Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Specs Appeal

Spectacular: 1. Alison Canavan; 2. Grace Healy; 3. Mathew Emmett & Lisa Walsh. (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

Specsavers celebrated the announcement of Ireland’s Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2011 last night at the nation’s biggest annual spectacle fashion-fest. Grace Healy from Co. Mayo was crowned Ireland’s Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2011, as the country’s top specs-wearing style-setter finalists went head to head for the coveted title in a fashion event at the RHA Gallery.

The Specsavers team has been busy specs-spotting all summer across the country, searching for Ireland’s hottest specs wearers. Ten Irish hopefuls were shortlisted and went through to the national finals last night.

MC on the night, TV presenter Lisa Cannon, was on hand to introduce each of the finalists to the panel of judges as they took to the catwalk. The evening was a glamorous affair with all fashion provided by Dundrum Town Centre and make up by Zoe Clarke School of Make Up.

Judges making the all-important decisions included fashion photographer Lili Forberg, Irish Independent Fashion Editor Bairbre Power, Assets model agency representative Derek Daniels and Specsavers’ very own Sinead Clohessy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Taking Sanctuary: 1. Roisin Gilcrest &Orla Cleary; 2. Simon O’Riordan &Romy Carroll; 3. Kimberley Wrafter & Cyrila Whyte. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Dublin’s party people turned out in their droves this week for the official launch night of the new VIP area of Sanctuary Nightclub, on O'Connell Bridge. All eyes were on the VIP hostess and Assets model Kelly Donegan as she has been confirmed to star in up and reality show ‘Tallafornia’ which hits our screens in November – can’t wait!!

Kelly was joined on the night by her Assets pals Pamela Ryan and Fade Street star Cici Cavanagh while club DJs Al Gibbs and Ian Clarke kept the dance floor full all night.
Sanctuary opened its doors as part of a €2m refit of the building which also hosts sister cafe and cocktail bar Lafayette. The interior of the club is inspired by some of mainland Spain's hottest clubs from the likes of Marbella to Ibiza.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Less is More

To the Maxx: 1. Sonya Lennon & Brendan Courtney; 2. Niamh McCaul & Crede Sheehy-Kelly; 3. Nadia Forde & Courtney Smith. (Pix. Elevate)

The TK Maxx stores in St. Stephens Green and Swords Pavilions, Dublin went under construction recently and have been given a makeover in true fashionista style. The ‘all new’ labels-for-less stores are fit for a retail King and Queen and were unveiled at special events with ribbon cutting ceremonies attended to by special guests Nadia Forde, Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney.

To add to the delight, the first 1,000 customers in each of the stores received a €10 store giftcard to spend. There was lots of excitement and offers in each of the stores on the day including style tips for autumn winter from the Off The Rails duo along with stylist Courtney Smith. Professional artists from Make Up Forever were also on hand to provide customers with the latest, on-trend looks with free on-the-spot makeovers.

Commenting on the new-look store Helen Gunter, spokesperson for TK Maxx said: "We are truly elated to reveal the transformation of our stores in St. Stephens Green and Swords. You’ll still find the same wide choice of high street and designer fashion and accessories as low as 60% off the RRP. We hope you’ll also love the little touches we've added to create an even better shopping experience.”

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bright autumn ahead with TV3

TV Totty: 1. Lisa Cannon & Sinead Desmond; 2. Alan Hughes, Karen Koster, Colette Fitzpatrick & Ray Foley; 3. Finn McRedmond & Glenda Gilson. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

TV3 has announced its line up for autumn and at a launch event in the Royal College of Physicians, Kildare Street, the station previewed some very exciting new shows.

Programming Director Ben Frow revealed that four nights a week have juggernaut entertainment shows including the new Alan Hughes’ Family Fortunes, Mastermind Ireland, Deception with Keith Barry as well as Come Dine With Me Ireland which gets a celebrity version.

Simon Cowell’s new blockbuster Red or Black will be presented live by Ant and Dec across seven nights and we will see the return of Take Me Out hosted by Ray Foley. New Irish reality entertainment is led by four home productions Tallafornia, Tearaway Teen to Beauty Queen, Celebrity Salon 3 and Southside Housewives – no to be misses, I think you’ll agree.

