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15 09 2017

Behind the Brands

With Amanda Kierans of Rain + Conker from KID Store

Located in the creative quarter, Powerscourt Centre is home to some of Ireland’s most successful designers. A partnership between Amanda from Rain + Conker, and Maria of Lollipops and Daydreams, KID is a design led concept store and has a beautiful range of brands for children.

We sat down with Amanda to get to know about the brand and gain an insight into what it takes to be a successful designer.

Amanda Kierans of Rain + Conker from KID Store

How did you begin your career in kids wear?

Largely by accident! Initially I wanted to set up an online shop but unfortunately, a lot of the brands I wanted to stock would only supply established stores.  After going around in circles for a few months I re-evaluated and decided to approach things from a different part of the supply chain. I always loved design, collaborating plus there was a lack of choice out there three years ago.

Describe the Rain + Conker brand and aesthetic?

The aesthetic is modern but also fun.  One thing that was really important for me was to remain attainable- not ‘too cool for school’ if that makes sense?!  Our core designs are quite scandi, clean and minimal and generally using a soft palette of monochrome, grey and blush.  But we do mix things up and have fun. I get bored easily plus it’s important to remain commercial too as it is a saturated market.  The brand isn’t a slave to trends by any means.

While thankfully there is much more choice now, comfort will always remain central to our products and was a major motivation behind the brand.  Cartoonish patterns and pinks and blues also dominated the high street.  While they have their place we really wanted to offer something different.

Since we started our journey our range has evolved considerably but the ethos of our brand remains the same- back to basics, no gimmicks, frills or restrictive fabrics.  We place an emphasis on simple and functional shapes.  Fabrics are soft and comfortable and generally made from GOTS certified organic fabrics and our moccasins made from the high-quality leather.

Rain + Conker from KID Store

How do you feel seeing children wearing your designs?

It was initially a little surreal.  It’s a tough industry to work on so seeing our brand tagged on Instagram and other platforms is a real boost.

What was your dress style as a child?

I was born in 1980 so it was a very fun decade to be a kid!  Bodysuits, crazy leggings combinations (worn with skirts!), lots of hair clips/bobbles, high-waisted jeans….it was eclectic!  Funny seeing so many of those trends come back since…something I would never have thought would happen!  The 90s was boring in comparison- it largely revolved around ironing my hair to within an inch of its life!

How do you feel sharing a space with other like-minded business owners?

KID is a partnership between two independent kids brands.  It works really well.  It’s a huge job and definitely not something I could do on my own.  Maria from Lollipops and Daydreams keeps an eye on finances whereas I love sourcing and buying new brands and products.  We work well together and after working largely alone for over a year it’s great to have someone to bounce idea’s off.

Rain + Conker from KID Store

What attracted you to base your business in Powerscourt Shopping Centre?

The centre itself is stunning and is packed full of ‘not on the high street’ brands and stores.  There’s a refreshing emphasis on quality and good design.  While KID is no longer a collective of ten Irish brands we’ve worked hard to maintain our foundation- Irish brands still make up 75% of KID and I’d estimate approximately 40-50% of our products are also made in Ireland.  I can’t imagine another centre where we would fit in so well!

What does the future hold for Rain + Conker?

I’m just about to launch my new botanical collection which is an extended range of baby and kids clothing and basics made from the softest organic cotton.  The prints were designed by a Scottish illustrator Ingrid Petrie whose work I’ve adored for years.

Rain + Conker can be found in KID on the Top Floor of Powerscourt  Town Centre and online at www.rainandconker.comThe Collection can also be found at www.kidstoredublin.com from October.

07 09 2017

Behind the Brands

With Aoife Harrison from Design Centre

Powerscourt Centre is at the heart of Dublin’s Creative Quarter and is delighted to have some of Irelands most successful, inspirational and talented designers on hand.

Design Centre at Powerscourt Centre is a forum for both up and coming and established designers, so we sat down with designer Aoife Harrison to gain some insights into her brand and to gain some styling tips for the upcoming Longines Irish Champions weekend.

