Shoptalk: Capel Street

Are you being served? The column that looks at stock, style and service in shops around Ireland

 

Capel Street’s creative influence is in expansive mode colonising Ormond Quay with exciting independent shops like Dipili (dipiliboutique.com, 083-1744157), a boutique with grey painted floorboards, copper lighting and some seriously covetable womenswear. It moved north from South William Street last October. Run by Brooklyn newlyweds Alma and Charles Toli its welcome is warm, courtesy of Aoife Minister, a fashion designer who is creating an eponymous line for the shop. She was on the phone when Shoptalk called in but still managed to mouth a hello – a talent many shop assistants lack. It’s simple things like this that make you feel your custom is appreciated.

The shop is attracting a cool crowd that includes stylist Belle Phipps, costume designer for the TV series Red Rock. Hip-hop star Usher, recently in town to play the 3 Arena, rubberstamped its status by crossing the threshold with his fiancée Grace Miguel.

Labels include Budapest-based Nanushka, with heavyweight silk shirts, in flattering soft white, €139, that will go down a bomb with legal eagles. Boulezar is a German-engineered easy chic label that offers sloppy black tops and roomily cut skirts that cover a multitude. Lisa McCormack’s Dublin label Capulet and Montague does a line of playful cuffs trimmed with fringing, from €55.

Next door is 9a Crow Street, is a very browsable unisex set-up selling vintage and offering in-store alterations, a brilliantly simple idea that means you can have your buy nipped and tucked before you leave. Three German lads spent their time humming along to the 1990s hip-hop tunes while trying on hipster checked shirts. They were having a blast.

When your stomach starts rumbling head around the corner to Camerino, 158 Capel Street (camerino.ie, 01 537 7755), the namesake bakery of Canadian Caryna, who opened the tiny premises last November.

She spent the recession working in a HR job where she had to fire people and took up baking to cope with increasing stress levels, spending her weekends at a stall at the now defunct Ranelagh Market before going on to study for a certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts at DIT. Camerino has savouries to try, but the brownie and any drink special, €5, is what makes it an essential pit stop.

Try the raspberry cheesecake brownie, feted at last year’s Irish Food Awards, and ask about the baking classes on the premises, €35.

Before you leave invest in a mini manicure and polish, €14 at J Nails (jnails.net, 01 878 2824), 2 Capel Street, a nail bar that welcomes walk-ins.

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