It’s October…eek, where is the year going?
Mine kick-started with a fashion-filled day last Saturday, 1st October attending Athlone Fashion Trail– I am sure your heads were all melted as I snap-chatted my way around the town. My poor phone nearly burned out!
I was thrilled to be invited as a blogger on the first ever Athlone Fashion Trail with 24 other fabulous bloggers from Into the West Blogger Network. So firstly I want to say a huge thanks to the wonderful Sinéad & Saibh for inviting me and co-ordinating the day so seamlessly…I am certain this entails alot of preparation work in the week’s preceding such an event, but as I expected, just like the Galway Fashion Trail it was superbly planned . The girls from Galway Now Magazine and Golden Egg did trojan work with all their planning on the lead up to the day and on the day the day itself…well done to all you ladies (men too) – you are really worked so hard to create such a fun day.
Of course, living in Athlone for so many years I am familiar with all the boutiques and shops which were on the trail but t it was extra special to be part of this group. It was a great opportunity for all of us to see the retailers showcasing their Autumn/Winter style through the fashion shows they presented. Each venue kindly offered discounts on the day and they spoiled us with sweet treats and prosecco along the way. They also bestowed us with generous gifts and vouchers too, so a huge thank you for these. It really was over and above any expectations we had.
All the bloggers met at Colm Quinn BMW Showrooms for 9.30am. I was in my element surrounded by shiny BMW’s but my heart lies with the little Minis…being a Mini driver myself (I’m on my 3rd Mini now) I loved looking at all the new models and of course the vintage ones too. I bought my current Mini from Colm Quinn’s and I have to say their customer service is second to none. Here we were treated to a fabulous breakfast and fuelled up with coffee and prosecco too….a few bubbles for breakfast is no harm now and again! The models from Catwalk Model Agency were made even more beautiful than they already are by the very talented Aileen Duffy Make Up Artist and their hairs were done by one of Athlone’s most well renowned hair-dresser Maeve O’Healy Harte. Then we were chauffeured into town in style by the guys at Colm Quinn…honestly, it was very glamorous altogether and I felt like an A-lister celeb – ‘A ‘being for Athlone!!!
First stop was Kadee Bridal Boutique on Pearse Street. I hadn’t visited their new stylish boutique but wow, it was absolutely stunning. For any bride-to-be I would highly recommend booking an appointment here. Dee and Kathleen are just so professional and stock some of the most stunning designs from Suzanne Neville, Temperley London and Martina Liana, but to name a few. Head-pieces and accessories were created by Laura Hanlon Designer who is a personal favourite of mine (she made my head-piece for the Galway races). She showed an amazing pearl head-piece which received many gasps when Katie from Catwalk Model agency sashayed out in it.
A quick totter over the Shannon bridge and we arrived at our next destination, Burgess Department Store. Now, as I am sure you all know Burgess is a well established department store styling the midlands since 1839. Another fashion show commenced here with some fabulous outfits, coats and menswear. I had a good browse in their Carl Scarpa section which had some beautiful bags and Winter boots and the lingerie department there stocks some great labels as well. We also returned to Burgess for the final fashion show of the day. It truly is a beautiful store with very friendly staff and stocks everything from stunning homeware to kiddie’s wear – everything under one roof, isn’t that what we all want?
Up from Burgess on Church Street is Olivia Danielle boutique which is another well-known fashion mecca in the town. I am nearly always crashing the car when I am driving by looking at their window display. They house many Irish and International designers and they put on a truly glamorous fashion show with lots of glitz and sparkle. Here I fell in love with a hot pink coat which I was posting on my social media accounts during the week – it’s divine. Olivia Danielle’s also stock Freddy jeans which I didn’t realise; these promise a bum-lift to defy gravity – I can tell you now my ass needs a fork-lift sometimes so I will certainly put these to the challenge! Suzie Mahony also showed some of her amazing head-pieces and hats , and she was there herself too on the day offering style advice – she really is such a talented milliner and a lovely person.
Then off we went to be re-fuelled by The Fatted Calf restaurant. Honestly the food was the prettiest I’ve even seen. That didn’t stop me devouring it and they served THE most amazing salted caramel doughtnuts I had ever tasted. I inhaled one and I was too polite to take another, but the inner piggy inside me was dying for a second one! It really was such a delicious lunch.
Before and after lunch Athlone Town Centre showcased all the style from their various shops – this is a shopping centre I didn’t even know existed until last Saturday…ok, ok you know I am only joking!! Sure if I am not at home you will find me roaming around here! Even the other day when I got into my car, some maps thingy popped up on my phone saying ‘You are 5 minutes from Athlone Town Centre with no traffic’ – even the car and the phone are automated to go there. I think I need a therapist! Anyway, I spotted many pieces I wanted here (as usual!) but I particularly loved this Tommy Hilfiger jumper which Demelza was rocking…it’s part of the Gigi Hadid range and would match a multitude. Maybe I’ll get it for Christmas…just sayin’…like if anyone is stuck for ideas!
Then we hobbled down to Boutique Clodagh – well when I say hobbled, I mean I hobbled in my heels – most of the other sensible bloggers had shoes you could actually walk in but myself and the gorgeous Pam from Pams Live Love Fashion blog just stuck it out in the heels…such a little pair of rebels! (well actual eejits if you saw my feet the next days…oh lordy they weren’t well at all!) She was my fashion side-kick all day long, snapping and chatting away and running into shops for purchases when we got a gap!
Clodagh’s boutique is a fabulous shop with something to suit all ages. They had the prettiest scarves and coats and lots of casual pieces to mix and match.
Next it was back over town to Nell’s Closet – another one of my favourite window displays in Athlone. When I drive by here I always hope for a red traffic light so I can gaze in at their style. There were ooohs, aaaahs and squeals of delight out of everyone here as one outfit was nicer than the next! They also stock a huge selection of jewellery and handbags, so really it is a one-stop shop for style lovers…perfect for occasional wear. We also got to view pieces of contemporary jewellery from Celtic Roots, by Irish artist Helen Conneely. These unique pieces are carved and sculpted from bogwood. So very unusual and eye-catching.
We ended the day with a wrap party at Radisson Blu Hotel….a hotel I am very familiar with as I worked there for 4 years. It was just gorgeous to sit in the Riverside Lounge and sip a cocktail while nibbling on the delicious finger food they had ready for us. We all sat over-looking the Shannon chatting about our great day. Of course I had one eye on the Mayo vs Dublin match too – that was the only disappointment of the day…Mayo’s defeat. I knew one sad husband would be returning from Croke Park that evening!
It’s was so great to be part of such a fun and fashionable day and I always meet so many bloggers from all over the country who I have been following already – it’s great to meet the face behind the blog. They were all so lovely and were absolutely blown away by the great style they saw in our little town of Athlone.
I have to say I was really proud to say on the day I was living in Athlone, and it pleased me even more to say that this lovely stylish town is where I now consider my home.
Enjoy your weekend my lovely fashionistas!