How did you begin your career in Design?

I always had an interest in Fashion although I studied Business in College! This has given me a great foundation on which to set up and grow my business.  I worked for several years in Brown Thomas working with several brands, which gave me a fantastic insight into the industry. I did a night course in Grafton Academy in Millinery and it was then when I realised that hats were for me!!

Describe the Aoife Harrison Design Brand  & aesthetic

My brand is classically elegant.  I aim to make hats that have a timeless appeal to them. Every season I will acknowledge what colours are in season but the shapes of the hats are styles that are meant to flatter the wearer and to complement an outfit as a whole.

As the Longines Irish Champions Weekend racing is approaching, what tips can you give on how to style your headpiece correctly?

The Longines Irish Champions weekend is a fantastic weekend of racing and style with some fabulous prizes from Longines, Moët & Chandon & The Dylan hotel.  Also, the Champion Hat Competition takes place on Saturday at Leopardstown Racecourse so I would definitely say that the Hat should be the focus of your outfit!! If the hat is the focus of your outfit then keep the rest of your attire simple.  It goes without saying to wear comfortable shoes as it’s a long day on your feet. With a statement hat, I would recommend keeping your hairstyle simple and off your face. An up style can look very polished and stays in place all day.

What fashion trends/styles do you foresee at the races this year?

Boater style hats have been a popular style at the races this year, which is an edgy look that I really like and it’s a bit different from the more traditional ladies day styles. Big hats are great for the races as they really have the WOW factor! Jumpsuits have been a popular alternative to dresses over the last season and this seems to be a growing trend.

What can we expect from the upcoming collection?

I have just completed my Spring Summer 2018 Collection and blush pink is a predominant colour in it. I absolutely love working with feathers so they feature throughout the collection. I have a couple of new styles which I’m very excited about!!

What does it mean to you to be available in Powerscourt Shopping Centre?

My Collection is stocked in Design Centre on the 2nd Floor of the Powerscourt Shopping Centre along with Philip Treacy so it’s an honour to see my hats on the shelves beside his creations. The Design Centre is a destination store for those looking for the best in Irish Design. It was here that I launched my career and it’s a fantastic store to be part of. The Powerscourt Townhouse Centre has a wonderful mix of stores which all complement each other and make it a unique shopping experience.

What does the future hold for Aoife Harrison Design?

The future is looking busy! I am continuing to grow the wholesale side of my business. I also offer a bespoke service where clients can get a hat made to suit their outfit. I can meet customers in my studio on Fitzwilliam Square or in Design Centre in Powerscourt Townhouse and we can create a unique hat for their outfit. I also host hatty hen parties in my studio where a group can come and learn how to make a headpiece while having a glass of bubbles and create their own unique piece for the big day. It’s a really fun activity and nobody needs any prior experience.  We already have had several bookings for 2018 so it’s shaping up to be a busy year!!

Aoife Harrison Design can be found at Design Centre, Top Floor, Powerscourt Centre or online at www.aoifeharrisondesign.ie

KID Store Dublin are having a family day on Saturday 2nd September to celebrate the launch of Lollipops & Daydreams first children’s book “What If”. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, children of all ages are encouraged to use their imaginations. The book is proudly written, illustrated and printed in Ireland.

There will be face painting and goodies in store from 1 -4 pm.

Compadrito Tango presents a very special performance at The the Powerscourt Town House Centre this weekend for the celebration of the Creative Quarter Festival taking place in the heart of Dublin city.

Tango pianist duo, Nolwenn Collet and Olivia Paloyan will take to the stage at 3pm on Sunday 26th, accompanied by traditional Argentine Tango dancing. Together they will play and dance in an authentic Buenos Aires-style, creating elegance, beauty and passion on the dance floor!

Nolween and Olivia originally from France, both share a strong passion for tango music and love to explore its influences from Brazil and Argentina.  The Compradito Tango is a unique experience that will leave the audience mesmerized.

