The Write Note: Give Your Christmas Cards A Fancy Flourish

FANCY HANDWRITING is experiencing a renaissance in FASHION CIRCLES, it’s time to PUT PEN TO PAPER … 


No wonder Frenchman Nicholas Ouchenir’s right hand is insured. During Fashion Week he personalises 15,000 invites for clients such as Christian Dior, Hermès and Louis Vuitton, often collaborating with designers on a unique style, ranging from loose cursive to artistic flourishes. And when calligrapher Rosalind Wyatt attended a party for Burberry last September, bouncers had to hold back the throngs who queued for her inscribed mementos, officially cementing the appeal of the pen in fashion circles. “In a world where machinic print floods our daily lives, there is a real pleasure in the tactile immediacy of beautiful paper and the colour, movement and grace of a calligraphic piece,” says Kevin Honan of Peannairí; the Association of Irish Calligraphers. “It also has other more mundane virtues; it is cheap, doesn’t require physical effort or a high level of fitness and has its own camaraderie online.” Signing up for an eight-week foundation course with Siobhan Campbell in Blackrock Further Education Institute, I can attest to the instant gratification calligraphy brings. It’s also very therapeutic. Campbell teaches patience and encourages a mindful approach to the art form, which of course is part of our national heritage. While I may not be proficient in the blackletter script of the Book of Kells, like my classmates, I look forward to addressing Christmas envelopes and cards with more panache this season.

Penny McCormick

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