Wearing your beliefs for social justice

Referendum inspiring designers to become fashion activists for this generation

Fashion activism is nothing new; the mini skirt was a defiant statement of its time, and the slogan t-shirt has been a political tool since its inception. Repeal sweatshirts are one of the most controversial items of the moment but they are not the only items popping up ahead of the upcoming referendum.

Stacey Grant-Canham, originally from Ballinacurra Gardens, completed a degree in fashion at LSAD before doing a MA at Kingston University in London. She now works as a lecturer teaching fashion design in Cardiff and in her spare time runs her design led lifestyle brand, Black & Beech.

Stacey explained, “During my maternity leave period in 2017, I started Black & Beech from my kitchen table selling teething jewellery that mums can wear and babies can fiddle and play with, whilst breastfeeding, being worn in a sling, or whenever baby needs a distraction. Following Brexit I became a bit more political with the brand and this was cemented with the re-election of the Torys and Donald Trump in the US. Continue reading

Ireland’s first international fashion design star

Hunt Museum presents innovative career of renowned Irish fashion designer

The Hunt Museum has curated a new exhibition from its collection of Sybil Connolly clothing, sketchbooks, swatches, glass and ceramics to explore her trailblazing design career in a new presentation entitled ‘Sybil’.

Connolly is regarded as Ireland’s first international fashion design icon. She used tweed, crochet and lace in vibrant colours and interesting silhouettes in her work with pleated linen her trademark. In 1953, her full-length red cape and white crochet dress was on the cover of Life Magazine, accompanied by the caption ‘Irish Invade Fashion World’.

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RIP Dolores, modern style icon

The superstar powerhouse who always stayed through to her own individual style

Limerick and the world said goodbye this week to iconic singer, and The Cranberries front woman, Dolores O’Riordan, from Ballybricken. Musical tributes have poured in from across the world of entertainment, but the fashion stage too has lost a pioneering soul.

Anyone growing up in Limerick in the 90s understood exactly where Dolores’ style came from originally. Grunge with a touch of punk, a big dab of goth and a hint of mod (all influences to be found at Quinn’s Pub on Ellen Street on any given weekend or later on in Termites, and other such establishments catering to the alternative youth at the time) crafting a bold look that she would develop into her own style and carry around the world. Continue reading

New Director announced for The Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum has issued the press release below announcing the appointment of their new Director. It’s a very exciting time for the Museum and Dr Cousins sounds like a fantastic addition to the cultural sector in our region. I look forward to seeing the further development of the Museum under her directorship.

The Board of the Hunt Museum is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Jill Cousins as Director and CEO of the Museum.

Dr Jill Cousins joins the Hunt with over 10 years of involvement in the European cultural heritage sector as the Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation, which she created from a project idea with 4 people to an operational service with 62 persons across 4 European offices. Funded, by the European Commission and the Ministries of Culture across Europe, Jill has worked with cultural heritage organisations across Europe to increase the use and visibility of their collections in education, research, creative industry and towards the general public. She has extensive business development experience and has previously worked in the publishing, event, marketing and information industries. Continue reading

Dressing soldiers worldwide, Limerick Clothing Factory

History of Limerick Clothing Factory, one of the largest clothing factories in Europe

Written by well known local historian Sharon Slater, and edited by Dr. Matthew Potter and Jacqui Hayes, new book ‘A Stitch In Time’ chronicles the history of the Limerick Clothing Factory.

A young Scottish man, Sir Peter Tait, founded the Limerick Clothing Factory in 1853. It became one of the largest clothing factories in Europe, supplying army clothing throughout the world. The factory had contributed to Tait’s rise in popularity locally. He became the Mayor of Limerick for three consecutive years and had a clock erected in his honour. Continue reading

De-stress and take a moment…

Christmas is a stressful time, learning to manage daily stress is a priceless life skill

Mindfulness is something we hear a lot about it seems these days, but do many of us actually know what it means? Do we take mindful moments? Well, one Limerick lady has created a set of ‘flash cards for grown-ups’ to encourage us to do just that. MoMe cards are all about moments for me. They are created by Niamh McMahon, a well-known graphic designer based in Limerick.

