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Boutique Fashion with Bairbre Power - Kilkenny

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Bairbre is on a mission to find the best that Ireland's fashion has to offer. She's packed up her picnic basket and gone on a day trip to Kilkenny to see if she can find any hidden gems tucked up in the boutiques around the county. Let's see what she found this week.

Bairbre's shopping adventures around Kilkenny

I was certainly in Kilkenny on the right day. I'm a bit of an Imelda Marcos, loving' my shoes and I was like a child in a sweet shop when I discovered that Paul O'Connor had opened his new shop, Shoe Box on Ormonde Street that very day. I fell in love with a pair of purple satin court shoes and imagine my surprise when I found they were only €40. 

This Nessa style was proving exceedingly popular along with the red patent, peep toe shoes. I saw customers literally walking out of the store wearing their new shoes. The shop is almost opposite the entrance to the Ormonde Hotel and features good bags and really terrific jewellery. The A&C Arts & Crafts brand at Shoe box reminded me a lot of the Pilgrim range and is affordable.

Maeve Cantwell opened Serendipity boutique on lively Kieran Street ten months ago with Fiona Booth and the two dynamic girls stock Shecanko raw silk pieces which are designed by an Irish designer who has workrooms in Australia. They also stock Rachel Mackay, Regine and Arruba amongst many labels.

Suzanne O'Keffee's stylish boutique, Suzan Belle is just up the street.
I loved her Pearls of Inspiration, little pearl gifts on a card from Venice in California which sell for just under €50. There are different ones for friends, loved ones, bridesmaids, mothers etc. Her designer shoes include Eileen Shields who recently visited Dublin Fashion Week from her base in New York. Eileen has a band of faithful fans who buy her shoes every year. Designer labels to watch out for at Suzan belle include Anna Sui and the more affordable Twinset. I love the fact that you can order directly on line.

Tempted? On John Street lived up to its name, Yes, I was hugely tempted by the stock I saw. Loved the Custo of Barcelona label, the Ema Savahl Couture ballgown and the amazing pieces from Joanne Hynes' latest collection. The owner Julie opened this pink fronted shop beside Langton's bar just a year ago and she has both a wonderful attitude and a prized location for introducing her customers to new labels. Upstairs, she has a room with couches where clients can meet visiting designers and avail of Julie's own advice and experience. She formerly worked in Rococo and has lots of experience on how to achieve that special look. Like Suzan belle, she has special one off head pieces and oh la la, the bags and jewellery.
Just down the street, Nu Shoes on John Street is jointly owned by Marie Murphy and Linda Gaule and they have a huge selection of shoes, sandals and boots. All very affordable. Marie Murphy's family has been in the fashion business in High Street for over 100 years and she has introduced lots of interesting labels. Marie once worked for Paul Costelloe in Dublin and she stocks his Dressage label as well as another popular Irish label, Quin& Donnelly. The final stop was in Bennetsbridge to look at the latest Chesneau bags designed by Edmund Chesneau. 

The clothes from Kilkenny

Outfit One - Jane
Anna Sui dress - €530 - Suzan Belle
A&C bracelet - €55 and Ring - €35 - Shoe Box
Bow suede shoes by Eileen Shields - €430 - Suzan Belle

Outfit Two - Joan
Necklace - €15 - Tempted?
Evalinka cami - €49.50 - Murphy's
Cami - €150 - Murphy's
Skirt - €209 - Murphy's
Bag - €95 - Tempted?
'Maggie' style beaded shoes - €40 - Shoe Box

Outfit Three - Corina
Pearl neckpiece - €49.50 - Suzan Belle
Ema Savahl Couture Ballgown - €950 - Tempted?
Clutch bag - €135 - Suzan Belle
Jewel sandals - €49.50 - Nu Shus

Outfit Four - Jane
Shecanko raw silk dress - €545 - Serendipity
Satin clutch bag - €40 - Shoe Box,
Teal satin shoes - €40 - Nu Shus

Outfit Five - Joan
Pink Rachel Mackay cashmere cardi - €475 - Nu Shus
Jeans (model's own)
Sandals - €40 - Nu Shus

Outfit Six - Corina
Quin&Donnelly coat - €294 - Murphy's
Amy bag - €450 - Chesneau
Shoes - €40 - Shoe Box

For More Information

Stockists and Contact Details

Suzan Belle, Kieran Street, Kilkenny, 056 7762889
You can buy on line from 

Murphy's, High Street, Kilkenny 056 7721495

Tempted? 63,John Street, 056 7789626

Serendipity, 34, Kieran Street, Kilkenny 056 7756839

Shoe Box, 6, Ormond Street, Kilkenny 056 7756111

Nu Shoes, John St, Chesneau, Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny  056 7727456

Next week, we're off to Naas and Newbridge in Co Kildare