Sunday, November 29, 2009


Canadian designer Arielle de Pinto first caught my attention when her accessories collection was snapped up by Dover street market in London last year. De Pinto a fine arts graduate of Concordia University in Montreal has no formal education in jewellery design, however this didn't stop her from fashioning metal together as a means of thread in creating her unique crocheted concoctions.Her hand crocheted accessories are beyond beautiful, since living in Montreal I want a piece of that action, when the time arises that I can afford one at least.I bumped into a friend of hers at a sample sale and I just wanted to snatch the very piece that she was wearing, it had the most fascinating chunky charms attached to the delicate metal which gave the design an extra toughness.Her astounding designs can be found at Reborn, DSM, V-Store, Kokon To Zai and Apartment.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Reborn store in Montreal is having a sample and warehouse sale this weekend. It's going to be a giant sale with prices slashed on an array of cult labels including; Acne, Cheap Monday, Filippa K, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair and many more.I shall be working at the sale so drop by and shop this fantastic event!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


It's not cold just yet but it is scheduled to snow this Thursday in Montréal. I'm not prepared; I'm still wearing an insubstantial blazer and vintage boots. My only winter wear here consists of a cashmere wrap, a pair of cheap (magic!) gloves and a Kangol Russian hat. So, I have been browsing the beautiful stores of Montreal and here comes my wishlist for that winter chill just around the corner, well the under layer at least.Brrrrr.

Fur Ear Muffs Unicorn Store

Friday, October 30, 2009


Vintage, vintage, vintage, there is no escaping the lure of vintage clothing in Montréal. Well I certainly can't walk down the street without dipping into one of the treasure troves along the boulevard Saint Laurent or the Plateau quartiers.The first of my vintage escapades began with a street invite to check out "The ladies of vintage" special one day sale which was taking place in a popular local gallery. All the ladies inside were dressed in their vintage attire and some went over board just for the fun of the day.There was lots of trying on and laughter and the usual discussions about how wonderful a certain piece with each vendor pondering the thought of parting with their one off pieces. There was no pressure to buy just to enjoy and have fun amongst the beautiful finds they collected.It was all very inexpensive compared to the European vintage market. There were delicate silk lingerie nightgowns for $20, a pair of YSL- esque gate boots for a mere 35 bucks and a mint condition glass beaded bolero for $40. All the jewellery was between $10 and $20 despite its possible value.I allowed myself to purchase two pieces (I'm supposed to be budgeting!).
One vendor was donating her end of sale goods to a centre for homeless women which was very generous.It was nice to see them have their Saturday fun, dress up, and just make a day out of it.Nice work ladies.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


(c)Jimmy Hamelin

As the title of this blog posting implies, I was pretty impressed with my first fashion show in Montréal.It was certainly nice to see a bombardment of colour explode onto the catwalk, a far cry from the bitter weather outside, and the parade of winter woollies clogging up the streets already.The show began with a welcome outburst of colours onto the catwalk, models rocked to the music sporting scarlet red lipstick,backcombed bouffants adorned with giant flowers against the backdrop of acid bright ensembles. It was all very playful in line with the designers 1950's theme.Inspiration derived from the continually inspiring Grey Gardens movie. The models certainly played up to the characters of Edith and little Edie Beale, as they tossed their big hair and flung off their cascading heals on the very slippy rose strewn catwalk.I have never encountered so many happy -go -lucky models with genuine smiles.It was refreshing and enhanced the theme of the swinging fifties.

But this is definitely a fun collection and not for the faint hearted, playsuits, high waisted shorts,vegan leather, and cropped t-shirts were the prevailing styles.But for those that like to wear clothes that put them in a better mood then this is the collection for you, it oozed joie de vivre.Several journalists reported that this was by far the most jovial fashion show of Montréal Fashion Week.What's more it is all produced ethically.Félicitations Barilà!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


It has been quite some time since I made a blog entry but it is all in the name of an adequate enough reason. I was busy planning my big move to Montréal the fashion hub of North America. I arrived just little over a month ago and I was lucky enough to catch fashion week here and compile my little bits of research about what’s hot in this ubër stylish city.

Fashion week was very impressive here, it was held in the beautiful Marché Bonsecours, situated in the Vieux Port of the city. The fashion week staff were very helpful and welcoming to the new Irish girl in the city! They gave me a media pass therefore I was able to gain access to Le Showroom and view the collections as well as chat with the Montreal based designers. I was also lucky enough to catch a conference about Berlin fashion called “Berlin en route to becoming a fashion metropolis” (I thought Berliners already had that one established!).

The first designer I encountered was called Valerie Dumaine, I detoured over to her collection when a very graphic print dress caught my eye. In addition, she was very welcoming and was delighted to talk me through her collection. She directed me to visit two stores in Montréal which she highly recommended as having strong concepts and cutting edge design. Reborn in the old port was her first suggestion, I had heard about this store before arriving here because it stocks a large selection of avant garde European designers. Unicorn on Boulevard Saint Laurent was her second recommendation.

