Lou Brennan’s scarves: a designer in a league of her own

Fashion: the cutest children’s clothes and gifts for Valentine’s Day

Scarf by textile designer Lou Brennan

Scarf by textile designer Lou Brennan

 

Scarf stories

Scarf makers are flourishing in Ireland, but Lou Brennan is one who is out on her own. An award-winning textile designer, she supplied designs to Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Donna Karan among others and her fabrics are now in the V & A in London. Since returning to the west of Ireland where she works to commission making hand-embroidered pieces for clients and occasionally running workshops, her passion for Irish textiles has grown and her range of scarves, bandanas and pocket squares – apart from being beautiful – have a special relevance to this country’s rich heritage. The delicately fringed cashmere-blend scarves reference patterns of Irish lace and the famous Galway shawls (which were made in Paisley in Scotland) echoed in the silk twill scarves with hand-drawn Irish lace motifs. Silk bandanas and pocket squares were inspired by Seán Keating’s 1917 painting Men of the West. Even the packaging – a cloth based envelope tied with a petersham ribbon – is special too. loubrennan.com

Floral and chambray dress 39 (ages 1-6) and pink ruffle dress 39 (1-6) both from The Little White Company
Floral and chambray dress 39 (ages 1-6) and pink ruffle dress 39 (1-6) both from The Little White Company

Quite all white

The children and babywear section of The White Company upstairs in the Grafton Street shop in Dublin must be one of the most beautiful rooms in the street with its curved ceilings, windows and elaborate white stucco work. The clothes whether for newborns or toddlers are equally appealing – delightful little knits, gingham pyjamas, printed pin-tuck dresses, striped smocks, play suits, rainjackets, glow in the dark slippers (€29) and even a bunny ear hoodie for Easter. For newborns there are ultra soft cotton sleep suits (€37) with prints designed in-house. Dublin-based mother and daughter team Joan and Louise Millar who supplied knitwear for Burberry’s childrenswear lines, collaborate with the company on a number of designs. The Little White Company also has bedroom furniture that includes cot beds (€553), bedside tables (€299), changing tops (€129), storage units (€322), and truckle under beds (€259). There is also bedding and toys. It’s the perfect place to find a gift for a new arrival. thewhitecompany.com

Heart bag, Parfois
Heart bag, Parfois

Stupid cupid

With Valentine’s Day slowly approaching, a wave of red roses may be the conventional way to mark the occasion, though there are cynics and clothes snobs who say that wearing Crocs in public can create immunity to Cupid’s arrows of desire. Whatever the case, jewellery and other expressions of love and desire will come into focus in the lead up to February 14th and Parfois’s mischievous takes on the subject include a bag in the shape of red lips snapped shut with double red hearts – a clutch being the operative word here (€34) and bold graphic scarves with Where Is the Love slogans (€29.99). We liked the heart and hooped earrings (€19.99) and the mad heart shaped Lolita sunglasses for the same price. Elsewhere The Collective have a gold necklace “You Have My Heart” (€149) with a hand-drawn heart purposely imperfectly hanging from a gold chain inspired by a series of paintings jewellery designer Maireád deBláca created for wedding presents. The deliberately disfigured heart shape is to remind us that true love is never perfect but always real. thecollectivedublin.ie

 

 

 

 

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