 

Location: Powerscourt Shopping Centre

Show times: 3-4:30pm

For more information about the event, please click the links below:

www.tangofever.net 

www.facebook.com/tangofever

Powerscourt Centre is delighted to have the 15 finalist paintings for the Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards on display in Powerscourt Centre until August 5th.

The Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards was open to primary school children across Ireland and received thousands of entries from over 200 primary schools. The aim was to inspire them to express their artistic talent and develop an appreciation of the importance and value of sight.

Sightsavers believe that everyone should have the right to learn, earn and be happy.

Pop into Powerscourt Centre to view each of the 15 finalist’s paintings on display from now until August 5th.

27 07 2017

Behind The Brands

With Mary Grant

Located in the heart of Dublin’s Creative Quarter, Powerscourt Centre is bursting at the seams with creativity. Home to some of the most inspirational and talented Irish designers, we are delighted to offer you some more Behind The Brand’s insights on what it takes to be recognised in this competitive industry.

In the third and final part of our Behind the Brands series, is Mary Grant, designer and owner of Mary Grant located on the ground floor of the Powerscourt Centre. Finding inspiration in everyday life, Mary is making it her mission to design clothing that woman can feel confident and comfortable in every day.

What made you choose this career path? Was design always of interest to you?
From a very young age, I was interested in making things. Sewing was a big passion of mine; I would spend hours learning intricate constructions from a book. I never dreamt that one day I would have my own brand! I know how lucky I am, being able to go to work each day doing what I love so much.

What inspires you and your pieces?
Raising 3 children on my own has kept me close to home and I have learned to be inspired by everything around me. Anything, from early morning sunshine to customer feedback, everything that happens throughout the day is a source of inspiration.

What attracted you to base your business in Powerscourt Shopping Centre?
I started out in the Design Centre 24 years ago. I have always loved Powerscourt Centre for its individuality and quirky independent businesses. When we decided to open our own brand store in Dublin, it was always going to be my first choice.

What do you think makes your pieces so unique and sought after?
Customers love wearability and timelessness and those are at the centre of everything we do. Occasionally we will do something just for a photoshoot; a special piece that will live in our archives, and come out for a little bit of playtime. But for the most part, we always consider women’s bodyshapes and design to flatter them and make them feel comfortable but stylish every day. We are not just for an occasion. We believe that how women feel everyday isalways more important and that is what we look after.

What is your favourite piece instore at the moment?

That would have to be the cashmere wraps. They have literally just landed instore & online and will most likely be sold out by the end of the week! It is the perfect piece to carry through from season to season.

What does the future hold for Mary Grant?
Well that is a surprise… We have lots of things in the pipeline, so watch this space!

 

 

You can find Mary Grant on the ground floor of the Powerscourt Centre or shop online at www.marygrant.com

24 07 2017

Behind The Brands

With Margaret O’Rourke, MoMuse

As Powerscourt Centre is a hub of creativity with some of Ireland’s most inspirational and talented designers, we are delighted to offer you some more behind the brand insights on what it takes to be recognised in this competitive industry.

In the second of our series Behind the Brands, is Margaret O’Rourke, designer and owner of MoMuse, located on the ground floor of the Powerscourt Centre. Recently named as one of the Top Five places to shop in Dublin by the iconic New York Times earlier this month, this unique Irish designer is making her mark on the creative world.

What made you choose this career path? Was designing always of interest to you?
Yes, I was always creative as was my Dad, who was a brilliant Carpenter. My journey began by buying some stones and putting them together and creating small pieces for friends and family. It really developed from there and then travelling across Europe to trade shows, that really inspired me.

What inspires you and your pieces?
Travel and visiting different cities as well as people watching; it is so inspiring. I have always liked simple and classic style. I believe less is more, classic fine jewellery will never outdate. It is an investment piece that you will have for years.