“One invaluable lesson I have learned is that life is moving quickly and sometimes we all need to slow down. Recognizing the need to slow down is crucial. Learning how to is the hard part.” Niamh explains. Continue reading

Inaugural I.NY festival launched

An exciting national festival has been announced for Limerick, this time celebrating the relationship between Ireland and New York – here’s the press release:

Designer Orla Kiely, David Bowie’s musical director Gerry Leonard, director of The New Yorker Festival Rhonda Sherman and Oscar-winner Glen Hansard will appear at the inaugural I.NY festival in Limerick, Ireland. The I.NY festival takes place from Oct 5-15 and will explore and celebrate the relationship between Ireland and New York.

Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey launched the inaugural I.NY Festival under the watchful eye of Irish writer Brendan Behan ‘The King of New York’ in Dublin

Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey launched the inaugural I.NY Festival under the watchful eye of Irish writer Brendan Behan ‘The King of New York’ in Dublin

Other confirmed artists and participants include  Kathryn Lloyd  (Lower East Side Tenement Museum), Tim O’Connor  (former New York Consul General), musician  Damien Dempsey, Chris Byrne  (Black 47), Dermott Rowan (MD of Kiely Rowan), Qool DJ Marv (producer and DJ for HBO and Soho House New York), Dara O’Cinneide (All-Ireland winning footballer & broadcaster) and Diarmuid Lyng (former All-Star hurler & broadcaster), Mary Leonard (graphic designer),  Aidan Kelly (photographer) and club nights Sunday Times and Mother.

The festival also features: The Annie Moore Talks series inviting guest speakers from Ireland and New York to explore a range of topics from architecture to immigration; the diaspora-focused  I.NY  Gathering  hosted in Dromoland Castle; the I.NY Symposium on Creative Education in the University of Limerick; and the  I.NY Festival Club  featuring some of Ireland and New York’s most renowned DJs, producers and promoters. The I.NY festival will see participation and exhibition from New York partners including the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Ellis Island with further announcements in the coming weeks.

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‘Urban Food Fest’ opening event of Pigtown Food & Culture Series

I’m very excited to be bringing Urban Food Fest back for 2017, it’s a lot of work for us but I know it’ll be so worth it come September 1st! Here’s the release we issued with all the details. One of those beautiful children is mine too! >>>

Pigtown Urban Food Fest at the Milk Market on Friday evening September 1st is the opening event of the Pigtown Food & Culture Series, a two-month long celebration of Limerick’s pig heritage with food, cultural and family events. See pigtown.ie for full listings.

22.08.17 Launching the Pigtown Food & Culture Series opening event Urban Food Fest at the Limerick Milk Market were, Chloe Harper (7), Annacotty, Edon O’Brien (3), Caherdavin and Charley Harper. (10), Annacotty Limerick. Picture: Alan Place

Following its enormous success last year, when an unprecedented 6,000 people turned out for the event ran by Limerick Food Group, Urban Food Fest will once again transform the historic Limerick Milk Market into a street food mecca as local producers, market traders, restaurants, and hotels come together for a unique Limerick food event. This time it’s a ‘Pigtown edition’ to celebrate the start of the Pigtown Culture & Food Series. Continue reading

Going the whole hog – Limerick’s Pigtown Food Series

I’ve been working on something very exciting with the Limerick Food Group, here’s the announcement release with all the info. I did the design work on this too, have to say I’m very happy with my Pigtown logo! >>>

This autumn, the Pigtown Food Series is taking over Limerick in an exciting celebration of Limerick’s Food Culture. Inspired by the history of Limerick’s famous bacon industry, the ‘Pigtown Culture and Food Series’ is an exciting new programme of themed events happening in September and October 2017 in Limerick.

Ruth Guiry, author of ‘Pigtown, A History of Limerick’s Bacon Industry’ at the launch of the Pigtown Culture and Food Series held at the Milk Market, Limerick. Picture Sean Curtin True Media.

Developed by the Limerick Food Group and supported by Fáilte Ireland, the series will focus on Limerick’s unique heritage as a way to showcase the great food available locally, building on their deep-rooted food heritage. Continue reading

The Hunt Museum Gala Fundraising Dinner with Private Preview of The Hunt’s Summer Exhibition

I’m involved behind the scenes for The Hunt Museum Gala Black Tie Dinner on Thursday June 1st 2017 in association with The Savoy Hotel. If you would like to join us at the event please get in touch! Below are more details and photos from the launch…

On the evening of June 1st, a Private Preview of ‘Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry: Contrasting Visions of Ireland’ exhibition with drinks reception will take place at The Hunt Museum from 6pm, followed by The Hunt Museum Gala Dinner at The Savoy Hotel from 7.30pm.

