Style notes: Timeless capsules from Mary Grant, Elton John’s snazzy specs and a free Amy Winehouse exhibition

Our fashion editor rounds up the latest style news and fashion trends

Mary Grant black 'Hero' pinny, €289, worn over 'Lyla' strappy vest, €49, and (right) 'Freya' lacy knit, €269, available from

Jo Browne unisex bamboo PJs are available at her pop up shop in Kildare Village.

‘Norah’ dungarees and ‘Luci’ pinny, €399 each from

'Lyla' strappy vest, €49, 'Harper' skirt, €169, brocade and velvet obi belt, €69,

Mary Grant 'Kate' palazzos with yoga waistband, €129,

Mary Grant 'Lola' cold shoulder top, €109, 'Harper' skirt, €169, available from

Eyewear designed by Elton John available from €58 at the Elton John Pops Up! shop at Kildare Village

Seamless Ireland rugby socks made from bamboo cotton, from €7,

Polly & Andy Bamboo Tie-Dye Sock 0-1 and 1-2 years, €7

Bairbre Power

I can safely say there are women out there capable of taking Mary Grant as their Mastermind topic, such is their encyclopaedic knowledge of the Co Kildare designer’s mix-and-match fashion output over the last 30 years.

Grant is a queen of soft viscose jersey layering, and when you add in her reputation for pinnies — both dresses and dungarees now being passed onto a second generation of wearers — you arrive at a bewildering number of seasonless looks; from relaxed tees and palazzo trousers to ‘hero’ dresses, lace knits and cashmere wraps

Many of Grant’s fans would have been disappointed by the designer’s decision to close her two shops — in Dublin’s Powerscourt Townhouse and Newbridge — but this move has been a huge liberation, the designer explains.

“Because the overheads were so high, I was having to design more than I wanted to design and produce more than I wanted to, just to cover the overheads. Now I’ve been able to pull it right back and just do the capsule collections that I’ve been wanting to do for ages,” she says. “Being able to stand back and slow it down has been a game changer.”

‘Norah’ dungarees and ‘Luci’ pinny, €399 each from

Her new business model is bi-annual capsules, with 15-20 pieces in classic colours and shapes. Her Capsule 5 collection launched in late March, and you will find it on her new website with the ‘Norah’ dungarees and ‘Luci’ pinny in a striped linen mix, priced at €399 each.

Her trademark soft jersey pieces come in new neutrals of cappuccino and dusty heather, which blend in with her core shades of black, dark navy and grey.

I have a real soft spot for her ‘Lola’ cold-shoulder tops in viscose jersey (€109), which look great with the ‘Harper’ skirt with tucks (€169).

“I deliberately don’t do a whole range of new pieces each season because I want people to be able to build their wardrobe over time,” says Grant. “Each season is evolving from the one before. I’ve been wanting to slow things down, to help people buy less and buy better, and this is my way of doing it. [Customers] can know with confidence that if they buy something this season, there’s going to be something next season to go with it.”

Mary Grant 'Lola' cold shoulder top, €109, 'Harper' skirt, €169, available from

I liked the deep ‘yoga’ waistband with strong stretch on the leggings, skirts and trousers, so you can wear it as high up or low down as you like.

The brand’s website comes with its own stylist — namely Grant’s daughter Bronagh — who responds to all the email queries; while Bronagh’s sibling, Pluto, did all the lookbook photography.

Grant says, “We make it our policy not to ship items just to ‘try them on’. We want to be confident that what we are sending to you has the best possible chance of being perfect for you.”

Kildare Village pop-ups

Eyewear designed by Elton John available from €58 at the Elton John Pops Up! shop at Kildare Village

Nostalgia for Elton John’s utterly unique signature style has stepped up during his farewell Yellow Brick Road concert tour.

Kildare Village has launched the ‘Elton John Pops Up’, which is open until May 3 and sells Elton John Eyewear designed by the man himself. Specs wearers will find statement eyewear priced from €58, while sunglasses are available from €185-€350. Also in store, you will find T-shirts (€75), mugs (€25) and vinyl discs from €38.

Jo Browne unisex bamboo PJs are available at her pop up shop in Kildare Village.

While in the Village, be sure to check out Jo Browne’s new pop-up where, in addition to her skincare, you can also buy the Co Carlow woman’s bamboo bedding and her unisex bamboo black PJs with pockets and cream trim, which are on sale at €87, compared to the usual RRP of €120. They are available in sizes S-XL.

I cannot write about Browne without mentioning her equally inspiring sister, Polly Doyle, who set up Polly & Andy, which sells seamless bamboo socks, in 2019.

Her son, Andy, has autism, and was once non-verbal. His comment to her one day, as he pulled on his trousers, that “these don’t hurt” really hit Doyle, who did a deep dive into finding solutions to the discomfort caused by clothing, starting with socks.

Seamless Ireland rugby socks made from bamboo cotton, from €7,

After extensive research, Doyle came up with a ‘no seam’ toe design using bamboo fibre, which is antibacterial and hypoallergenic. Grant developed the comfy sock range, which now goes from baby sizes up to adults UK size 13. Prices run from €7-€9.50.

The company’s Ireland green and white and striped provincial rugby colours socks are hugely popular and, this month, Doyle is introducing bamboo hiking socks (€16.50) to the range.;

Free exhibition

Fans of Amy Winehouse might be interested in the free exhibition, ‘Beyond Black — Celebrating the Career and Style of Amy Winehouse’, which runs at The Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware in Co Kildare until May 7. It includes original garments and property worn by the legendary singer.

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