having manicures. It was a case of blessed arth thou among women. Indulging in the luxury treatments were TV producer Cathy O'Connor, FM104 beauty correspondent Gillian Hyland and Julian's sister Trish, who is positively blooming with her first pregnancy.

With names such as Don't be Koi with me, Dress to Empress and Miso Happy with this Color, you should be able to imagine the quirky, high fashion image of the brand. Available from The Nail Room in Roches Stores Henry St. and Blackrock from 9th February.
Behind you!

I went to the Liberty Hall Theatre last night for the final performance of the panto Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Simon Delaney and written and produced by Karl Broderick of Anthem Productions, the jokes came thick and fast with something for all ages.

The cast incuded TV3's Alan Hughes (who co-produced), presenter Louise Loughman, boy band Final Four, Brenda Donohoe, Jonathan McCrea of Spin 1038 and P.J. Dunleavy.

As it was the last performance, after a long and extended run, many well known names attended to celebrate the last night. In the audience were Twink with her daughters Chloe and Naomi, TV3's Martin King and Colette Fitzpatrick, George McMahon of Fair City fame, Ireland AM boss Debbie O'Donnell and Evening Herald fashion editor Bairbre Power.

After almost 2 months of presenting Ireland AM and working on the panto, Alan embarks on a relaxing cruise with Royal Caribbean later this week. However, plans are in full swing for next years production of Cinderalla.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Spiritual enlightenment

It's here! I can barely contain my excitement ... Grey Goose vodka has arrived in Ireland, and thanks to Edward Dillon & Company it will be more widely available than ever before. Did I mention it's the most gorgeous vodka in the world?

Last night two of my favourite drinks were the focus of a launch party hosted by Edward Dillon & Co., in the cool surroundings of the Blue Leaf Gallery, Pembroke Street. Bombay Sapphire gin and Grey Goose vodka are now being distributed by Dillons, who will surely do these sexy drinks justice. Sexy people enjoying said drinks were Francis Winston (who is back writing her ShowBitch column in The People), Fergal Breen, DJ Hugh Scully and Sarah - Jane English.

On hand to show us how it's done was Bombay Sapphire international mixoligist Jamie Walker, whose job it is to work with, mix and write about the premium spirit. You could call him a 'spiritual advisor'. I worshipped my Sapphire Rose cocktail in the Waterford Crystal glass.

After sampling the stylish drinks, grazing on the scrumptous food from Unique Dining and viewing the finalist of the Designer Glass Competition, we departed into the night. Goodie bags clinking with bottles of the good stuff, we retired to the Sky Bar @ The Clarendon.
Happy 4th Birthday

Congratulations to Trevor White and his team at The Dubliner magazine, who, last night, celebrated their 4th birthday. I remember the launch of The Dubliner. It was a time when new magazines in Ireland were like Conrad Gallagher restaurants - opening to much fanfare, but sinking without a trace. Magazines WHO and IQ were both born in the same year but are now a distant memory.

The chattering classes didn't think Trevor would succeed, but the easy confidence of the young entrepreneur was a force to be reckoned with. His monthly mix covers the arts, culture, dining, entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, music and more. It's a must have.

Last nights soireé was held in the trendy new Bia Bar on Drury Street. Enjoying Wolf Blass wines, Ketel One vodka and Haywards Indian Beer, the guests mused over the latest issue, which includes the Top 21 Places to Pickup. Three people who certainly don't need to consult that guide are theatre producer Bea Kelliher, writer and broadcaster Quentin Fottrell and PR Kelley Cousins, who were among the well wishers.

Question of the night: Which former couture model now makes a fortune by charging for his time?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

She rocks!

Brigette Nilson is in Dublin. Last seen shopping in Brown Thomas.
Roll out the red carpet

It's hard to believe that the Jameson Dublin International Film Frestival (try saying that after a few Jameson cocktails), is 3 years old already. How time does fly.

The event was launched last night in the cavernous Odeon Bar on Harcourt Street, with a crowd of hundreds assembled to hear the details of the 3rd festival. Michael Dwyer, the festival director (and film critic for The Irish Times), announced a programme of over 100 films, including a number of world premieres. Moving and shaking among the guests were FM104 presenter Taragh Loughrey - Grant, film producer Liz Kinsella and actor Alan Leech.