The hotel will present a sumptuous six-course menu of seasonal and local delights, and the evening includes an auction and other surprises. Tickets per person cost €150 for the Gala Dinner, and €250 for Gala Dinner plus Private Preview of the exhibition. Proceeds raised will go to The Hunt Museum Education and Community Engagement Programmes. Continue reading

Summer at The Hunt Museum – Contrasting Visions of Ireland: Jack B. Yeats & Paul Henry

I’m thrilled to be working with The Hunt Museum on their summer exhibition which we launched today. Here’s the press release with images from the launch and a short video which tells you all about it (you may spot my little Ollie in there!)

Dom Mark Patrick Hederman of Glenstal Abbey, was guest speaker at The Hunt Museum to announce details of an exciting exhibition taking place over the summer months: Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry: Contrasting Visions of Ireland.

This unique exhibition features two of Ireland’s most important 20th century artists side by side. Featuring rarely seen paintings borrowed from mostly private collections, this unique event will encourage visitors to see Ireland through the eyes of two very different artists working before, during and after the establishment of the Irish Free State.

Billed to be a show of both national and international significance, the exhibition will feature 50 works, many of which are normally unavailable for public viewing, and brings together a collection drawn from private and public collections including works from the European Investment Bank Collection in Luxembourg.

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Placenta Encapsulation – Placenta pills for better mom health

I got a lot of interest when I posted this on my Facebook/Instagram so I thought I’d share here too:

My nutrient rich post natal daily pill, custom designed by my body for me, Placenta Encapsulation benefits include better energy and iron levels, helps milk supply and to balance hormones, and helps to reduce stress levels (tell that to my 3 year old 😉).

It assists in repairing the uterus and placenta wound and is said to have been used in Chinese medicine since the 1500s.

In nature, animals in the wild consume their placenta after giving birth, they instinctively know what’s good for them. Continue reading

Exhibition celebrating designer John McNamara

Limerick’s John McNamara to be remembered in an exhibition and student design award

john mc namara designs from the mid 90s

An exhibition to celebrate some of the outstanding fashion creations of the late Limerick fashion designer John Mc Namara will take place at the Hunt Museum for three weeks commencing Thursday, April 6 running until Sunday, April 30.

From South Circular Road in Limerick, John graduated in fashion from the Grafton Academy Dublin and Kingston University London and was regarded as one of Ireland’s most talented designers with an eye for glamour and tailoring. John worked with fashion supremo Ib Jorgenson in Dublin for many years, and then returned to his native Limerick where he set up his own workshop. His many clients included President Mary Robinson who commissioned John to design one of her inauguration outfits. John passed away in 2015 after a short illness while only in his late fifties. Continue reading

Making it easy for A Bride Abroad

Wedding planner Ciara Jørgensen takes the hard work out of planning the big day

Originally from Parteen and now based in Killaloe, Ciara Jørgensen (née Lawler) is owner of ‘A Bride Abroad’, a business she launched just over a year ago as a unique service for Irish brides living abroad who want to plan their dream wedding at home.

Mum of two, Ciara created A Bride Abroad as a service to support Irish brides in planning their big day from foreign shores. She seamlessly manages all the logistics with local Irish suppliers that are involved in organising an exceptional wedding event. Continue reading

Nursing moms’ wardrobe dilemmas

With a few adjustments, it is possible to have a stylish wardrobe while breastfeeding…

While pregnancy can be a challenging time for your wardrobe, at least there are lots of options out there to choose from. From loose fitting and flowing garments to stretchy pieces showing off your baby bump, there is a world of stylish choices for all budgets. Breastfeeding, on the other hand, is a different matter. Access is the main focus here, and there are lots of cleverly designed tops available in nursing ranges allowing discreet access without too much fuss. While these ranges get top marks for function, they can often be lacking however, when it comes to feeling some bit stylish on a day to day basis.

breastfeeding-clothes

Baby will need access on demand so the last thing you need is high closed necklines, long items to lift right up, or too many layers to get through. Casual wear like T-shirt style tops, hoodies and button-down-shoulder knit sweaters are generally what’s available and this could be your prescribed wardrobe for at least baby’s first six months unless you get creative and come up with a few other options. Continue reading

I’ve been busy!

I have some very happy news to share – meet the new addition to our household, baby Ollie!

Thank you to the wonderful midwives and staff at UMHL for looking after us so well. Particularly to the girls on ward M1 especially Jenny (best of luck in Middlesbrough), Emma and Liz, and to Prof Cotter of course.