I nearly took the side of my car while trying to park it in a car park off Schoolhouse Lane in Limerick a few weeks ago. People who know me will know that this says nothing about the generosity of the car park entrance, and everything about my driving. But walking back to the hotel, through the lane, I was delighted to look up and find a series of hand-painted slate tiles mounted, as street art, along the wall.
One was inscribed with a favourite quote from Swift: “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” It turned out to be the perfect precursor to the feast of creative energy and personality we were to discover around every street corner in this resurgent, vibrant city. And you couldn’t meet a more effervescent embodiment of Swift’s words than Gracie Collier.
Sitting chatting to her in her light-flooded Spice Vintage shop, on page 148, I was so buoyed up listening to her regale with glee the story of her start-up. Her mum, not surprisingly, was perplexed when her 27-year-old daughter declared her plan to abandon her successful pop-up vintage shop in Cork to relocate to Limerick. As the city had no existing retro store, her mum fretted, “Is that not a huge risk?”. “No mam, that’s called opportunity,” came Gracie’s clever response. Gracie’s vision and infectious vivacity captures everything we’re celebrating in this “new energy” issue.
We step out in bold, punchy colours on page 38 in Catherine Condell’s clever edit that sees statement staple pieces reimagined for the new season; while Marie Kelly kicks off the colour block party on page 33 and has us shirking off winter’s dull days in electric cobalt and sunshine yellow. The bold paint palette is out in our beauty trends special too, where Holly O’Neill takes us backstage on page 85 to watch the masters at work creating brand new beauty-scapes with neon graphic liner, psychedelic nail art and Venetian-glass-inspired eyes, no less.
You’ll also find new ground being broken as we meet writer/director Mary McGuckian on page 68 to talk about her powerful new movie, A Girl from Mogadishu. The film tells the story of Somali-born Irish citizen Ifrah Ahmed, who arrived in Dublin as a refugee at the age of 17 and went on to become one of the world’s most powerful voices speaking out against FGM. An extraordinary story. “Be the voice, not the victim,” is Ifrah’s call to arms, a sentiment clearly supported by Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright, who talks to Aingeala Flannery on page 64 about the obligation of the writer, as she sees it, “to highlight the injustice that hides in plain sight”. Hear, hear.
Whether you plan on making your mark through the power of your pen, or the cut of your new (navy, wrap) coat, or Rocha-esque Wren Boy braids, let spring’s new spirited mood inject your step.
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The Volume 2 March/April issue of IMAGE Magazine is on sale now.
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