Silver Ferns and Fallen Leaves: Dublin Selected *296


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It's 1.30am and we got waylaid on the way to this editorial (again). It's a Dublin moment. It started with a preview screening of Todd Haynes's gentle and beautiful Carol which casts Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as entangled lovers in 1950s America. We popped into the superb HiLan Korean for a pork kimchi with tofu to line the stomach in advance of finishing the edition. Then as we started the gradual ascent by Dublin Castle, we were derailed by a pal who shall be known as CW for the purposes of partial anonymity. Four pints of Guinness in the Stags Head and random interlude bants with Miss Hennessy from Indiana, who has been chaperoning media and brewery folk here for the launch of a new Guinness brewery experience, and we are here. With the unresolved issue of an editorial besides having bluffed through an opening intro paragraph.

Topics for consideration which had been swirling about this week with no real bite included the aftermath of the Dublin 2020 bid and where the monies earmarked for this could go now? We also considered the largely distasteful rush of everyone to become their own rolling news and opinion channels on social media during the Paris bombings.

A twitter skim lead us to Broadsheet's De Thursday Papers. A typical rabbit hole, except this time. There before our eyes is a thing of great beauty. A simple design tribute on the front of the Examiner today to the passing of a rugby hero Jonah Lomu. A fallen leaf from the silver fern emblem of New Zealand. We zoom in to see who they have licensed this from. It says Chemistry & Irish Examiner 2015. We feel proud that such a fitting homegrown tribute is created and supported. We can put this editorial to bed.

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Irene O'Brien is a great friend of ours and also an amazing stylist with a passion for vintage. She has also become the new organiser of the bi-annual Dublin Vintage Fair which takes place on Sunday at Dun Laoghaire's Royal Marine Hotel.

Where did your love of vintage come from?
I have always been pretty fascinated by anything from another time, anything that belonged to someone that lived through the decades that I didn't. I like to imagine what the garments witnessed, the parties they went to, the stories they could tell. I'm also certain I've been spun many yarns to seal the sale but facts can be overrated. And then there's the look of the Vintage… I'm particularly partial to a '60s aesthetic when it comes to fashion. They say that we often become fascinated with the eras in which our parents came of age. Not sure if that rings true for all but it's definitely the case for me. And also true of the eras in which my grandparents came of age. Ok, I'm kind of fascinated with them all. I like all the eras!

From a dressing point of view, Vintage can help you to express individuality or make a look unique. Also there are undeniable environmental benefits also. A Vintage buy is a win win really!

What can first time visitors expect at the vintage fair?
First time visitors can expect one great big celebration of Vintage under one roof. We have over 50 marvelous traders, all passionate about their goods, be that fashion, décor or accessories. There's just a brilliant mix of offerings from a huge range of eras. I love chatting to the traders; they're all super knowledgeable and passionate about what they do. It's a shopping experience that you don't get on the high-street. You can also expect incredible Vintage style – I'm constantly blown away by the effort that people go to. I love witnessing how people put their looks together. You often see people arrive in one outfit and leave in another! The Vintage Fair is something of a sartorial playground for our visitors.

What is your most prized vintage possession?
I honestly have an unhealthy attachment to all of my Vintage pieces; I won't ever part with my dresses. Some have made it to charity bags but been reclaimed just as the shop door bell goes. But in the name of a happy future I'll have to say that my favourite Vintage possession is a recently acquired art deco ring that's due to stay on my hand 'til death do us part…

What is the best advice you could offer someone buying vintage?
For Fashion: Try it on. Try it on. Try it on. Vintage clothes can look completely different on the body to how they present on the hanger. You'd be raging if you'd overlooked something due to a swift judgment made during your rail sweep, only to see your style nemesis rocking it the following Saturday night. If you like the slightest part of the garment you should definitely take it for a spin in the changing room.

You've dedicated a blog to your pursuits – how did that come about? 
Boredom, frustration, aspiration and delusion. Isn't that how all blogs come about? Oh and I liked sharing those almost certainly fake Vintage-clothing back stories too.

You were selected as stylist of the year recently. How important are accolades in the business?

I was and it's really lovely of industry professionals to say they think I do my job well but to be fair I just spend most of my time feeling like a fraud (although I think Imposter Syndrome is fairly endemic in the female population, particularly the freelance division). There are absolutely incredible Irish stylists whose work I am in awe of and constantly inspired by – really it's an industry where the work speaks for itself. But of course it's very nice to be given a nod (and a yummy afternoon tea). My mother was only delighted!

