independent.ie– This week I’m in Mary Poppins mode as I make a list of “my favourite things”. The growing list comprises all of the items I cannot wait to liberate from their winter hibernation, plus the items I’ve been stalking online for when we are out and about again.
The biggest jolt for me to go shopping online happened when I came across some suncream. The scent instantly triggered holiday memories and I happily fell into a daydream about summer, that cache of linens under the bed and when I could start wearing them again.
If soup is a hug in a bowl, then wearing linen has to be the ultimate soothing fashion friend. Top of my immediate purchase list will be a grey kimono in Irish linen from the very talented Alanagh Clegg of Four Threads.
“There is something about when you wrap both sides of the kimono over your front and cross your arms — it is quite comforting as a piece to wear,” says Alanagh.
Her linen kimono is inspired by the traditional Japanese design and she hand-sews them at her home in Co Kildare using linen spun by Emblem Weavers in Wexford.
Alanagh started her Four Threads design house during her graduate year at NCAD and also studied at the Grafton Academy of Tailoring in Dublin. The kimono is currently available in a pale grey priced at €420.
“I just like to wear it layered over my shirt and trousers, but some people need the belt and love a belt,” says Alanagh.
I’m smitten by this kimono because I think Alanagh has got the proportions just right — it’s not too short, it covers the bum and while the sleeves have a fullness, they are not so long and wide that they get caught on door handles, as is so often the case with this style of jacket.
In the next month or so, Alanagh will be launching an exciting new collection made in lightweight cottons from India. And in a new development, she is introducing print to her collection. The pieces are made in a multicolour cotton in very earthy, muted tones and they are all hand-dyed in India by the artisans she works with every year. The news that I couldn’t leave out is that the new collection includes a handsome long kimono.
I know from reader feedback that kimonos are hugely popular so, on that topic, can I point you to one of my favourite brands in this sector. It’s called One Hundred Stars and they have a beautiful range of screen-printed pieces. Their kimonos in different lengths are ideal for lounging but also highly suitable for wearing outside. Indeed, the prints on your back will attract constant compliments. My favourite is a collared style, and the print range is very extensive, from florals to a chic grey stork and very striking willow pattern.
For those of you feeling a little sad at not being able to travel just yet, check out their kimonos with maps of cities in different colourways and lengths. I’m sold on New York, Barcelona and Edinburgh. You will find a curated selection of certain styles of these kimonos at the shop in the National Gallery of Ireland on Merrion Square, Dublin, which hopefully will reopen soon.
Another retailer with cool kimono house coats is Marie Little’s A Store Is Born, a Saturday-only shop on Dublin’s Clarendon Street. Can’t wait for that to reopen, especially to zone in on her vintage cashmeres.
A collection to treasure
It’s hard to keep up with all of the new collections rolling out from H&M. Since I last wrote about it, it was confirmed that the forthcoming Simone Rocha collection will only be available online from March 11, and not in stores as originally planned.
The more immediate news is that the H&M Studio ‘Treasure Forever’ collection goes on sale on February 18 and I, for one, have my eyes firmly set on a coral-red dress costing €69.99 and gold tassel-front sandals priced €99. The collection was crafted, in the majority, from sustainably sourced materials, and other key pieces include a knitted sweater (€79.99), black dress (€129) and over-the-knee, vegan-leather black boots (€149.99).
This collection is set apart by its electric colour palette balanced by neutral tones of beige and black. Definitely worth getting out of bed early for. Set the alarm now. hm.com
I’ve had plenty of time to survey my wrists of late as I work all day at my keyboard. Like so many people, I don’t wear a watch anymore and I can’t wear bangles.
I found the ‘Amelia’ bar bracelet in 18kt rose gold vermeil and sterling silver, priced £120, at the Brilliant Inc website.
If you haven’t heard of it, this site is a diamond lover’s paradise. This brand has been something of a guilty pleasure for me since I discovered it.
It was started by two sisters from Cork and they have an exclusive collection of ethically grown, fine simulated diamonds and sparkling gemstones, which are used in earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces.
Big sellers for them at the moment are their stud earrings and “float” diamond pendant, which is, I suspect, a Zoom thing. The brand is also stocked at Brown Thomas in Dublin, which has a selection of 18 items on its website.