In a village near you is a boutique whose owner is your winter wardrobe’s secret weapon. Ask her for advice, get in the know, be first to hear when those dresses have dropped! And in the city, seek out independent boutiques with a neighbourhood-y feel to replicate the village shopping experience …
DERYN MACKAY Khan, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
Celebrating over 25 years in business, Khan is an integral part of Blackrock’s thriving village culture. Its loyal cohort of clients return each season to update their wardrobes with Mackay’s focused edit of brands which includes Paul Smith, Fabiana Filippi, Annette Gortz and Irish designers Roisin Linnane and Lainey Keogh. “Lasercut detailing, quilted outerwear, sleek suiting and the return of the LBD are key looks for AW22,” she explains. www.khan.ie. Deryn wears a bell-sleeve tunic; black trousers; both by Dorothée Schumacher.
CHARLOTTE TEMPLE Magee 1866, Donegal.
The Magee store has stood on the same site since it opened in the 1800s and is a true destination shop for womenswear, menswear and gifts (with a great café too). “Our ethos has always been one of ‘slow fashion’, with high quality, natural fabrics our focus,” explains creative director Charlotte Temple. “This season we dipped into our archives and revived some exciting patterns, adding a contemporary slant and new colour palettes.” www.magee1866.com. Charlotte wears the Rebecca dress in a Liberty print, from the AW22 collection.
GRAINNE WYNNE Beautiful South, Rathmines, Dublin 6.
Coinciding with – or preempting? – the cool-ification of Rathmines (so many interesting places to eat and drink; young, diverse vibe) Grainne Wynne’s Beautiful South has had an elevating influence on the D6 village. Among other elegant labels, find Ros Duke cashmere, Cleo Prickett tailoring, Eudon Choi separates, Daki Daki jewellery, Aoife Lifestyle bags and Alohas shoes. Think cool architect aesthetic – beautifully cut, restrained pieces with minimal detail and a contemporary edge. Pop in after a delicious bowl of pasta in nearby Sprezaturra … or maybe before! @beautiful.south. Grainne wears black silk doublebreasted jacket, Reuben Avenue; black leather trousers, MM6; brown leather mules, Alohas. Photograph by Emily Quinn.
AILISH MULLANE Kimono, Newcastle West, Co Limerick.
“I’m wearing Sara Roka, my favourite out of the 40 or so labels we stock, which reflects the style and ethos of Kimono – nostalgic with a contemporary twist.” Kimono, situated in a former bank (complete with safe), celebrates 20 years in business in 2023, and has recently enhanced its online offering. “Customers love our exclusive range of Soru jewellery too.” www.kimono.ie.
SARAH GILL Seagreen, Monkstown and Ranelagh, Dublin.
“At Seagreen, we stock timeless pieces that can be worn multiple ways, season after season,” says owner Sarah Gill. “AW22 features lots of print in key colours like hot pink and sapphire blue. We have new Australian label Alemais – lace embroidered dresses with blouson sleeves, 1970s-inspired linen print shirts and tiered and gathered mini dresses.” www.seagreen.ie. Sarah Gill wears blazer; T-shirt; denim jeans; all Anine Bing. Shoes by Rag & Bone.
LOUISE FLANAGAN AND KATE O’DWYER Emporium Kalu, Naas, Co Kildare.
Kalu has been stocking innovative designers including Vivetta and Vivienne Westwood for over 20 years. The duo are known for their edit of beautiful, boundary-pushing occasionwear. For the fashion-conscious who want original artistic pieces this boutique is a must-visit; www.emporiumkalu.com. Louise and Kate both wear dresses by Austrian brand An An Londree AW22.
NIKKI CREEDON Havana, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
Ireland’s edgiest fashion destination, Havana has been the first port of call for women seeking conceptual fashion for over 25 years. Stocking avant garde Irish and international designers, Nikki Creedon, as prescient about trends and how Irish women want to wear them as ever, says statement skirts and outerwear are a focus for autumn. Colour comes via bags and accessories. “And I’m looking forward to our two-week showcase of the best Irish design and crafts – including pottery and rugs – in November.” www.havanaboutique.ie. Nikki wears a Rick Owens jacket with a Chopova Lowena skirt, Mos Mosh shirt, Eyevan glasses, and orange bag by Wandler. Photographed at Dorian, Donnybrook Road, Dublin 4. Photograph by Doreen Kilfeather.
RUTH NÍ LOINSIGH Om Diva, Drury Street, Dublin 2.