What attracted you to base your business in Powerscourt Shopping Centre?
I started in Powerscourt Centre when the Loft Design Market was first set up by the amazing Aisling Farniella and I have never left, it has been my home for many years and I love it!

What do you think makes your pieces so unique and sought after?
I love to work with colours especially in my gold-filled collection; these pieces are very affordable and good quality. My fine jewellery are timeless pieces in 9kt Gold, as well as my fine gold stacking rings all made here. For me, I listen to my customer and I design simple classic pieces they will always have. I love to see my customers continuously wearing my pieces, isn’t that what it is all about!

What is your favourite piece in store at the moment?I have now started working with some new gems and more diamonds. I am currently working on a new ring collection. I am proud to say they are all made here in Dublin and all beautifully laser hallmarked in Dublin Castle. All will be revealed in September!

What does the future hold for MoMuse?
Earlier this month (July 2017), I received the best news any designer could ever wish for! I got voted one of the ‘Top Five Places to Shop in Dublin’ by the NEW YORK TIMES! It has been an amazing and exciting week. So from this who knows, but I feel very excited for the future and what it holds for MoMuse.

You can find MoMuse on the ground floor of the Powerscourt Centre or shop the collection online at www.momuse.ie

Virgin Mobile have brought some of the Virgin magic to the streets of Dublin with their very own Virgin Mobile Data Demon.

Created by Artist Luke Egan aka Filthy Luker the installation has taken weeks to build and 7 hours to land on Powerscourt Centre here in Dublin’s South William Street to let people know about our Virgin Mobile amazing value offers and fantastic value smart phones.

14 07 2017

Behind The Brands

With Jennifer Rothwell

Powerscourt Centre is at the heart of Dublin’s Creative Quarter and is delighted to have some of Irelands most successful, inspirational and talented designers on hand. We sat down with three designers at the Powerscourt Centre to find out the background of their brands and gain some insights on what it takes to be so successful.

The first in the series of Behind the Brands is Jennifer Rothwell. Jennifer began her journey at Powerscourt Centre in 2014 when she set up her flagship store. Being one of Irelands most successful Irish designers, we wanted to get to know who is behind the brand a little better.

What made you choose this career path? Was design always of interest to you?

I have always been creative; I have loved to draw and paint from a very early age. I suppose my love of fashion started when I decided to turn my pink jumpsuit, which had elasticized cuff sleeves, into a pair of trousers for my Barbie Doll, I was only 7! I knew a career where I had to conform and wear a business suit, that just was not me! I wanted a career where I could continue to have fun and create beautiful things every day! I studied Education at NCAD first and then decided to move into Fashion.

What inspires you and your pieces? 

Vibrant Colours, Fabrics and especially my love of Irish Heritage and Culture. I am very passionate about my Irish heritage and culture. In 2015 I wanted to help reignite the Celtic Revival of the 19th and 20th centuries. The aim was to celebrate Irish artists, folklore, legends and traditions through fashion in a modern and contemporary way.  As a result, I created a varied range of my printing which was inspired by Harry Clarke’s, Book of Kells and 1916 GPO. My One Shoulder Stain Glass Printed Gown was worn on the Red Carpet at the Oscar’s by Liselott Olofsson, wife of Tom Moore who directed Song of the Sea which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.  In 2016, the National Museum of Ireland purchased 3 of my printed designs for their Contemporary Design Collection. I am very proud of this, it was a great endorsement of my work. I live and breathe the Made in Ireland Campaign although it can be very challenging at times. My passion started back in 2008 and continues to grow each day!

What attracted you to base your business in Powerscourt Shopping Centre?

ln 2014, I decided to open my first flagship boutique in Powerscourt Townhouse in the Creative Quarter.  I wanted to showcase my own collection while also supporting other fellow Irish fashion, accessory and jewellery designers that also exclusively make in Ireland. Powerscourt is such a beautiful period building and a perfect fit for my brand and boutique! I sincerely want to give fellow Irish designers, and myself included, a genuine platform to sell directly to the public, to promote and grow their businesses and create employment in the Irish design and manufacturing industry.