The festival opens on February 11th with the World Premiere of Pearse Elliott's The Mighty Celt, which stars Gillian Anderson and Robert Carlyle (who, rumour has it, are expected to attend). I'll be bringing you more news from the festival screenings and premieres as they happen, and, no doubt, gossip from the nightly festival club at the Mint Bar in the Westin Hotel.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Taking to the high seas

I ventured to Ocean bar and estaurant yesterday afternoon to view the new Timberland SS05 collection.
Modelling on the day were FMW Rosanna Davison and Ford Supermodel finalist Eoin Gill. The two globetrotters joined up with Timberland to help in with their ‘Make it better’ campaign for outdoor apparel.

The new Timberland menswear and womenswear collection takes its inspiration from the sea and the tropical jungles. Rosanna’s colours of the day reflected the jungle with highlights of carmine red, chicory, wisteria and lipstick matched with cool calming and refreshing tones of sugar, beach and sea foam. Menswear will reflect the natural tropical environment as Eoin demonstrated in colours of spicy vegetation, muddy banks, rainforest greens and river blues all of which are integral to this season’s collection.

The thing I love about Timberland, apart from the beautiful designs, is the modus operandi of the company. For an international, they sure know how to keep it local. A program that enables every single Timberland employee to devout time to local chariable and environmental issues plays a large part of the Timberland way of life. Their diverse range of sponsorship activities, such as the One Life yacht (which I was a guest on during Cork Week 2004), is also highly commendable.

Other multi-national brands should take a leaf out of the Timberland book.

Happy Australia Day!

To all my friends down under, including Elke Pascoe, Catherine Tierney, Deirdre Kerans, Benn Salier, Yvonne Smith and Leona Galligan.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Every cloud has a Silver lining

I received a very surprising text from my friend Tara O'Connor on Saturday night. Tara is a publicist fro Lillies Bordello, where she looks after the cubs VIPs and special guests. Not any more. She has left the club along with general manager Valerie Roe and hostess Elaine Roddy. You might remember that Lillies was recently taken over by Porterhouse owner Oliver Hughes, so I can only speculate that this is something to do with the mass exodus.

Don't worry though, the girls won't be joining the dole queue just yet. Tara O'Connor also runs Intrepid PR, which she set up a few years ago with Koo Donnolly, daughter of multi- millionaires Joe and Marie Donnelly. Koo has since left the the firm (she married Freddie Browne in a lavish ceremony last year), but Tara continues to attract big name clients such as Smirnoff and top designer Patrick Casey. Valerie and Elaine set up RoRo Management and together look after music groups. Their latest signing is boyband ZOO.

After digesting that shocking piece of information I ventured to the RDS on Sunday morning for the launch of the 2005 collection from Newbridge Silverware. As part of ShowCase Ireland, Newbridge unveiled their latest range with champagne, strawberries and chap playing a grand piano.

All the faces of Newbridge were there to lend a hand including singer and actress Samantha Mumba, Miss Ireland Natasha Nic Gairbheith, Rose of Tralee Orla O'Shea (who is off to Dubai next week), former Miss World (doesn't that sound strange?) Rosanna Davison and model and FMI Andrea Roche. I meant to ask Andrea about the TV campaign for bathroom tiles she is currently in, totally slipped my mind though.

Among the throng I also spotted beauty journalist Anne Boylan, Ireland AM editor Debbie O'Donnell with colleague Mary Irwine, MD of Newbridge William Doyle, former Rose Orla Tobin and Christina Moore of Looks One PR (who is leaving the firm to join fashion house Kalu).

Talking of people leaving, last night saw the last person leave the Big Brother house, with Bez winning CBB. It'll be interesting to see if he does anything with his new found popularity.

Question of the weekend: Which glamourous lady was seen clutching her goodie bag after a recent launch party? Nothing strange in that you might say, except that her husband is the owner of the company that hosted the bash. :-/

Friday, January 21, 2005

I can see clearly now

Henry Street is looking pretty snazzy these days, all sparkly and rejuvenated. One of it's newest residents is Vision Express, who launched their flagship store last night. Ever expanding, the optical specialists have built a state-of-the-art premises, which was designed by Parisian designer Shanna.