Next up I checked out Eve Gravel who had a very feminine collection of floral summer skirts and tops adorned with bows, ruffles and came in a colour palette of nude, whites and stone. I will have to venture over to Unicorn store to view her current winter collection and continue my search for a super warm but equally stylish winter coat.

Barilà was next port of call, a very soft leather dress stood out in the collection. Sabrina one part of the sister design duo, informed me that it was vegan leather but it was from their current collection. The SS/10 collection was being ushered off in time for their fashion show that evening, which she kindly invited me to. I happily attended the show to see more from this wonderful collection. The Barilà show will be reviewed in my next blog entry. TBC.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Acne Duchess dress now €120

Ossie Clark(Matches) t-shirt now €52

It's that time of year again when one can't help but check out all the gorgeous new AW/09 looks appearing all over our favourite online stores. I have already written a wish list from the Acne and Matches online store alone. However it is worth diverting your eyes away just for a little longer, as there is a feast of sales cropping up across some of the most exciting, and independent online stores such as: Farfetch, Tresbienshop,Branten, Scouthestore, Matches, Doshaburi, Ok-ni and Surface to Air. There are bargains galore on all these sites with some items slashed to 70%.I have put together a little selection of treats to choose from. Browse and shop to your hearts content and remember to acknowledge the fact that you are supporting the independent designers which these online boutiques promote. I hope I have inspired some online shopping sprees.

Martin Margiela blazer (Tresbienshop) now €208
Tsumori Chisato dress (Tresbienshop) now €305

Beyond the Valley Jacket (Farfetch) now €180

JC de Castelbajac dress (Farfetch) now €70

Tsumori Chisato cuff (Farfetch) now €71

Henrik Vibskov shirt (Scouthestore) now €90

Henrik Vibskov Vest (Scouthestore) now €105

Diana Orving dress (Scouthestore) now €55

Comme Des Garconnes jacket (Farfetch) now €486

Bernhard Willhelm dress (Farfetch) now €350

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ode to a Style Icon

Everything Michael Jackson put on his back had an iconic significance.It's difficult to know where to begin or which decade to choose from. The red leather jacket from Thriller always triggered something in me, and is one image that remains in my mind, perhaps it was the fact that I was petrified of the video as a child.I will also always remember MJ in his white socks and shiney patent shoes.The most impressive piece from recent times has to be the Givenchy studded gold jacket which Mary Kate Olsen also sported.In my ode to MJ I would like to Thank him for inspiring three decades of experimental fashion.


Mediocre Success is designed for those of us that like our accessories to be simple, functional, and above all tactile. These days there is such an abundance of clutter surrounding our lives that it becomes useful to compartmentalise our belongings in order to be organised. Mediocre Success does just that, by providing intricately designed pieces for storing and wrapping up, all the important bits in your handbag. Mediocre Success is designed by the savvy Swiss native Eveline Erni who studied fashion design in Milan and has since worked as a stylist for various menswear labels. It is stocked in select concept stores such as The Hunter in Berlin and Vestibule in Zurich. She creates everything from wallets, travel holders, vanity bags, to i-phone holders, USB-stick holders and passport pouches. I met up with Eveline in Dublin while she was working as a costume designer on a short film. Below she tells us a little more about her design background and her decision to follow the accessories route of design practice.

Style-Sphere: Where did the name Mediocre Success originate?Eveline: I was looking for a name that encourages one to think about what lies beneath the brand - it had to be a name that could stand for any kind of product. Mediocre Success, sounds confusing because it has negative attributes so I figured it would be the best name ever!

Style-Sphere: What is your design background and how did you decide to enter into the realm of accessory design?Eveline: I studied fashion design and received a scholarship for a leather accessories course. Following my studies in Milan, I worked for several years for other companies in this particular area. I then realised that I had sufficient experience to launch my own label. I believe that the design process is all about your passion.

Style-Sphere: What accessories designer to you admire the most and why?Eveline: I truly admire all accessory designers who possess a strong conceptional approach to design such as, Maison Martin Margiela or Costume National.

Style-Sphere: If you had the choice to stock Mediocre Success within any store in the world, where would you choose?
Eveline: I would have to choose stores which carry a clear statement and believe in promoting a strong concept such as: Park in Vienna, Circus Store in Dublin, Frip in Milan or Merci in Paris.

Style-Sphere: What are your future aspirations for Mediocre Success?
Eveline: I would hope that Mediocre Success will become recognised as a label with a unique style and a design aesthetic that highlights individuality and functionality.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


By a reader and fellow bloggers request I am devoting a blog post over to style icon of the moment Alexa Chung. I don’t normally follow celebrity fashionistas bar Chloe Sevigny, but I must admit that Alexa is one heck of a clothes hanger. She can transform the simplest Breton top into the trendiest piece of the season, and she is indeed the girl who revamped this trend. Her exotic looks which stem from a British mother and Chinese Father can transcend every look from grunge, classic tomboy, to quintessential British chic, and couture. She has proved herself to be quite the style chameleon and holds as much esteem in the style stakes as long standing style superiors Chloë Sevigny and Kate Moss. Below are my top 8 Alexa looks.