The documentary line up is led by the three-part explosive story of The Rise and Fall of Fianna Fáil narrated by Ursula Halligan, and Sex Lives, a series of films that look at sex and the illegal sex industry in Ireland today. On a lighter note, there’s a fresh line-up of features in the schedule like Hen Parties, Paddies in Paradise, Give Adele a Bell , Strictly Irish Dancing, Ireland’s Disco Kids, Dejunk Your Life and Ireland’s Top Teens.

Those at the launch included Vincent Browne, Colette Fitzpatrick, Alan Hughes, Alan Cantwell, radio presenters Matt Cooper and Ray Foley, Twink (aka Adele in Give Adele a Bell), ex politician Nora Owen, Anton Savage, fashion queen Lisa Fitzpatrick, philanthropist Caroline Downey and the Xposé girls Lisa Cannon, Glenda Gilson, Karen Koster and Aisling O’Loughlin.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Copper Fans: 1. Jenny Kavanagh & Rob Ross; 2. Brian & Pippa Ormond; 3. John O 'Loughlin & Ciaran Hughes. (Pix. Richie Stokes)

Copper Face Jacks boomed at the weekend as the newly refurbished venue was officially launched after much anticipation to its loyal customers, celebrity followers and fans alike. VIP guests were treated to an extravagant end of summer party offering exactly what is says on the tin – good ol’ craic!

Burlesque girls, bongo players and fire eaters greeted guests and the sound of the Camembert Quartet belted out onto Harcourt Street. Coppers was decked out as you have never seen it before with festoon lighting, lanterns, palm trees and entertainment from one end of the venue to the other. Close up magicians wowed the crowd and a fully functional casino awaited party-goers as they entered the cocktail bar downstairs.

As generous as ever, owner Cathal Jackson had his guests’ spoilt with food and drink, among them Bernard Dunne, Alison Canavan, Michael O’Doherty, GAA stars Alan Brogan, Conor Mortimer and Kieran McGeeney as well as Today FM’s Mairead Farrell and Paul Collins.

The newly refurbished club has added to its already spacious setting with a new resident’s bar for hotel guests, the much anticipated VIP bar, which was designed with their loyal customers in mind and will have an open door policy until full and an out-door BBQ and Smoking Area. This no frills, no pretence venue has every reason to celebrate, having served a loyal customer base for over 15 years.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys: 1. Ray Foley & Alan Metcalf; 2. Romy Carroll; 3. Karl Shabaan & Audrey Hamilton. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Another hopeful summer block buster made its debut this week and a host of well known faces were there to see it. Cowboys & Aliens sees Daniel Craig in a departure from the suave undercover agent we have become so accustomed to.

Set in the New Mexico Territory of 1875, Craig is a mysterious gunslinger who drifts into the desert town of Absolution just in time to witness an invasion by marauding extraterrestrials. Harrison Ford plays Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde, a grizzled tyrant who rules Absolution with a whim of iron - but who needs the gunslinger's help in warding off the attack by unfriendly aliens. So far, so far out there.

Among the guests were radio presenters Ronan Collins, Joe Duffy and Ray Foley, Sinead Desmond and Martin King of TV3, Holly White, actor George McMahon and Xpose boss Debbie O’Donnell.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Who's Who

Hot: 1. Peter Devlin & Lorraine Keane; 2. Katy Gannon & Helen O’Dwyer; 3. Tony Fenton & Jane Chmara. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

The movers and shakers of the music industry filled the Chocolate Bar & Crawdaddy for the 2011 Hotpress Yearbook launch party, in association with Jameson. Stars and celebrities from the music and entertainment industries gathered to celebrate what is the biggest ever Yearbook– at a whopping 332 pages! – and to check out some of the hottest talent in Ireland today.

