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Byram's buzzing at fashion fest launch
Amanda Byram was unveiled as the face of this year’s Dublin Fashion Festival in the Westin Hotel on Wednesday evening. After acting as compere at a fashion show that featured various shops throughout Dublin, she revealed she is working on some of her own fashion designs.
“The next step for me is to try and deliver a brand,” she said. “I am in talks with various stores at the moment.”
The Total Wipeout presenter broke up with her fiance, Australian rugby player Craig McMullen, last year.
“I’m single and I’m happy and happy to be single,” she told me.
Her role as the face of the festival is “to come back and instil in people how important it is to get the footfall back in Dublin”.
The former model said she had the best of times modelling in Dublin.
“I used to hang around town having a good time. It’s time to get that buzz back again, and in the recession it’s important that we drum that business back into Dublin.”
She has just completed filming The Angel for Sky 1 and another series of Total Wipeout, which airs the middle of next month.
She is heading back to LA tomorrow but will return for the festival, which runs from September 6th-9th.
Who we spottedpresenter Brendan Courtney; Layla Flaherty from Desperate Scousewives; Michelle Doherty; Lost Society’s Eileen Denham
What we ateMini shepherd’s pie and mini cones
What we drankPeroni beer
What we heardGasps, as a model missed her step
She's single, but still a picture of wedded bliss in 'Suburbia'
Model Irma Mali recently split from her boyfriend, Danny O’Donoghue of The Script, but it doesn’t seem to be getting her down. She mimics Lady Godiva, albeit with a strategically placed shawl, on the cover of the Suburbia Weddings Magazine, which was launched on Tuesday evening at Fallon Byrne.
Lady Godiva is not the only re-enactment in the magazine, published and edited by Edward Smith. Models re-enact some famous paintings, including Frederic William Burton’s Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs, and Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Paolo Veronese’s The Wedding Feast at Cana may have been more apt, since the crowd at the launch party turned out to be three times larger than expected. Smith ran out of champagne and had to go to a nearby shop to pick up several bottles of prosecco.
Niall O’Farrell told me Blacktie is celebrating 25 years in business this year. O’Farrell, a dragon on Dragons’ Den, is back on the shop floor. “We’ve upped our game and I’m back driving around the shops,” he said.
Writer, model and beauty therapist, Anne Boylan, said she’s half expecting to be asked to pose as a mother of the bride in the next issue.
Who we spottedRoz Flanagan of Dublin Housewives; writer Gerry Stembridge
What we drankChampagne
What we ateCupcakes
Wilde shades of grey at the Gate
It was 50 shades of grey in Parnell Square at the Gate’s A Woman of No Importance. The director of the play, Patrick Mason, told me it was 28 years to the day since a production of A Woman of No Importance opened at the Gate – in July of 1984. He decided on a darker reading of the Oscar Wilde classic, which gave fashion designer Peter O’Brien the idea to use various shades of grey for most of the women’s dresses.
The dresses got the thumbs-up from singer and actress Andrea Corr, who took a night off from minding her three-month-old daughter, Jean. Corr, who is married to Dermot Desmond’s son, Brett, told me her daughter – named after Andrea’s mother – is taking up all of her time. The new mum, who played the lead role in Jane Eyre at the Gate, in 2010, mingled with Mason and president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, solicitor Ivor Fitzpatrick and James Murphy, who plays the role of Gerald Arbuthnot.
Michael James Ford, a veteran actor at the Gate who plays the role of Mr Kelvil MP, said he was worried his moustache was going to fall off during the second act.
Gabriel Byrne arrived early, left early and refused to pose for photographers. The actor Eleanor Methven, who has just finished starring in Tom Murphy’s The House at the Abbey, said she is preparing for Macbeth, which will open in the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, in the autumn and will be directed by Lynne Parker.
Who we spotted: Set designer Eileen Diss, whom Peter O’Brien referred to as “the most important woman here”; Lorraine Keane; Kevin and Rose Kelly; artist Bernadette Madden; art historian Dr Éimear O’Connor; stylist Catherine Condell.
And they're off to the Horse Show
At the official launch of the Dublin Horse Show on Thursday afternoon, model Nadia Forde told me she used to horse ride when she was younger. She just finished filming Celebrity Salon last week, which will be broadcast on TV3 in September. She is getting used to the small screen and has also just shot a short music video for the rapper Sway DaSafo. “I played the love interest,” she said.
It was the second launch for this year’s horse show. The organisers are anxious to get the word out that the show is slightly later this year, running from August 15th-19th.
Stephen O’Connor, of the Underwriting Exchange, divides his time between London and Ranelagh. The insurance broker likes nothing more than riding out with the Ward Union Hunt. His wife, Kay, told me she prefers the social side. The couple’s two children, twins Alex and Catherine (aged five) are pony-club enthusiasts and were the best dressed at Thursday’s launch.
Who we spottedMinister for Sport Michael Ring; 2nd Lt David Power; broadcaster Tom McGurk; president of the RDS Fonsie Mealy; former Ireland chef d’equipe Tommy Brennan
What we ateCold meat and fish salad
Arlene Hogan, who walked many a catwalk as Arlene Underwood, was taking a trip down memory lane at Jorgensen Fine Art’s summer exhibition on Thursday evening. Retired couturier Ib Jorgensen welcomed the former model to his art gallery in the Hibernian Way. Hogan reminded me that she also has a doctorate from Trinity College in medieval history. She is the mother of Irish actor Lisa Hogan, who starred in John Cleese’s film Fierce Creatures.
Former PR Pat Heneghan was accompanied by his wife, the harpist Deirdre O’Callaghan. Heneghan said O’Callaghan now plays for his pleasure.
Who we spottedGowan Group chairman Michael Maughan; artists Carmel Kelly and Patrick Pye; art historian Sile Connaughton-Deeny.