Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Trip to Ireland: Brown Thomas, and Úna Burke's Leather Epaulettes (and update)

My daughter spent two weeks at Irish boarding school learning Gaelic, so Mr. C and I (and our other two children) flew over to pick her up and to take a literary holiday.

We began in Cork and drove around the west coast till we reached Galway, spent some time on the largest Aran island, and took the train to Dublin for our remaining days. It was utterly glorious, and like any naughty reader, I'll start at the end, with some discoveries from Dublin.

I felt utterly comfortable in tourist mode, so we did things like going to see the first-ever all-Irish cast of the musical Once. Before the performance began, I dipped into the first-floor Portrait Bar, which contained larger-than-life photographs of performers who'd appeared there, at the Olympia Theatre.

I was particularly struck by this image of Saorise Ronan in her iron corset, rendered in black and white, glowering down at my banquette from the considerably tall walls.

Then I wandered into Brown Thomas, run by British-Canadian Galen Weston, who has long held businesses in Ireland (not to mention he married an Irishwoman!), and promptly fell in love with a display along the balcony: these leather epaulettes by Irish designer (based in London) Úna Burke. They have a touch of prim, but pack a thrill, and I think they would be a delight to wear--I'd even break my rule and buy a "crisp white blouse" for them!

To wear on another day, there were fascinators galore, all of which seemed to play the Game of Thrones angle. (I've never seen this show; I come by my medievalism via my Chaucerian background and my Beowulf-professor husband. But I IMAGINE they reference GoT.)

I loved the one with spikes (see details above), but would gladly wear them all.

Upon returning and tucking into the TV show Odd Mom Out, I saw Jill Kargman was wearing Úna, and its au courant status was immediately buckled up. Ahem.

Although this harness really screams Britomart, the female warrior,  more than Una, Spenser's Faerie Queene.