Long-time Hot Press favourites and recent EMI signings Pugwash provided the entertainment, supported by Irish acts The Riptide Movement and Sounds Of System Breakdown. Guest were treated to food from Diep Le Shaker, refreshing Jameson mixed drinks along with magicians, fire breathers and a poi performer!

Rocking out for the night were Philomena Lynott with Hot Press founder Niall Stokes, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Danny O’Reilly and Graham Knox from The Corona’s, Sarah Jane Wai from Dirty Epics, Today FM’s Tony Fenton, Michelle Doherty and Peter Devlin with wife Lorraine Keane.

Hot Press Editor Niall Stokes talks of the ever-changing music industry: "Everyone in music is wondering what the new paradigm is going to be, how musicians can make a living from their art, and how the business that owes its living to them will reshape itself. Well, there are some things that still hold true. Those artists who set about their task knowing that the road is a hard one, who make the commitment to giving it their all, and who work together as a unit - with their fellow musicians, management and mentors - are that much more likely to survive and thrive."

The Hot Press Yearbook has been described as 'the bible' by a plethora of the industry's most influential figures, including Louis Walsh, Dave Fanning, Tom Dunne, Eleanor McEvoy, RTE producer Ian Wilson – and many more.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Grease is the Word

Summer Lovin’: 1. Melanie McDermott and Michelle McDermott; 2. Diarmuid Gavin and daughter Eppie Gavin; 3. Jenny Buckley and Claudine Vavasseur. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

There was a huge media presence at the Grand Canal Theatre for the opening night of Grease the Musical in which Mary Byrne of X Factor fame plays Teen Angel. Alas it wasn’t just Mary that the press was there to see, but Gay Byrne, who attended with his wife Kathleen Watkins. Good old Gaybo enjoyed a few weeks back in the limelight as he toyed with the idea of running for the presidency. Normal service has now resumed.

There was a hive of activity in the foyer before the show with many first nighters arriving in their leather jackets and pink bobby socks, in keeping with the 60s theme of the show. Among the guests were Harry Crosbie, Joe Duffy, Derek Mooney, Diarmuid Gavin, Elaine Crowle and Alan Hughes and his partner Karl Broderick who are busy prepping for their big wedding next month.

This West End musical has been a hit all over the world and runs at the GCT until August 27th.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cult Film Club

Cult Following: 1. Mike Mulcahy & Tommy Bowe; 2. Fiona Lynch, Kate McCarthy & Paula Reynolds; 3. Kamal Ibrahim & Donna McGarry. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

The Jameson Cult Film Club returned to Dublin with an unforgettable screening of Snatch at the Tivoli Theatre, this event follows on from the highly successful screening of The Usual Suspects in February, with special guest Kevin Spacey.

The Tivoli was transformed into a series of sets from the film; including an open trailer park outside and a boxing ring inside as characters from the movie greeted guests and re-enacted famous scenes from the movie live on stage. Throughout the screening, live theatre, props and staging transported the audience into the world of a London Gangster, creating an electric atmosphere in the venue.

DJ Aidan Kelly then took to the decks to entertain guests with an eclectic mix of music while comedian and magician Steve Spade dazzled guests with some amazing stunts. Guests were also treated to ‘Micky O’Neill’ burgers and ‘Turkish’ sausages from the Wright Catering Co. while enjoying the refreshing Jameson Whiskey Sour cocktails.

Enjoying the Jameson Cult Film Club Experience were celebrity ICA Bootcamp participants Eva Orsmond and Emma Jane Quinlan, Mr World Kamal Ibrahim who flew in from London especially for the event, Irish actor Kevin J Ryan, who will shortly be shooting a movie in Galway with Patrick Bergin, rugby stars Tommy Bowe and Thomas O’Leary along with actor/model Shane Lennon, while TV presenters Liam McCormack, Michael Hayes and Lottie Ryan were also seen enjoying the evening.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Miss Ireland 2011

Long live the Miss: Manners Oshafi & Emma Waldron; 2. Sophie Anderton & winner Holly Carpenter; 3. Elaine Butler Doolin, Laura Bermingham & Debbie O’Donnell. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Miss University Holly Carpenter was crowned Miss Ireland 2011 in association with Aspire (it’s a calorie burning soft drink, dontcha know) at a gala ceremony. Holly, who was chosen by the After Dark team, is no stranger to the social scene and indeed is a granddaughter of the late gossip columnist Terry Keane.

