Talking Points: An A-Z of What to See, Say and Do Now - The Gloss Magazine
3 weeks ago

Talking Points: An A-Z of What to See, Say and Do Now


Nowhere to go and nothing to say? Here’s an A-Z that might start a conversation …


The new fashion buzz word for 2021? Athflow. It’s where athleisure meets elegance. Smart enough for a client Zoom meeting, stretchy enough for an online Pilates class. Think flowy pull-on trousers, ballet pumps and wrap-around cadis, oversized shirting, jumpsuits and smart technical parkas.


Bathscaping, the new hashtag to follow, is all about making your bathtime extra beautiful. Start with a bath shelf; take a moment to enjoy the ritual of lighting a relaxing, scented candle with a beautiful match (phillumeny: the hobby of collecting matchboxes), add flowers (yes, pretty posies in your best bud vase), healing crystals and a glossy magazine in hand.


C is for caps, specifically baseball caps, so hot right now. Every look in Celine designer Hedi Slimane’s SS21 collection incorporated a hat with a C-monogram or Celine logo. Time to dig our your assorted collection of caps from the back of the wardrobe. Perfect for camouflaging a bad hair day, perking up an outfit and preventing sun damage.


D is for dharma, otherwise known as your “purpose” in Vedic wisdom – and one of the key words this year. Read Sahara Rose’s Discover Your Dharma which also covers understanding your mind-body type or dosha and how this can be applied to business relationships and everyday life.


An anti-cancer diet as advocated by Irish academics Dr Aoife Ryan and Dr Eadaoin Ní Bhuachalla in The Anti-Cancer Cookbook: Recipes to reduce your cancer risk. Soups, light meals, snacks and main courses are included as well as scientific evidence regarding diet and cancer. NB: one in three cancers can be prevented by reducing alcohol, keeping active and eating healthily.


F is for fixing fractured friendships. Irish psychotherapist Anita Coghlan believes, “Many of us found our inner introvert during lockdown. We didn’t have to deal with others or the pressures of ‘keeping up’.” There was less to talk about too. “The best route to mend friendships is through honesty, empathy and validation: the cornerstones of any relationship and the path to healing,” says Coghlan. “We don’t need content to connect. We don’t need to be interesting. We just need to say ‘how are you?’ and mean it”.


But planning visits to these new hotels: Mob House, Paris (in St Ouen) a mix of Italian furniture and flea market finds; Gleneagles Townhouse, Edinburgh; expect a hipster vibe since Hoxton Hotels took over Scotland’s grande dame; hotelier Gordon Campbell Grey’s new wellness resort Palacio de Canvezes in Portugal’s Douro Valley.


H is for fashion hook-ups. Designer Niamh O’Neill has collaborated with vegan chef and sustainability advocate, Holly White, to co-create a six-piece eco-responsible capsule collection. The duo’s versatile dresses, wrap tops, a silk-satin slip skirt and a bias-cut silk blouse are available at and now. Also, landing is the HM X Lee jeans collaboration and UGG X Telfar. Rumour has it a Swedish fashion retailer will be working with Givenchy! Watch out for H&M Home X Diane von Fürstenberg and Summerill & Bishop X


Love it or loathe it, frothy Netflix series Bridgerton has people talking … Over 63 million (and counting) have watched it. There are Irish links to the blockbuster: Derry Girls actor Nicola Coughlan plays reluctant debutante Penelope Featherington and London-based Irish fashion designer Richard Quinn worked with Netflix and the British Fashion Council to commission fashion students to create their take on Regency-inspired dresses, garnering valuable exposure for them online and in magazines. (The dresses are modelled here by some of the cast, including Coughlan, far left). With Netflix placing more and more emphasis on art direction (specifically sets and wardrobe) in the series it commissions, expect more creative collaborations of this nature in 2021: a clever way to spot emerging talent.


Japandi style, and Japanese bathtubs in particular, are trending, and Thames & Hudson’s new tome Japanese Design Since 1945 is ideal for armchair travellers. A potted history, it charts the rise of household names like Muji and Uniqlo and the influence of Issey Miyake and Kenzo Takada.


Humble sea kelp has lots of benefits in the diet but also for skin, as it’s hydrating and rich in minerals. There’s fermented honey, peptides and chlorella along with kelp in Sunday Riley’s strangely appealing Pink Drink Essence – it’s as fresh as cool lemonade on a hot day, and beautifully light on skin, while helping to soothe, balance and firm. €42, at Arnotts.


This pink lip colour, Tom Ford’s Rose Prick shade, is the perfect antidote to winter gloom – one sweep of this satin matte and you’re facing the year with a fresh new face. The Rose Prick body spray is also madly appealing.


The single biggest change we can make to reduce fabric consumption – apart from buying better, fewer clothes – is to buy better quality upholstery and keep it for longer, thereby reducing the environmental impact. Wool is thoroughly modern: from renewable sources, recyclable, and with inbuilt antibacterial properties, requiring less washing and lower temperature washing, it ticks all the boxes now.


What to watch next? We’re looking forward to Nomadland which looks like a best picture contender for the Oscars and stars Frances McDormand in a sweeping state-of-America drama directed by Chloe Zhao, who scooped a Golden Lion at Venice. Later in the year, there’s The Gilded Age (on HBO) Inventing Anna and Simply Halston which will both stream on Netflix. Ewan McGregor will play fashion icon Roy Halston Fenwick – though we are all waiting to hear who will star as the “Halsonettes” – the designer’s coterie of friends who included Liza Minelli, Bianca Jagger, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor and Margaux Hemingway. Expect to salivate over the fashion – six-ply turtleneck sweaters, halter-neck gowns and ultra-suede shirtwaist dresses were the hallmarks of Halston’s desk-to-disco aesthetic.


