I fell in love with Amy Anderson’s Kindred of Ireland linen pieces when I discovered her shop while on vacation in Belfast. Flooded with natural light, it almost looks like an art gallery, where colorful linens invite you to step closer to see the finer details, from frills to unusual finishes.
nderson’s point of difference is his enterprising use of beetle linen, which is a very old technique where fabric made from linen is hammered, and this releases oils, so that this heritage fabric is left with a brilliant sheen resembling almost to paper leather.
I admit, I’m completely intrigued, and once you smell it, and see how the light plays on the fabric, your head will be spinning. Mine certainly was, which is why Anderson was one of the designers I named one of my “to watch” back in January.
And you don’t have to go to Belfast to see her at work up close because, this week, Anderson’s new summer collection makes its Dublin debut, where it goes on sale at CREATE at Brown Thomas on Tuesday. .
The range includes blouses, dresses and coats ranging from €215 to €900, and the star of the show is the candy pink ‘Camille’ ruffled linen dress, which can be worn three ways.
“Wear the ruffled high neck in the front, or you can flip it around and wear it as a wrap dress with a ‘V’ neckline, or you can wear it open like a coat, which is kind of the way I wear mine mostly, and it’s pretty cool as a coat thrown over jeans and a t-shirt,” Anderson says.
Best-selling from the SS22 collection, the ‘Camille’ costs €380 and also comes in a dark navy colourway.
Another star of Kindred of Ireland’s offering is the chocolate brown ladybug linen ‘Paper Bag’ dress (€460), and Anderson has also used her signature ladybug linen in coats like the oversized ‘Cloud’, which comes in in black, or taupe, while his reversible Mallon blazer-style coat is a clever wardrobe staple, available in navy and black.
“I think beetle linen is what makes Kindred really unique, and I want to develop it more in the winter, because that’s what sets it apart and it’s a really fun fabric,” says Anderson.
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She is one of 27 designers chosen by Shelly Corkery, fashion buying director at Brown Thomas, to be part of the showcase, which runs in the Grafton Street store until August 15.
Now in its 12th year, the showcase introduces many visitors to the best Irish talent and provides invaluable access to customers. Rachel Maguire’s Rashhiiid makes its debut and established knitwear brand IrelandsEye will unveil its envisioned knits, including striped shorts.
I expect to see a lot of fangirls around Angela Scanlon, who is on a roll right now, with her great TV work, her podcast, and her bestselling book.
Scanlon’s FRKL range of jewelery has been a huge hit online so far, so it will be nice to get the chance to see their pretty charms and try on their necklaces, like the 18k gold plated chain necklace mega ‘The One’ and the pearl and gold choker, both €175.
The big news is that Scanlon will be launching their new silver coins. The Orion mini charm (€35) and the mega charm (€45) can be worn with silver mini hoops (€45) and midi hoops (€55).
If you’re a rocker with a penchant for studded leather jackets, take a look at Sara O’Neill’s luxurious hand-painted ‘Children of Lir’ leather jacket with Victorian medallion (€3,000). ‘Eadach.
Earlier this year I wrote about O’Neill’s Art Deco-style ‘Dreamer’ print, which is a poignant tribute to the ‘Millies’, Belfast’s hard-working laundry workers. This week, O’Neill will present its Millies in Dublin, and the pieces, including a sublime wrap dress with leather belt (€600).
O’Neill’s immersion in history in this print project has been immense, and for his shoot last week, O’Neill brought his pieces to the floor of a former linen factory, where the Millies were working. brownthomas.com
At a time when so many British brands have left the Irish high street and gone online, it’s interesting to see one investing more customer-facing opportunities here.
Three years after opening its first Irish store in Clonakilty, Co Cork, Seasalt Cornwall has opened a second store, on Bridge Street in Westport. The company says it was drawn to the town of Co Mayo’s vibrant character, stunning coastline and laid-back lifestyle.
As the name suggests, there are plenty of coastal influences in this family brand. If you’re a fan of Breton stripes like me, there are plenty of options in soft and pleasant colours, such as the teal sailor top (€33) which comes in sizes 6 to 28. It will look great paired with shorts in Fieldscape linen (€70), available in sizes 10-18. seasaltcornwall.com