The Genteel
March 2, 2021

Briana Palma

Many retailers who have started their business online find that offline experiences are key to their growth. Consumer appreciation for the meet-the-maker experience has been expanding in recent years. As such, candle company type.lites and menswear brand Indochino have both turned to the pop-up shop as an easy way to develop their physical presence.

By Briana Palma

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Briana Palma

Dublin Ireland

Briana Palma contributes to The Genteel from Dublin. As a serial expat who left her native U.S. for Spain, Italy and now Ireland, she has a passion for international travel, art and culture. While off discovering the world, Briana is always on the lookout for unique jewelry to bring home as a memento. When not traveling, she works as a writer and editor. Her work has been featured in U.S. Airways and InMadrid magazines as well as on, WhyGo Italy and The Travel Belles. 

London-based designer Amy Winters works at the very intersection of fashion and technology. Collaborating with scientists and using smart textiles, Winters has created show-stopping performance pieces, such as sound-reactive dresses. Still, her label, Rainbow Winters, offers something for everyday fashionistas, as she combines elegant design with vibrant, new technologies.

Style-Eyes is using the latest image recognition technology to bring digital fashion retail to the next level. The free app is designed to be a useful tool for both shoppers and retailers, providing a novel way to search for clothes and accessories, wherever you are, whenever you want.

An innovative boutique-café in downtown Dublin, Tamp & Stitch seamlessly unites coffee and fashion. Since opening last May, the owners have worked to create a new destination for Dubliners by offering quality coffee and unique, affordable fashion brands in a neighbourhood that typically attracts tourists.

In recent years, fashion trucks have sprung up from LA to New York and everywhere in between. Despite offering businesses the benefits of low overhead costs and self-employment opportunities, these mobile trucks have their own set of challenges to conquer. Now, some mobile retailers are wondering if their fashion trucks are in fact better off integrated with brick and mortar operations.

Bow has become one of Dublin's go-to destinations for fashion, both new and vintage, over the last four years. This unique boutique is run by two friends, Wendy Crawford and Margaret O'Rourke, who have successfully united their two separate businesses under one roof.

Granny's Finest, a young fashion-focused foundation with a social conscience, is tackling the issue of loneliness among the elderly with its unique approach to knitwear production. Briana Palma speaks with founder Niek van Hengel about the fashion brand that is uniting generations.

Through their new line of upcycled bicycles, friends Hidde Van Der Straaten and Lodewijk Bosman are on a mission to change the way people look at waste.

Emily Benson became a trailblazer in mobile retail when she launched The Fashion Truck, a women's boutique on wheels. These days, find her at markets around Boston in a new truck complete with crown moulding, wood floors and two dressing rooms - and bursting with trendy clothes and accessories.

Since launching in 2010, designist has brought unique and affordable housewares and gifts to downtown Dublin. The shop has also established itself as an invaluable resource for local designers, as owners Barbara Nolan and Jennie Flynn look to support both up-and-coming and established Irish brands. This summer, designist is using the ever-popular pop-up shop to shout about Irish design.

At October's Peroni Moda Awards, Northern Irish knitwear designer, Mary Callan, wowed with a handcrafted wool dress inspired by the beer's famous Blue Ribbon label. As part of her prize, she had the opportunity to work with Marco de Vincenzo in the days leading up to Milan Fashion Week.

New York City-based technologist and artist Adam Harvey experiments with the idea of privacy through fashion. His newest project, the Stealth Wear collection, includes luxurious anti-drone garments for what Harvey describes as "the golden age of surveillance."

SoWa Vintage Market has gone from being a summertime event to a year-round destination. Housed in an old, brick factory building in one of Boston's growing cultural neighbourhoods, it continues to offer a fresh take on items from the past every Sunday. 

With a career spanning more than three decades, Mario Testino has become one of the world's most renowned fashion and portrait photographers. His professional achievements include such highlights as photographing Princess Diana in her last official sitting and helping shape iconic ad campaigns for Versace. On October 21, added to that list was the opening of his first major American exhibition, at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.

While Dublin is one city without a Mercedes-Benz fashion week, style takes over the Irish capital during the annual Dublin Fashion Festival. This year's edition, which took place from September 6 to 9, saw high fashion and the High Street come together in a series of events, including master classes, workshops, runway shows and more.

Claire O'Connor found herself taking an impromptu step into the world of bridal wear in 2011. One year later, after receiving a warm reception from the public and plenty of private commissions, she's ready to take the leap - and make a splash - into Ireland's wedding industry. Her first official bridal wear collection is set to launch this summer.

Since 2009, mother-daughter duo Nicola Orriss and Georgia Scott have been making the wet Irish weather a bit more bearable. Their product range, Georgia in Dublin, has given rainy days a new look with versatile and sophisticated designs. 

The world's top designers have collaborated with residents of San Patrignano, Europe's largest drug rehabilitation centre, to create one-of-a-kind home décor pieces crafted from recycled wooden wine barrels. The designs have come together in an exhibit entitled Barrique: The Third Life of Wood.

The Design Museum Boston's latest project asked designers around the world to apply their creativity to the urban seating. The result is 19 innovative benches that are presently on display in the city's Fort Point neighbourhood. Briana Palma takes a seat and takes in the view.

One year ago, Project51 opened on Dublin's South William Street, bringing the concept of the design collective to Ireland. Developed and founded by jeweller Eoin McDonnell, Project51 is a dynamic place that includes workspaces as well as a carefully curated boutique. Although the collective is still in its infancy, it is already making its mark on Ireland's fashion industry.

Fabsie is a new digital platform that is changing the way people view ready-to-assemble furniture. Launched by architect-turned-entrepreneur James McBennett earlier this year, Fabsie is ambitious about bringing mass personalisation into the DIY furniture market.

This year marks the fifth edition of Dublin's Better Fashion Week, one of the Irish capital's largest fashion events. The project brings ethics and sustainability to the forefront with a series of talks, presentations and films from April 23 to 30, 2012. The addition of the Better Fashion Shop for 2012 has provided the city with tangible proof that style and ethics do, in fact, go together.  

A century ago, before Vogue had reached newsstands, the Journal des Dames et des Modes helped define fashion and lifestyle for Paris' upper class through its editorial pages and hand-printed illustrations. Now, Dublin's Chester Beatty Library celebrates this influential magazine with the Costumes Parisiens, Fashion Plates from 1912-1914 exhibition.

Through the new exhibit, Costume: Future Fashion, The National Gallery of Ireland is exploring the place of traditional craftsmanship in the world of high fashion.

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