Any tips for dressing this winter besides wrapping up?
Layering! I absolutely hate when magazines say that; they suggest nine different pieces to pop on, leaving out the notice that you'll look like you fell into your wardrobe and came out wearing what stuck to you whilst experiencing limited mobility. But I think I know the key – it's about what's closest to your skin. There's nothing quite like a nice thermal vest to keep the draft at bay. I was born a Nana so I appreciate a good undergarment. In fact undergarments can absolutely make or break a Vintage outfit. Be sure to wear your best drawers when you come on Sunday.

The Vintage Fair takes place this Sunday in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoighre from 11.30am – 6.30pm. Entry €7.

Ciarán Meister is the man behind Mines Clarence label. On Saturday he presents Cheap Synesthesia, an exhibition and live performance, exploring the relationship between sound and moving image.

Photo credits: Mark Earley

Can you tell us a little bit about Mines Clarence?
Mines Clarence is a record label putting out small run limited edition physical releases. I run a podcast series and I've done a few mini doc/interviews under the MC name. The first release came out in March 2014 with the second coming pretty much a year later. It's been pretty slow but I'm in no rush. I'm interested in putting out music by people I know or people I can actually meet up and have a chat with, and build something from there.

What was the motivation behind focusing exclusively on the niche tape market?
I wanted to put out physical releases and tapes are a pretty affordable option. I would have grown up on tapes, recording stuff off the radio, making mixtapes and sharing tapes with friends so that definitely had a big influence on me. Down the line I'd like to put out some vinyl but really I just want to make something that people can hold in their hands, look at and really appreciate the art work. Whether that's a tape, vinyl, a zine, a t-shirt or whatever it will probably depend on what works with certain releases. I think that tactile aspect adds meaning and gives people some sense of ownership when they buy it. There's also so many options for artwork, design and packaging with a physical release. I really enjoy working on that side of it as I think it's a really important element in the overall aesthetic of the label.

Can you tell us about your upcoming event Cheap Synaesthesia, and the inspiration for it?
Essentially the show is going to be made up of 3 audio/visual performances exploring the connections of how music is used to soundtrack film, how video is used as an accompaniment to music and how sound and video are used in a gallery space. So hopefully the performances will blur the lines between those 3 different experiences and mesh into something people find engaging. I work as a videographer/editor, I DJ and make music and I studied Fine Art, so the show is trying to combine the 3.

Can you tell us about the artists that will be performing on the night?
Ralph Sheridan will be performing as Mother of Pearl. I've known Ralph for a good few years and he's one of the few people whose musical taste I trust. He started experimenting with found footage over the past few years. He actually made a music video for the last Mines Clarence release. His performance is going to be a DJ set that drifts between music sound tracking film and found footage as an accompaniment to music.

Redahan is an incredible producer and I really hope people start to recognise the craft this guy puts into his music. He actually has a background in Fine Art but has been focused on making music for the last few years. He's going to be playing his own compositions with footage he's pieced together as visuals.

Words for the Unknown is a project that I've been working on with musician/producer Sam Kay. We've been writing music to some of my video work or else we make a piece of music and then I create a video to go with that. So we'll be performing live with Sam on guitar and synth and me on an MPC.

What's next for Mines Clarence?
There are a few releases in the works but I'm not really in a rush to put them out. I'd like to put on a few more shows and put out a few more videos. Just keep on the same path really. Slow and steady.

Cheap Synesthesia (Audio/Visual Exhibition) is on in MART, 190a Rathmines Road Lower, from 7pm to 10pm on Saturday. It will feature performances from Words for the Unknown (Sam Kay & Ciaran Meister), Redahan (Sean Redahan) and Mother of Pearl (Ralph Sheridan)

Le Help

Le Cool is a free weekly magazine distributed every Thursday that features a selection of cultural events and leisure activities, revealing the things you really shouldn't miss. We filter out, among other things, the best art, film, music, and club nights, as well as a careful selection of extraordinary bars, restaurants and other fine places. Le Cool content is chosen because we believe it is worth your time and will never be traded for money.

To contact our editorial team, email Stephanie.
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Published by: LE COOL GROUP

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