Ruth Ní Lionsigh is a dynamo with a generous appetite for nurturing young talent and creativity. It’s difficult to pass Om Diva’s extraordinary window – inside is a vibrant mix of new designs and vintage pieces which work together to create a pretty, fey aesthetic with a subtle, punky edge. Sure, Drury Street isn’t a village, but between Loose Canon wine shop, Kaph café and the other independent retailers, it sure feels like one. www.omdivaboutique.com.
PAULA ROWAN Paula Rowan, Westbury Mall, Dublin 2.
The last two years have seen Dublin glove designer Paula Rowan go from local legend to global name. From the Met Ball to the Vanity Fair Oscars party, the Gucci movie to Lady Gaga’s world tour, appearances in W magazine, British Vogue (styled by Edward Enninful) and UK Tatler, her Italian leather gloves in styles like Aida, Monserrat and Caroline, have popped up in the smartest of places. If the little city centre village that is the Westbury Mall, feels a little quiet right now, remember within it are Paula’s well-stocked shop, as well as Susan Hunter, Stable, Stonechat and Cloth. Take a look! www.paularowan.com.
SUSAN MOYLETT Susan Hunter, Westbury Mall, Dublin 2.
Step inside Susan Moylett’s tiny store and give yourself over to the charming vendeuse within – who might indeed be Susan herself. This is the place to go when you resolve to spend more time choosing elegant, feelgood underwear (and nightwear) that fits properly and gives you confidence. Don’t wait for a special occasion – be more Frenchwoman this September! This store might actually change your life – it will certainly transform how you regard yourself. www.susanhunter.ie.
AILBHE AND COLLIE O’ROURKE Choice Boutique, nationwide.
“Our new AW22 collection is tailored and comfortable at the same time,”says Collie O’Rourke, the fourth generation of the family-owned Choice Boutiques which has eight stores around Ireland from Sandycove to Sligo. As well as stocking European brands including Derhy, Cecil, Nü and Zheni, Irish brands Ora, Peruzzi and Naya are bestsellers. www.choiceboutique.com. Ailbhe and Collie O’Rourke photographed in the Castleknock store, the newest of eight stores.
EVELYN BROWNE Slow Street, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
Step into Slow Street – IDI Store Design of the Year 2021 – and you’ll find recycled knits, organic denim and simple, chic silhouettes. “We don’t do trends. My passion is sourcing feelgood, clothes which have a positive impact on people and the environment,” says owner Evelyn Brown. www.slowstreet.ie. Evelyn wears a gingham brushed cotton dress from Beaumont Organic under a trench coat from Embassy of Bricks and Logs.
ELAINE PEEL Peel Fashion Store, Belfast.
This mini, three-storey department store (and its neighbouring Sale Shop Peel 2), has lured Belfast’s fashion crowd to Bloomfield Avenue for 22 years. For AW22, bold colours, print, pattern and staple black, are on offer, with sleek velvet occasion wear from Qui Privé, embellished kimonos from Essentiel Antwerp, versatile suiting from Emme and edgier pieces from XD Xenia; www.peel.fashion. Manageress Jacquie Martin and owner Elaine Peel both wear Riani. Photograph by Khara Pringle.
SADHBH FAHY Electra, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
French Girl style has a home and it’s Electra, in Donnybrook. Owner Sadbh Fahy, who lived in Paris for years, is the perfect poster girl for the look. From Vanesso Bruno to APC, Christian Wijnants to Isabel Marant, Maison Kitsune, to Forte Forte, pieces are classic yes, but with a contemporary cut, with an ever-present soupçon of sexy. Look out for Astier de Villatte ceramics and Aurélie Bidermann and Ginette NY jewellery. www.electra.ie. Sadbh Fahy wears knit top and skirt by Christian Wijnants; white leather boots by Isabel Marant.
ELLEN B Carmel Brennan, Ellen B, Clontarf, Dublin 3.
On the seafront next to St Anne’s Park, Ellen B has been a fixture of the northside villages of Clontarf and Raheny, since it was opened ten years ago by Carmel Brennan. It’s appeal is multigenerational with brands such Herno, Gustav, Perno, Annette Gortz and Fabiana Filippi. www.ellenb.ie. Manager Ger wears puffer jacket, Herno; silk tunic, Herzen Angelegenheit; trousers, Peserico; nubuck boots, Patrizia Bonfant.
ANN DONALDSON Please Don’t Tell, Belfast.
“I focus on shapes, fabrics and interesting accessories,” says Ann of her personal style, which she defines as “cool classic”. Her boutique on Belfast’s buzzy Lisburn Road is where you’ll find unfussy trenches from Kassl Editions and oversized corduroy suits from luxury brand Cawley Studio. “This season don’t wait until Christmas to wear your sequins,” says Ann, who will pair hers with a white tank by Dorothée Schumacher. www.pleasedonttell.ie. Ann wears a Kassl editions trench coat over a Rachel Comey Mowin dress.