What do you think makes your pieces so unique and sought after?

Jennifer Rothwell designs are vibrant, colourful and are for clients that want to stand out of the crowd, who want something different and unique. We also offer a bespoke tailor-made service. Jennifer Rothwell is currently the only designer that digitally prints and makes in Ireland so we can create bespoke orders for customers worldwide! Jennifer Rothwell customers know when they buy our designs that they are investing in top quality garments that are unique, timeless fashion that will stand the test of time!

What is your favourite piece in store at the moment?

I love our printed range of Silk Tops; they are so versatile, you can wear them with white jeans for a casual summer look or wear them under a business suit for a more professional Look. The perfect day into evening piece! Our colourful prints make you feel happy too which is essential for every woman’s wardrobe.

What does the future hold for Jennifer Rothwell?

Global expansion! Jennifer Rothwell has its sights on the UK and USA markets over the next 6 months. An amazing photoshoot is also currently in the works for a major publication! There are so many very exciting things happening at Jennifer Rothwell HQ, the future is very bright indeed!

You can find Jennifer Rothwell on the Top Floor of the Powerscourt Centre or shop the collection online at www.JRothwell.net

It’s summer – This time of year is full of catching up with friends over brunch and doing some people watching with a refreshing drink in hand. What better place to do this than in Powerscourt Centre? We’re extremely Instagram friendly and you’ll be an #instafoodie in no time. Take a look at our foodie guide – we wanted to shine a spotlight on the hottest dishes, drinks and treats from around the Centre.

Brunchin’

Brunch Instagram - Powerscourt Centre

With Dublin’s brunch scene constantly growing, we all love a good instapic of your brunch at the weekend. What better way to provide curated brunch inspiration to your followers than avo toast and eggs? Often a good brunch is hard to get right, but not here in Powerscourt Centre! Our favourites for Avocado Eggs has to be the smashed Avocados, Baked Plum Tomato, Smoked Mozzarella and Pesto delight from Farrier & Draper. On par with this is The Pepper Pot’s Sourdough, Smashed Avocado, Poached Eggs topped with crispy Bacon.

If you’re after something sweet for brunch the Pancakes with Ricotta, Maple Syrup and Mixed Berries from Farrier & Draper are a must. The French Toast with Bacon from Pygmalion is drizzled in maple syrup and is another ‘go to’ for your sweet tooth. Add a little taste of France to your day with a Ham and Cheese Croissant with Baked Ham, Emmental Cheese and Béchamel Sauce from Le Petit Parisien.

A brunch menu isn’t complete without some Eggs Royale on the menu! The Townhouse Café do a mouth-watering English muffin topped with Smoked Salmon, a Poached Egg, and Hollandaise Sauce. Be sure to take an Instagram picture before you dive in!

Is it lunchtime yet?

Lunch Instagram

Dublin’s streets are packed with excellent places to grab an appetising lunch and catch up with friends. You can’t beat a hearty sambo when it comes to lunch. The Pepper Pot sandwiches are enormous and filling. Roast Pear, Bacon and Mount Callan cheese on thick fresh white bread. Yes Please!

You can’t beat some bruschetta to nibble on over lunch – it’s simple and tasty – especially Farrier & Draper’s Bruschetta selection with Tomato, Basil and Garlic or with Goat’s Cheese, Prosciutto and Fig Jam as well as the veggie option with Roast Aubergine and Artichoke.

Le Petit Parisien do a mean Quiche Lorraine filled with Bacon and Emmental Cheese – a classic french dish, perfect to prevent that midday slump.

If you’re looking for something crunchy and cheesy, how do Pygmalion’s Nachos sound? Baked Tortilla Chips topped with Monterey Jack Cheese, Jalapeno, Refried Beans, Guacamole, Salsa and Chilli Con Carne will definitely hit the spot. We love ours with a side of Sweet Potato Fries too.