First runner up was Rebecca Maguire and second runner up was Aisling Alcock. The sparkling highly choreographed show featured stunning fashion showcases and an eclectic mix of music and entertainment. The event was an impressive production with celebrity hosts Sinead Desmond from TV3s Ireland AM and Q102’s Ray Shah.

Heats ran all over the country to find contestants from each county with beauty, poise and personality to take part in the forthcoming Miss Ireland 2011 competition. Miss Ireland 2011 will then go on to represent Ireland in the Miss World Pageant which takes place in London on November 8th.

Guests on the night included Miss Ireland 2010 Emma Waldron, new band Element just back from XFactor UK, Celia Holman Lee, Cathy O Connor, models Tiffany Stanley, Hazel O’Sullivan and Nadia Forde, TV3 hosts Alan Hughes and Andrea Hayes on her first outing since becoming a new mum and her husband Dave Torpey.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 Awards

Beauties: 1. Annemaire Sexton & Claire Shanahan; 2. Aisling McDermott, Karen Koster & Kirstie McDermott; 3. Roisin Ni Mhordha & Jedda Downey. (Pix. Leon Farrell / Photocall)

The Best in Awards 2011 in association with West Coast Cooler saw an unprecedented voting for a variety of favourite health and beauty products. Created by the girls at & Aisling McDermott) these are beauty awards as voted for by readers.

Winners were unveiled at a sparkling West Coast Cooler reception in Dublin’s stylish Dylan hotel with an exhausting 48 categories. Guests enjoyed savoury and sweet canapés served alongside the three varietals of West Coast Cooler: Original, Rosé and the latest edition to the collection Citra.

Among those there on the night were MC Karen Koster, actress Norma Sheehan and Roisin Tierney Crowe from L'Oreal. Emma Donnellan, Marketing Director at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard said, “Our West Coast Cooler fans have very discerning tastes and it would seem that their tastes are particularly discerning when it comes to their beauty products. provides an invaluable forum for Irish Beauty fans and we are delighted to be associated with the Best in 2011 Awards.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Best of the Rest

Well there’s been a plethora of summer events boasting best dressed competitions of late and here are a couple of the winners, as judged by a host of Ireland’s foremost fashion experts (so who am I to contradict?)...

The winner of the Anthony Ryan’s Best Dressed Lady Competition on Ladies Day at the Galway Races was 1. Suzanne McGarry from Sligo. Ms. McGarry wore a red vintage dress, accessorized with a Lina Stein designed dome shaped cream and black hat embellished with pearls and handmade silk roses; 2. Over at the RDS Horse Show Yvette Byrne (23) from Carlow won the best dressed lady competition sponsored by Blossom Hill; 3. Meanwhile IMAGE editrix Melanie Morris and beauty guru Triona McCarthy show them how it’s done as they wear head pieces from Michael Leong and Designs by Shimmer respectively.

(Pix: Andrew Downes / Paul Sherwood)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Carton House comes to BT

Café Society: 1. Hilda O’Connor & Lorraine Keane; 2. Julie Feeney; 3. Mark Limby & Audrey Owens. (Pix. Alan Rowlette)

Carton House officially opened the doors of Dublin’s newest café – Browns Bar & Café by Carton House – at Brown Thomas department store.

Cathal Kavanagh, executive chef and creative mind in the kitchen at Carton House has chosen a selection of some of the most popular and mouth-watering dishes from Carton House for the new menu along with a wide range of coffees created by the Carton House barista.

The café, on the lower ground floor, will also sell products from the gourmet Carton House food range such as dressings, sauces and seasonal offerings including Christmas and Valentine’s Day products.