Oat-based milk chocolate, ice cream, cheese, yoghurt, and even double cream are coming our way this year, according to Bailey’s food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye and a cohort of global treat makers. Expect other (Instagrammable) trends such as luxurious savoury spreads. Champagne butter and sloe gin spread will pimp any pan loaf. Prepare, too, for fluffy Japanese pancakes and mochi going mainstream, while clashing combos like chocolate-coated potato crisps are in – easily achieved by dipping some Keoghs in a jar of Nutella!


P is for posture, which helps turn back the body’s chronological age. On film sets, posture coaches are now de rigueur. Remember when Robert De Niro got slated for walking like an old man on the set of The Irishman? Simple things like standing with your back against the wall (lower back to the wall, shoulder blades back, chin parallel to the floor), will undo poor posture habits. Try brushing your teeth like this and as you get used to it, try it standing on one leg. When talking about de-ageing, flexibility goes hand-in-hand with posture, which enhances everything from joint health to muscle strength, confidence and digestion. Try the online 20-minute classes aimed at midlifers from The Secret Pilates, which can be accessed at any time and are updated regularly by Eva Berg.


Pagerie is the world’s first luxury fashion house for pets. Specialising in covetable accessories like leather collars, leashes and harnesses (Pagerie uses the same tannery as Hermès) each piece is handcrafted in a stone-hued luxe leather;


Three new books published this month to add to your list include John Patrick McHugh’s Pure Gold – a collection of stories set on a fictional island off the coast of Co Mayo. McHugh has been anointed by Sally Rooney as one of the most exciting writers working in Ireland today. Poet Patricia Lockwood’s exuberant debut novel, No One Is Talking About This, is about a life led entirely on social media. Ever wondered what Nick Carraway got up to before The Great Gatsby? Find out in Michael Farris Smith’s Nick.


Sauna blankets (sleeping bags with infrared technology) have been credited with boosting circulation and calorie burning and have taken over from last year’s weighted blankets. Scientific evidence is scant, but celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr and Lady Gaga are fans. They are being used in swanky gyms and spas (and are available at We prefer to visit an actual spa and are looking forward to booking into the newly remodelled Spa at the Johnstown estate. It now includes a rooftop experience and a thermal suite, complete with a rasul mud and mineral treatment bath. Other high-tech treatments include psammotherapy (a hot sand bath) aquabeds, plasma and light treatment and sound wave therapies.


Bonding, veneers, teeth whitening and straightening your smile have all been popular in the last few years. The addition of video calls (without filters) means that there has been a so-called “Zoom boom” for dentists. Most people now want “imperfect perfect teeth” rather than uniform pearly whites. It’s as much about widening smiles and banishing “buccal corridors” (the dark corners that show between the corner of your lips and the side of your teeth as your smile). As for cleaning, the limited edition Irish Spotlight Oral Care Sonic toothbrushes (in rose gold or grey, €110) with a two-minute timer and three speed settings are gentle and particularly effective in removing plaque and coffee stains.


Upheaval, no – upgrade, yes. Renovating a kitchen is a challenge no matter what size it is, but an appliance upgrade is a far less daunting project than an entire overhaul. And new appliances can make a big impact on the look of the space; with a sleeker and more stylish finish, they streamline and simplify. This family kitchen was given a facelift with just two updates, a new stone island top and splashback and a new Gaggenau 200 series handle-free oven, 400 series induction hob and a 200 series dishwasher and fridge-freezer hidden discreetly behind the cabinetry. Additional upgrades you might want to consider are a warming drawer (brilliant for when entertaining is on the agenda again) and a coffee machine for all those WFH. See


Fashion accessories inspired by pandemic antiviral measures: check out Chanel’s hand-sanitiser wrist purse and Kenzo’s veiled beekeeping dresses, perfect for social distancing! Buzz off!


Waists are the focus for SS21. Specifically belted, bejewelled waists. How to get yours in shape this year? Smart home gyms are really taking off. Consider mirror training. A tech-enabled magic mirror (above) turns into a fancy two-way interactive smart screen with daily live fitness classes including boxing, dance cardio and yoga delivered via an app. Check out,, If you don’t fancy looking at yourself, check out Apple Fitness+, the new fitness service powered by Apple Watch that delivers daily top studio-style workouts by the world’s best trainers anytime, anywhere.


Get your hands on the new concealers that can help with mask-induced breakouts and general blotchiness. Top of the list are Clarins’ Everlasting Concealer (€26) and The Instant Concealer, with even more staying power (€25), Also notable is bareMinerals’ Original Liquid Mineral Concealer (€26.50), available from February in 17 shades, channelling the benefits of mineral powder in a fluid; it covers up and stays put. Finally, The Ordinary Concealer is a wallet-friendly €5.80 (at and promises high coverage with a natural finish, in 36 shades. It will sell out – you’ve been warned.


Chanel’s Fleurs de Printemps blush and highlighter compact (€55) is a youth-giving duo – don’t underestimate how much a soft flattering blush colour can lift dull skin. At counters nationwide.


Embrace duvet days in style. Haute comfort dressing – from Prada’s padded-nylon opera shawls to Fendi’s wearable silk embroidered quilt coat (it looks like the most beautiful comforter) reinforce the fact this is the year dressing up in comfort becomes beautiful. Not to be outdone, the high street will be embracing this trend … Our tip? Dip a toe in the trend with a pretty satin bed jacket to layer over your knits.


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