JILL LEDWITH Nyles & Rafe, Dunboyne, Co Meath.
There’s a famously well-dressed coterie of women in Co Meath and it’s no surprise that some of them shop at Nyles & Rafe, a village gem owned by Jill Ledwith. On a bedrock of solid, pretty, on-trend Part Two and Second Female, Jill builds unusual individual labels, among them My Essential Wardrobe. Really interesting is the selection of brilliant shoes (something a lot of boutiques don’t go in for, for reasons of space). Look out for Tom & Somonsen, Nero Giardini, Paul Green, Lodi, Viguera and Le Babe ranges which you won’t find anywhere else. Jill also carries weatherproof line Sea Salt Cornwall and gorgeous earrings by Big Metal London. www.nylesandrafe.com. Biscuit bias-cut skirt and matching shirt, both Part Two.
TRACY AND ANNE TUCKER Costume, Dublin 2.
The Tucker sisters, Tracy and Anne, have been steering the Costume ship for almost 20 years and it has been consistently brilliant, ahead of the fashion curve and abreast of everything on the runway with a bias towards elegant-with-an edge clothes we really want to wear. They did Isabel Marant first! Zadig first! Yves Salomon first! The phrase “unerring eye” is a little staid to describe the Costume approach to buying. This season check out in particular Soeur, Les Ottomans, Rupert Sanderson and Markus Lupfer. www.costumedublin.ie. Tracy wears horse print silk dress, Zadig & Voltaire. Anne wears pink blouse, white denim jeans; white leather boots; all Isabel Marant.
MARY GREENE Divine, Maynooth, Co Kildare.
“This season sees the return of beautifully made clothes you can wear any time, any place,” says Greene. “Shop our favourite label, Exquise, for boxy blazers, three-piece suits and jewel-toned midi-length dresses.” Also selling well are Lolly’s Laundry floral dresses, Coster Copenhagen blouses and denim staples by Guess. www.divine.ie. Grey check blazer; winter white waistcoat, winter white trousers; all Exquise.
JULIET LEDWIDGE Juju, Greystones, Co Wicklow.
Unusual, contemporary brands have been the remit of Juju boutique, which stocks Landskein coats, Lis Lareida shirts, Pedro Garcia footwear and Gigi Clozeau jewellery. “Our style is very much timeless and classic – we want our customers to dress in pieces they will cherish forever,” says owner Juliet; www.juju.ie. A model wears a Landskein coat, silk blouse from Lis Lareida and jeans from Citizens of Humanity. Photograph by Jenni Browne.
CLODAGH CRONIN Samui, Cork city.
Foodies visit the English Market; women who love fashion visit Clodagh Cronin’s store Samui. Clodagh’s collection has a strong rootstock of iconic designers like Rick Owens and Dries van Noten and Acne Studios, onto which is grafted an evolving, season-by-season selection of the labels of the moment. Samui’s styling videos went viral during lockdown – no surprise, they kept the joy of dressing up alive through the darkest days of leggings and loungewear. www.samuifashions.com. Photograph by Miki Barlok.
JANE BAKER AND FRAN NOLAN Fran & Jane, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
“It was the sea views we fell in love with when we opened the boutique almost 20 years ago,” says the duo, who have seen Blackrock village expand in that time. “We’re mindful of sustainability, think local and evolve our offering constantly.” Colourful windows display their edit of casualwear and separates – from Van Kukil & Kuiten cashmere to Rosemunde silks. Regular clients love their edit of Tara Jarmon, Aspiga and Louise Hendricks jewellery. www.franandjane.com. Jane wears green silk satin shirt, Silk 95FIVE; black leather trousers, Levete Room. Fran wears black floral-print dress, Lily And Lionel.
JANE BRACKEN Aquila, Skerries, Co Dublin.
“I’m wearing the dreamy Hanni dress from Fabienne Chapot’s AW22 collection,” says owner Jane Bracken. “The collection is inspired by the beautiful colours, flowers and scenery of Lake Como. Expect to find Scandi daywear labels like Nümph, Pom Amsterdam, Ichi, and more. www.aquilaboutique.ie. Photograph by Paul Canning.
JUDITH O’SULLIVAN Roisin Cross Silks, Stepaside, Co Dublin.