1st Image: Alexa graces the front page of French Jalouse magazine.
2nd Image: Attending a Chanel fashion show in an Isabel Marant Paddington jacket.
3rd Image: Sporting a Breton top and Hunter Wellingtons at a festival.
4th Image: British Chic on the streets of London.
5th Image: Preppy and perfect in a Burberry Trenchcoat.
6th Image: Supporting British fashion designers in a nude dress by Poltock & Walsh.
7th Image: Looking frou frou in a Luella frock.
8th Image: Romantic and beautiful in couture Giambatista Valli for Harpers Bazaar magazine.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I was so enamoured to receive this blog award from Miss Milki who writes the fantastic blog missmilki.blogspot. It's always nice to get some recognition from a fellow blogger. Apologies that it has taken me this long to respond!Thanks Style-Sphere.X

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have Opening Ceremony fever at the minute, I love the selection that Très Bien Shop are selling at their online site. This cobalt blue dress is a particular favourite, I love the unexpected split at the back and the simple, linear design of the dress. It would look great teamed with the Opening Ceremony flare trench and the corset tied shoe boots also featured here. It was their collaboration with style maverick Chloë Sevigny back in 1998 that sparked off my interest with the brand. The ingenious collaboration continues with Sevigny creating a line of menswear pieces for AW/09.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Darragh Shanahan is the Jack of all artistic trades; drummer, photographer, and creative director to name just a few of his career endeavours. He forms one part of the über cool band Dark Room Notes who are presently taking these shores and beyond by storm. He is also the photographer responsible for capturing Style-Sphere’s blog profile photograph and therein lies the story of how we first met and collaborated. One random night, after an even more random chat, we decided upon doing a fashion shoot together. A date was set and a meeting point decided upon. The spontaneity of our first collaboration developed over pints outside a Dublin nightclub. I provided the face, the fashion, and the theatre, while he came equipped with a snazzy vintage camera, charisma, a pair of ray-bans, and a box of smokes. I showed up at the shoot armed with costumes in superpower colours of gold, royal blue, and red á la Wonder Woman. Below Darragh discusses the symbiotic relationship between fashion and music and shares his precious style notes with us.

Style-Sphere: Earliest fashion memory?
Darragh: Probably getting a school uniform, I can remember asking my mother to take in my trousers so they were drain pipes, they're the first item I had any influence on changing how it fit me. There was also a yellow t-shirt with a cartoon rodeo on it I had as a young boy, I set fire to it and myself while playing with matches, I actually told the Garda that I was attacked and they went looking for this guy I called Joxer Lawlor, I'm scared for life.

Style-Sphere: Who are your style icons and how do they influence the way in which you dress?
Darragh: Everything is a style influence to me but probably film would be my biggest style icon. Watching how people interpret an era or watching some contemporary piece (check out The Jacques Cousteau Odyssey) is a great source to remind me that fashion is a language is so many ways.

Style-Sphere: Has your personal style evolved since the early days of Dark Room Notes?
Darragh: I've always been a one for natural selection, I'm a warrior, I don't shop a lot so my experiences bring clothes to me, and the people I meet share a lot. So if you start hanging around with a band it changes things, you meet designers like Pete Reddy who has been wonderful with his cast offs, Arran from the band showed me a new way to look at colour, the stage brought drama, the road brought the need for comfort, the photo shoots brought character and writing about it brings reflection, I've rediscovered nudity.

Style-Sphere: How would you describe the overall image of DRN?Darragh: It's evolving.

Style-Sphere: What has been the most outlandish outfit you have worn while performing in DRN?
Darragh: Green eyeliner, Mohawk dusted with green eye liner, a black Perspex magpie silhouette on a chain around my neck with a leaf going through the nadir, black Speedos, karate shoes called Men Shoes that have white cotton soles and a smile.

Style-Sphere: The latest video 'Shake Shake my Ceiling' set in Berlin follows you on your dancing journey through the city of Berlin wearing a pair of very slick shoes. Tell us about your look in that video and your reason for choosing to shoot in Berlin? Darragh: I am a big fan of scarves, gloves, hats, shoes and sun glasses for the reasons I talked about in your icons question. Over time I've put them together in different ways, certain combinations stick with me. Berlin was selected because of the director Rory Breslihin, he wanted to shoot in this bar called Dr Pongs. So we did, and the idea wasn't working, but for a few weeks before we left I couldn't stop dancing to that song and just for a laugh Rory agreed to dance around Berlin with me. You should see the out takes! x