After the extensive tour I thought is would be rude not to take up the kind offer of an eye test, and I happy to report my peepers are in good nick. They have 100 different ways of testing your eyes with over 1000 frames to choose from, including Gucci, Prada and Karen Millen.

Enjoying the champagne, canapés and jazz tones were Mary Pace, vice president of Alain Mikli (the most fabulous eyewear), Tony Gregory T.D. and publicist Mary Crotty. I'll be back next week to pick out a pair of glasses, which store manager Olga Kearney assures me will not be a difficult task.

I've got my eye on a nice pair of Alain Mikli.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Feel the Love

That widely renowned French house of beauty products, Clarins, last night launch their first ever dedicated fragrance. Par Amour is their new scent which is going global, and already proving to be a big hit. Now, I always thought that Eau Dynamisante was a perfume, but was corrected last night. It's not a dedicated one. So there.

Among those at the champagne reception in the RHA Gallery were my good friend, the gorgeous Fidelma Kelly, style writer Leanne De Cerbo, Clarins Ireland boss Gerry Hickey and his son Luka, who is head of Bourgois Cosmetics Ireland.

As I stepped out into the cold and windy night I could smell Par Amour in the air, and for the briefest of moments I thought it was summer.

Later on in the evening i tried (again) to get a table at l'Gueleton. I've heard so many good things about this restaurant, but because they don't take reservations I have yet to sample the fare. I hope the day never comes that they rely on reservations. Anyway, I ventured across the road to The Market Bar and had the most amazing, inexpensive meal ever (not to be confused with an amazing expensive meal). I'll be back, as the Governor of California once said.

Question of the night: Who gate crashed the Clarins launch and sat front row, despite working for a rival company? The cheek!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

IMMA in 2005

The Juice presenter Taragh Loughrey - Grant and I have often let it be known our love for the Irish Museum of Modern Art, or IMMA for short, at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. I highly recommend a visit to this treasure trove. Maybe our recommendations are paying off, as according to Minister for Arts, Sports & Tourism Mr. John O'Donoghue T.D., last year was the busiest year in it's history, with over 350,000 visitors crossing it's hallow threshold.

Well, I was there again today for the launch of the 2005 program (which begins with one of the undoubted highlights of the year - the first large-scale exhibition in this country by the iconic American painter Jasper Johns, 9 February - 24 April). The reception was held in the beautiful surrounds of the Masters Quarters and the announcements were made by Minister O'Donoghue.

Among the events we can look forward to are the first exhibition in Ireland by the French artist Pierre Huyghe, New York artist Fred Tomaselli, three film works by Isaac Julian, one of Britain’s pre-eminent contemporary filmmakers and a major retrospective of the work of the much-loved Irish painter Tony O’Malley, now recognised as one of the leading Irish artists of his time, who died in 2003.

It is one of my favorite places to spend (a Summers!) evening, and if you've never been then you're missing out.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Le Weekend

Ah, adventurous as always. I believe the weekend should really begin on Thursday night, and so mine began with the charity dinner in Diep Le Shaker, off Pembroke Street. The amazing Thai restaurant hosted a benefit evening in aid of selected charities helping the tsunami relief. Owners Matthew and Julie Farrell and Paul Cadden laid on a feast fit for a king which was enjoyed by all, including Sharon Smurfit, PR babe Elizabeth Fitzpatrick and a rather fab looking Clodagh Kean, who seems to have bounced back after the recent split with husband Gerald (he was spotted over the holidays at Leopardstown with daughter Kirsten).

Friday night I was out with my good friend Deborah Allen, who is off to NYC in a few weeks. We called in Lillies for a cocktail, and I was surprised to see some changes have already been made since the recent take over. New security on the Member Bar door, with the addition of a new girl checking off names. I also hear that there has been a clamp down on complimentary admissions. No flies on new owner Oliver Hughes.

The remainder of the weekend is all abit of a blur, but I do recall being in Traffic with the lovely Judith Giltinane; attending going away drinks for Ross Golden - Bannon and John O'Driscoll, who went to Rwanda with Jean Butler and Cuan Hanly on a fact finding mission for the Christian Blind Mission, and dancing in Spirit with Gareth Gleeson.

Normal transmission has resumed.

