Back(pack) to basics for Irish fashion label

Fashion forward: New from Holden, Iris & Ink, and swirly summery scarves

Holden up

The great advantage of a backpack is having your hands free and the latest Irish company to add a super chic number to its collection is Holden in Dingle, Co Kerry. Made from lightweight natural grain leather, lined with green suede with classic buckle fastenings and adjustable straps, its first backpack (€645) is available in chestnut, black or red. This week, at a special event in their studio at the The Old Schoolhouse on the shores of Dingle harbour, Conor Holden launched another version of the backpack in a summer shade of powder blue, along with new versions of the company's classic Aoife and Siobhán totes. DMcQ

Take two

Iris & Ink is the relatively new inhouse label of The Outnet, the online luxury fashion site offering previous season's styles with up to 70 per cent reductions. Launched in 2009, The Outnet is a huge site with more than 300 designers and there are new arrivals every week to keep visitors' appetites whetted. The thinking behind Iris & Ink, however, is to provide new takes on familiar wardrobe staples, so the white button-down shirt comes with ruffled sleeves; slip dresses are trimmed with lace and A-line skirts come in cherry leather. Colours for winter are safe – navy, olive green and burgundy and a few standout items include a long line shearling gilet, very useful for winter days and a black velvet blazer from the current collection which goes on sale next month. DMcQ

Silky swirl

Broken jewellery, buttons, bits of fabric and dried flowers – these knick-knacks provide inspiration for "Pandora's Box", Susannagh Grogan's latest scarf collection which she describes as "conversational prints" in a palette of rich jewel colours – emerald, amethyst, sapphire with blacks and greys and bright highlights of cerise pinks, orange and red. This extra-large silk square printed with "Red Swirl", a kaleidoscopic geometric print with lace and dogtooth detail comes in two sizes, XL square, €210, and classic square, €130 and in a green colourway. It can be worn in many different ways (to see visit her website, and is modelled here by Abby Harris. The scarves can be bought online and also in Brown Thomas, Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. DMcQ

Style secret

"As a stylist, my one piece of advice would be to buy the best underwear you can afford. Have a fitting every six months as we all change in size. Well-fitted underwear can make every outfit look great regardless of the price. Everyday bras should be replaced every three to six months, as that's when they start to lose elasticity and support. If you can't fit two fingers underneath your bra band comfortably, it's probably too tight." Carmel Daly, stylist


Steal vs splurge

Walk tall in these Lauren scalloped suede flats for €420 from Chloe or walk away with these Leyton scallop edge flats for €18.92 from Asos

Wear it

Irish fashion label Vaeno’s collection of chic separates can be mixed and matched, and will fit in easily with the rest of your wardrobe. Created by Irish women Louise Merrick and Nadya Gaughran, the brand’s emphasis is on creating quality, timeless essentials. Seasonless pieces such as finely-tailored blazers and structured dresses are the name of the game but our favourite piece is this one shoulder asymmetrical top with mesh overlay, €189.