Satisfying Salads!

Instagram Lunch

Trying to keep your health kick going throughout the summer can be difficult so Powerscourt Shopping Centre are on hand to bring you some delicious salads to help keep you on track!

We love The Pepper Pot’s Pan-Fried Goats Cheese Salad with Gubbeen Chorizo and Vine Tomatoes. Another delicious go to is the ’Manza’ with Flank Steak Salad with Grilled Mushrooms, Artichoke, Rocket and Radish from Farrier & Draper.

We can’t forget the Classic Chicken Ceasar Salad from The Townhouse Cafe, a firm favourite with Grilled Chicken, fresh Romaine Lettuce and Cherry Tomatoes tossed with a delicious Caesar dressing. Topped with shaved Parmesan Cheese and Croutons, this is sure to hit the spot.

If you’re a fan of avocados (who isn’t), you NEED to try the Avocado and Crab or Smoked Salmon Salad served with a crispy Baguette from Le Petit Parisien. We’re getting hungry just thinking about them! Healthy, delicious and filling!

Dinner

Instagram Dinner Powerscourt Centre

If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat, get more bang for your buck with Farrier & Draper and let your taste buds run wild. It’s early bird menu is available from 5.00pm – 6.30pm, with 2 courses for just €22 or 3 courses for €25. Bargain! We’re loving the Prosciutto to start, with San Daniele Ham, Irish Buffalo Mozzarella, Vine tomatoes and Fig preserved.

For your main course, we recommend a Pizza – the Diavola – smothered with mozzarella, spicy Italian salami and sundried tomatoes. Throw in a glass of wine for good measure. With specials daily, there is always something different on the menu at The Townhouse Café. Daily specials include Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with King Prawns and Parmesan, Hake and Pesto Pasta or a juicy 8oz Rib Eye Steak. Plus, there is ‘two for one’ on wine or prosecco so #winenot?

Craving Something Sweet?

Cakes and Pastries at Powerscourt Townhouse

To curb your sweet tooth, we are in awe of the classic Victoria Sandwich from The Pepper Pot – The Light Sponge filled with Whipped Cream and Jam is the perfect afternoon treat!

There is a ton of other great healthy treats to opt for too which are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar-free: Goji Berries and Pistachio Almond and Cashews with Raw Cacao – Yum!

Le Petit Parisian is a little slice of Paris right in the heart of Dublin’s city centre. All pastries are made in their in-house bakery on the top floor of Powerscourt, oozing of fresh baked goods for an authentic serving of France. We’re talking Instagram heaven here -with baskets of croissants, glazed pastries, and exquisite fruit tarts, there’s certainly something for everyone.

The Townhouse Cafe’s Bailey’s Cheesecake is divine – the smooth, creamy liqueur gives this cheesecake the wow factor. Wash it down with an Irish Coffee. Why not eh?

It’s Cocktail O’Clock!

Instagram Cocktails

Pygmalion is an old reliable and a haven for people watching, and is known for it’s tasty ‘2-4-1’ “Pygtails” offer which runs weekly from Sunday to Thursday and 40% off all drinks on Sundays! We’re talking Minty Mojitos, Espresso Martinis, Whiskey Sours and Tangle Twisters. All ‘buy one, get one free’, we don’t have to tell you twice!

Farrier & Draper is another ‘go to’ hotspot, nestled right on the front-line of Dublin’s Creative Quarter. When it comes to cocktails, we love their fresh take on the old classics. ‘Shake it baby’ & ‘Whiskey for Business’ sound fab! Enjoy your cocktails in the 1920’s décor, listening to some uplifting tunes from there in-house DJ. How about something cool and refreshing sans alcohol to quench your thirst?

The range of Ice Cold Drinks from The Townhouse Café will sort you out! Choose from Homemade Lemonade, Iced Coconut Mocha, Passion Fruit Iced Tea and Iced Vanilla Latte.


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