December miscellany: What’s new in people and trends in fashion

Gift ideas from Loulerie, Grown Clothing, Stonechat, Caroline Duffy and Susannagh Grogan

Paris match

Louise Stokes's favourite vintage jewellery shops for inspiration in Paris are sited around the city's famous Place Vendôme, and this ring is called Vendôme after it. It combines an antique-style ring with classic round GIA-certified diamonds accented with a border of navy enamel to give an old ring a new Loulerie look. In 14k gold with a .23ct GIA-cert diamond and .55ct surrounding diamonds, it costs €3,699 and would make an appealing engagement ring. Visit

Wear less, buy better

“Over the past 18 months we have enjoyed and turned to nature for solitude; now is the time we repay the favour.” That’s the campaigning statement from Grown Clothing, known for its sustainability credentials, and which uses a nude photoshoot to make its point about over-consumption. “Every year in Ireland we purchase 220 million garments, roughly 28 per person,” says Grown’s co-founder Stephen O’Reilly. “Only 22 million of that 220 million is reused/resold, the rest is sent overseas to landfill.” As Christmas approaches, Grown Clothing wants to “celebrate and encourage people to become more conscious consumers and awaken a sense of responsibility towards people and the planet – so wear less, buy better”.

Wrapped up in art

Passionful is the name given to the latest collection of scarves from artist and printed textile designer Caroline Duffy. Created from her bold and feminine original artwork, these silk scarves contain images of primrose blooms with radiant colours and stripes, in 70cm x 70cm squares that are made in Italy. Prices start from €135 through her website

Pineapple chic

Susannagh Grogan needs no introduction as a talented scarf designer, but recently she has made tentative moves into bag design using Piñatex, the pineapple leather alternative developed by Carmen Hijosa in the Philippines. Hijosa was the force behind Chesneau leathers where she was creative director of the Irish brand for more than a decade. Grogan, remembering the beauty of her bags and their leather, was so impressed reading about Piñatex that she turned her hand to a few pieces, such as this little clutch in gold faux leather, €85 shown with her embroidered cashmere scarf, €295. Visit


Tidings of comfort

In Niamh Gillespie's current Tidings menswear campaign, directed by Ciara Mack of Phello, she shows how to make the most of her dramatic printed scarves on men – whether tied like a cravat, knotted around the wrist, draped languidly across the body or simply hanging around the neck in a bold contrast colour. The graphic designer's scarves sell in Fortnum & Mason in London, in Seagreen in Monkstown, Sybil Boutique in Dundalk and Adare Manor and online at, She will be spreading her wings next season, showing in Paris at Première Vision. This graphic floral-striped silk twill statement scarf, 90cm x 90cm, called Outrageous, from the collection, is modelled by Dublin-based Brazilian influencer Lucas (pobrenairlanda on Instagram) is €249. Photograph: BangBangVisuals

Golden day

I recently spent a day as a goldsmith, making a gold bangle like the one featured here under the tutelage of Jemma Crosbie and designer/goldsmith Ann Chapman in Stonechat. It began with cutting a bar of gold bullion to the required size – often recycled gold is used and customers regularly leave in old jewellery to be melted down and recycled into new pieces. After it is cut, the gold is then rolled through a steel mill, then turned up and soldered, hammered, filed, sanded and polished in a long, labour-intensive process that belies the simplicity of the finished product. It was a rewarding afternoon, revealing the work that goes into making such a bangle, though it is not currently a service open to the public. A gold bangle like the one I made, 3mm wide in 9ct gold, sells in Stonechat for €1,190. Visit

Chunky cashmere

Carolyn Donnelly’s first cashmere knit collection for The Edit at Dunnes Stores was launched in November, consisting of a relaxed hoodie in soft blue and grey, a collar style with front slit in rose and cream, and a basic oversized crew with side slits in cobalt, black and pink. All styles, knitted in 9 gauge for a chunkier, oversize look, are priced at €130.