Trinny and Sussanah have a lot to answer for, beginning the bombardment of celebrity stylists with a draconian will to dress the hapless, helpless, style-less nation. Remember the days of RTE’s flagship fashion programme Off the Rails, with Caroline Morahan and Pamela Flood at the helm, pretending to know what they were talking about? They, and the withering formula of questionable makeovers eventually made way for Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney, actual fashion insiders with the know how and charisma to revive the tired format. After proving their credentials to the masses with a mix of practical know how and friendly charisma they upped ship and started a fashion empire of their own.
In addition to creating their own clothing line, Lennon/Courtney, they founded Frockadvisor, a website and app that brings small local boutiques together online. As is becoming clear though, to business owners and customers alike as we navigate the ever expanding web of online stores, there’s nothing like supporting local businesses in real life, and last year the inaugural Fashion Independent’s Day was launched, to celebrate and amalgamate our online and real-world shopping experience.
Fashion Independent’s Day returned this year on Thursday, April 21st and I popped over to my own participating local boutique, Ivy, in Tuam Co. Galway. Along with dozens of other stores in the city, county and country, Ivy opened its doors to customers old and new alike, offering bubbles and bargains, and advice from the expert owners and sales assistants. The message promoted by FI Day is that independents are stronger together, or at least in healthy competition with each other.
Fast fashion is all well and good, but there’s a hell of a lot to be said for spending more on better quality, longer-lasting pieces that will not only stand the test of time but will have you standing out from the crowd (please don’t tell my best friend, Penney’s, that I said that). Your local boutiques, crafts people and artists should get first refusal for your hard earned cash. Check out the markets popping up all over the place, vintage fairs and local newspapers for the heads up on where you can find something to suit you. You should also check back in here – we’ll be profiling local designers, fashion entrepreneurs and craftspeople in addition to our already prolific number of featured artists, musicians and writers. If there’s anyone you’d like me to know about, give me a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org!