If you’ve read my blog for quite a while now, you’ll know that I’m always one for championing rising Irish designers and boutiques when the opportunity presents itself. Today is the last day of the third Dublin Fashion Festival, a four-day event run annually that showcases the finest of up-and-coming fashion designers.
I’ve popped into some of the hottest Dublin fashion boutiques to show you a glimpse of the capital’s incredible, must-be-visited shops. Each one offers something different – from velvet ribbons to 70s sequinned bustiers – but all of them have one thing in common: they fly the flag for a new international standard of on-trend shopping.
Om Diva (27 Drury Street)
I’ve actually already written about Om Diva thrice (“here”,“here” and “here”): it so perfectly embodies the high quality of garment shopping in Dublin. Set over three beautifully-decorated floors, including the Vintage Basement and Atelier 27 (the latter featuring top up-and-coming Irish designers), the boutique also runs a highly-successful sewing school (for more information regarding their classes, etc. click “here”). If you’re looking for brilliant garment quality and diverse choice, Om Diva is your go-to boutique.
The Loft Market (59 South William Street)
Situated at the top floor of the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, the Loft Market features a perfectly balanced combo of contemporary and vintage designers. If you enjoy thinking outside the box fashion-wise, you will definitely relish spending time here. The stock really is diverse – from experimental rainbow knitwear and lace cuffs to droplet earrings and embellished prom dresses.
Beaux Bows (Georges Street Arcade)
Beaux Bows, found in the original retail space of Om Diva, showcases a beautifully eclectic display of clothes, shoes and accessories (from handmade crochet collars in a rainbow of colours - very on-trend - to “burger” socks). It has recently expanded its boutique to upstairs, where you’ll be able to spy twinkly lights, tulle floral dresses and gold sequinned-heel wedges. It also boasts being the only Irish stockist for highly-acclaimed label Lazy Oaf - what would entice you more than that?
A. Rubanesque (Ground Floor of Powerscourt Townhouse Centre)
Exclusivity is the key word at A. Rubanesque – fondly known as the “Ribbon Shop”, it is currently Ireland’s one and only passmenterie boutique and it’s also an exclusive stockist of Japanese Mokuba ribbon, favoured by Vera Wang. Its unending range of buttons, fabrics and lavish trimmings would make even the most un-relenting of DIY haters want to take up a needle and thread. Definitely a must-visit when you’re on a trip within the city, or when you want to locate that hard-to-find velvet ribbon to embellish your garments.
Project 51 (51 South William Street)
I wrote about Project 51 just a couple of days ago (“here”), when I attended its launch event of Honor Fitzsimon’s “Monster Knit” collection (this girl is an amazingly talented designer – check out her incredible collection “here”!). Project 51 offers emerging designers the opportunity to become more well-known via showcasing their collections. With an art and craftwork gallery upstairs, as well as some of the designers’ studios, Project 51 is entirely unique in itself, with items catering for practically every taste and age group.
The Harlequin (13 Castle Market, Drury Street)
Highly reminiscent of treasure-trove continental vintage shops, as soon as you step into the Harlequin you’ll think you’re in texture heaven: pale blue tulle skirts are placed alongside watercolour-rainbow prints and cream lace garments, and one entire clothing rail is dedicated to 70s/80s-style pieces heavily embellished with sequins. What I love most – display-wise – are the select items of clothing hanging from the wall and ceiling: they give the shop a more individual vibe than most vintage boutiques. No need to worry about affordability – all items are priced extremely well.
So there you have it – six wonderfully individualistic boutiques that offer a brilliant & unique shopping experience to rival any well-established fashion cities. I suggest you book a trip to the capital ASAP.