Soulful Irish singer-composer Julie Feeney hosted the intimate evening of music in the new bar and eatery. Among the guests spotted enjoying the stylish get-together were Lorraine Keane, designer Heidi Higgins, Sean Munsanje, Alison Lawless, Deirdre O’Brien and Ray Foley.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Yes Captain: 1. Aoibheann McCaul & Aoibheann Garrihy; 2. Carl Shaaban & Audrey Hamilton; 3. Lorraine & Leon Stafford. (Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Captain America: The First Avenger had its much anticipated Irish premiere at Cineworld Cinemas in Dublin. Starring Chris Evans and directed by Joe Johnston, Captain America: The First Avenger grossed an estimated $65.8 million at the US box-office on its first weekend of release, smashing into the No. 1 spot.

Attending the special Dublin premiere were Karla Elliott, Hayley Rock, Fergus Kealey, Andrew Rice of Bvld, George McMahon, Pippa O’Connor and Brian Ormond, James O’Neill of Bitches with Wolves, Kristi Kuudiism and a whole host of Marvel comic fans.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Launch of Absolut Fringe

Fringe Benefits: 1. Natalie Radmall Quirke & Sara Jane Quigley; 2. Helen McNulty, Richard Walsh, Martin Sharry & Anna Wolfe; 3. Niamh McCann & Nyree Yergainharsian.
(Pix. Brian McEvoy)

Over 1000 fans of art, music, comedy, performance and theatre descend on the ‘Top Of The Town’ in Parnell Square for the launch of ABSOLUT Fringe which takes place from the 10th to 25th September 2011.

ABSOLUT Fringe runs city-wide throughout Dublin this September showcasing the freshest theatre, live gigs and performances, with 90 artists and companies presenting 460 performances of nearly 100 events spanning theatre, dance, music, live and visual arts in 40 venues across Dublin. This skillfully curated festival programme will provoke, amuse, astound, enrage, inspire, entertain and defy all expectations.

Among the eclectic mix of guests were Director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan OBE, Savage Eye star Sonya Kelly, RTE’s Aoibhin Garrihy & Liana O’Cleirigh, Una Carmody, Chairperson of the Festival Board of Directors, Emma Donnellan of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard and festival director Róise Goan.

With ticket prices starting at just €3 and never exceeding €20 (for a single ticket), ABSOLUT Fringe 2011 from September 10 – 25 will make you braver, stronger and your world a much happier place to be in.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Horrible Bosses

Lovely Bosses: 1. Andrea Roche; 2. Izabella Chudzicka; 3. Jenny Kavanagh.
(Pix. Brian McEvoy)

The Irish premiere screening of Horrible Bosses took place at Cineworld in the Parnell Centre, Dublin recently and was well attended by fans of funny.

The main plot follows three who decide to murder their respective overbearing, abusive bosses (portrayed by Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell) who they believe are standing in the way of their happiness. Horrible Bosses exceeded financial expectations upon release, accruing over $28 million in the first 3 days of release to make it the #2 film in the United States during its opening weekend.

Among the guest were Jenny Buckley, Izabella Chudzicka, Andrea Roche and boyfriend Rob White, actress Jenny Kavanagh and Sinead Kennedy of RTE. Colin Farrell’s mother Rita was also there (with son in law Stephen Mannion) to check out his latest role and was probably as surprised as everyone else by it!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dublin Fashion Festival

Fashion City: 1. Barbara Keatley and SJ Wai; 2. Jules Fallon, Constance Harris & Sonya Lennon; 3. Courtney Smith and Lee Malone. (Pix. Richie Stokes)

The style squad descended on The Westin hotel for the launch of the 2011 Dublin Fashion Festival, which takes place from 8th to 11th September 2011.

Over the course of the festival weekend, stores will be transformed into a playground for fashionistas who can enjoy a whole host of fun fashion activities (such as complimentary personal shopping services and makeovers, hair and make-up demos, live DJs in stores, special discounts and style advice services) throughout participating stores.

Hosted by this year’s Face of the Festival, the ever stylish Sonya Lennon, the Dublin Fashion Festival is the brainchild of Dublin city Business Improvement District (BID) which represents over 2,500 businesses in the city centre.