Question of the weekend: Which busty TV totty recently spent the night with a bespecled former broadcaster? She was spotted leaving his hotel in the early hours of the morning and has since divulged the information to friends. Let's hope her boyfriend doesn't find out :-(

Thursday, January 13, 2005


It's that time of year when all the fashion houses showcase their SS05 collections (Spring / Summer 2005, for those not in the know!). This morning, en route to Facialworks for a body service, I called in to the Plunkett Communications offices (located in the old Patrick Guilbaud restaurant premises) to see the new offerings from Sasha. While there I bumped into Sive O'Brien, fashion editor of Image magazine, who looked gorgeous as always. We discussed the much anticipated opening of the new Dundrum Shopping Centre, slated for March 3rd (we think).

But I digress. A wide variety was on show with items such as long colourful floaty dresses and tops, tailored coats, funky knitwear and distressed jackets - all of which I have no doubt will be best sellers. Big colours include pink, lime green, bright blues and more sombre chocolate browns and off whites. I could just picture actress Orlaith Rafter, the face of Sasha, in every single item.

Go forth, girls, and shop.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Every little helps

Tesco hosted a lavish lunch today in the gorgeous Fádo restaurant, in the Mansion House. Just before lunch the firm presented a cheque for over €1 million to Childline, their nominated Charity of the Year 2004.

Among the stars attending a special photocall were Sharon Corr, Irish rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll, singer and actress Samantha Mumba (who has been quiet of late) and Corrie's Keith Duffy, who is still recovering from his recent knee injury. Also in attendance were TV presenter Kathryn Thomas (it's her voice you hear at Dublin Airport departures) and Hazel Kaneswaren, the flame haired You're A Star judge.

At the luncheon, 2fm's Gerry Ryan presented awards to deserving Tesco employees at a special ceremony.

Speaking of Childline, the annual Childline Cheerios Concert takes place on the 30th of January. Always a great event, if you haven't already booked your tickets then you better get a move on (if it's not already too late that is). That reminds me of the night, 2 years ago, that I went partying with a few friends after the concert, which I was covering for We didn't go to the official aftershow party in Cafe en Seine, but ended up in the Fitzwilliam Hotel with some of Westlife, Blue and S Club (remember them?) instead. The main door of the hotel was crowded with fans, so we all had to sneak out the back via the car park and walk down Grafton Street like some sort of marching parade, en route to Lillies. Very rock 'n roll.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Sincere apologies for not updating in a while - it's been a quiet week and I took the opportunity to rest and recoup in advance of the kick off. Not before the Irish premiere of Alexander though. On Thursday night the great and the good assembled in the Savoy for the gala screening (in aid of Our Lady's Hospice, Crumlin). A scruffy looking Colin Farrell, an elegant Angelina Jolie, a charismatic Val Kilmer and a business like Oliver Stone were all in attendance.

Colin, who arrived a little late, was en famile and his brother Eamon looked more of a movie star than he did. The fab four and their entourage left the screening shortly after it started and went for an intimate dinner in Derry Clarke's L'Ecrivain restaurant.

The after show party was held in Vicar Street (not exactly glam central, but the place was looking wonderful), and all the stars were there. Angelina and Val only stayed a short while, with Colin and Oliver lasting the pace.

Shunning the top nightspots, the place to be was the Four Seasons Hotel residents bar, where the party continued 'till the wee small hours.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

It's all quiet

The champagne corks have been popped, the canapés eaten and the good cheer is a distant memory. The festive season is over for another year. Although some people, and retailers in particular, insist on the '12 Days of Christmas' maxim, I must admit I'm not one of them and yearn for a return to normality.

It's quiet on the social scene. Party people are nursing hangovers and are exhausted after all the dancing, and who would blame them? I have always said that this time of year is perfect for a big launch party. Alas.

On hand to cheer me up last night was my ever-ready friend Sinead Ryan, who regaled me of her seasonal activities, and vice versa. Sinead spent NY with sister Afrik and about 38 other close friends in the rural sourrounds of Andrew Rudd's family estate. No worries about loud music there.

Question of the day: Which well-known wealthy publisher was spotted in Tesco Baggot Street stocking up on half price selection boxes?!

Saturday, January 01, 2005


Happy New Year to one and all from Cardiff.

Question of the day: Which former TV star turned broadcaster was feared missing in the horrific tsunami, but thankfully was not harmed?