Roisin Cross Silks has just moved to Stepaside village from life in a business park. “The three of us are ‘50-somethings’ and have extensive experience gained from the fields of fashion and medicine,” says owner Judith O’Sullivan. “We bring this experience to bear when meeting clients who need guidance in pursuit of their dream outfit or the perfect gift of a silk scarf or pillowcases.” www.silks.ie. Margaret, dress design consultant, Denise, front of house and owner Judith O’Sullivan.
TREENA AND CLAIRE SWEENEY Millars, Clifden, Connemara, Co Galway.
Clifden’s iconic yellow-fronted store, led by mother and daughter Treena and Claire Sweeney, has a strong following of Irish and international regulars who appreciate the edit of designers including Magee, Dubarry, Ireland’s Eye and Eco Tree knitwear, Niamh Daniels scarves and Landskein coats and accessories. www.millarsconnemara.ie. Claire Sweeney wears a Landskein coat. Treena Sweeney wears a Rosso 35 silk dress and Eco Tree cashmere wrap.
EMILY JEAN, Emily Jean Atelier, Moycullen, Co Galway.
Emily Jean O’Byrne has recently expanded her collection of bespoke hats and headbands at her Moycullen boutique to include clutch bags, belts, jewellery and scarves. New for AW22 are her Diva headbands in knitted wool adorned with pearls, and the elaborate Serena headband, perfect for brides; www.emily-jean.com. Emily Jean O’ Byrne wears the Diva headband with a blue Exquise coat from Willow Boutique, Co Clare. Photograph by Martina Regan.
EILIS MC SWEENEY Lily & Clara, Ballincollig, Co Cork.
“Confidence and colour are the key to AW22,” says Eilis, who pursued her love of fashion, rather than a career in corporate banking. “I’ve been in business for 17 years and enjoy dressing clients, whether for a special occasion or to update their wardrobe. I enjoy getting them to push boundaries!” she says. Lily & Clara focuses on tailored pieces, Turkish label Exquise, as well as classic labels like Marella, iBlues and Fabienne Chapot. www.lilyandclara.ie. Owner Eilís McSweeney wears red Exquise trouser suit with Saoirse O’Shaughnessy, Miss Cork.
DORANNE HICKEY AND AOIFE MC BRIDE Macbees, Kerry.
In Macbees boutique, founded in 1984 by Mary McBride, visitors are met with a riot of colour and interesting design. Mary’s daughters Aoife and Doranne, are now at the helm, bringing their experience – in costume design and as a buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue respectively – to the edit of brands stocked. These include Irish knitwear designer Colin Horgan and handbag label August Night. www.macbees.ie. Aoife McBride wears multi-coloured print silk dress, Munthe. Doranne Hickey wears abstract-print pleated kimono, black shirt dress, both Munthe.
NIAMH MCCOY Gallery 9, Naas, Co Kildare.
Few leave Gallery 9 empty-handed, such is the range of designers and styles (including Saloni, Stella Nova, Stine Goya and Self Portrait). From clothing and accessories to jewellery, owner Niamh McCoy’s taste is impeccable. Look out for printed co-ords by Copenhagen brand Munthe, minimalist cool-girl jackets and sweatshirts from Anine Bing and GLOSS favourite Gia Couture shoes. www.gallery9.ie. Owner Niamh McCoy wears Victoria Beckham with Deepa Gurnani earrings.
WENDY CRAWFORD Scout, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
“I’m wearing an indigo denim dress by Toast with corozo button detailing, cut in a shape I will wear for many years. It works really well across all seasons too,” says Wendy. “I love the longevity of Toast pieces. The quality of fabrics is really beautiful and I find their pieces are real workhorses for your wardrobe, something we always bear in mind when buying our collections.” www.scoutdublin.com.
ROXANNA ALLEN Rococo, Glathule, Co Dublin.
As part of its 21st birthday celebrations, Roxanna is collaborating with Bl^nk London to produce a range of sustainably made kimonos and scarves, for which the boutique is known. “Rococo has always worked with labels that are making a difference to the fashion community,” says Roxanna, who supports the “Glasthule Goes Green” initiative to reduce the carbon footprint within the local retail community. www.rococo.ie. Photograph by Lois Creighton.
LOUISE STOKES Loulerie,Chatham Street, Dublin 2.
“Having a splash of colour beside the face is a great way to update your look, especially on darker winter days,” believes Louise, who invests in great tailoring and accessorises with pieces from her fine jewellery collection. “The Diamond Martini necklace and 9mm Diamond Huggies are my go-to for everyday wear. In the evening, I switch to a pair of statement Mignonne Gavigan earrings.” www.loulerie.com.
If you have a favourite village boutique, let us know: we’d like to add it to THE GLOSS X Shopkeepers.com Best Shops list. Nominate at www.thegloss.ie/bestshops.