As I write this, we're filing and finishing the September issue of IMAGE. September is my all-time favourite time of year. It means issues of magazines line the shelves positively bursting with new season ideas, mood-boards and inspirations. It's Fringe Festival time (I can't wait any longer, it's going to be a good one) and it's my birthday month (I'm an absolute unashamed birthday fan), so you can see why I have September-bias.
Before all of that, let's talk August.?This month has been fuelled by caffeine. I was very kindly invited to my first coffee tasting session at Brother Hubbard and Value Added Africa, an organisation focused on growing coffee in Africa, and also roasting and producing coffee there, too. The night was an eye opener; although a huge amount of coffee is grown in Kenya, it is usually exported straight away and refined abroad. VAA are focused on supporting coffee growers to see their beans go from soil to sale and eventually start their own Kenyan coffee shops. We tried and tasted the coffee along with some sweet and savoury bites a la Brother Hubbard. Everyone from Dublin coffee royalty was present - Bruno of Brother Hubbard, Tom of Vice Coffee, Ger of The Fumbally, Colin Harmon and Monika Palova of 3fe, the VAA gang and brilliant blogger Minnie M?lange.?Check out more at proudlymadeinafrica.org
Here's a fun fact; I played the drums at the first ever Indiependance festival years ago, when it was just a twinkle in Mitchelstown's eye (stage in the town, 20 strong audience and a chip van), and had the best time ever with my then metal band. It was incredible to return again this year and see it has blossomed into a seriously top class festival, garnering respect and offering the abundance of musical talent it set out to showcase at its inception. The Craft Beer tent, stocked with Franciscan Well brews, the Eco Bus (see our festival women piece in August IMAGE for more on them), the endless bands (from The Vincents to BELL X1), and good-vibe crowd, all there for the music, man ... I'm sounding like a hippie now, but you know what I mean. Right on Indiependance; bring on Indie €14.
Despite the seemingly never-ending landslide of business closures and company down-sizings, there are brave and passion-drunk people out there filling the city with new places. It's one of the best reasons to get out and support. Oxmantown?Cafe near the fruit and veg market off Capel Street was first up, and I can report that it's definitely going to be one of the best Dublin 7 collective happenings (Bro Hubbard, The Hacienda, The Black Sheep, Wuff, Musashi?) Their take-it-as-it-comes menu of sandwiches is delicious and the coffee compliments sourdough perfectly. Check it out at @oxmantown.
Meanwhile, a perfect Saturday morning of art at the Cross Gallery was rounded off nicely with a stop off at the new in-house Cross Caf?, set up by super-journo Lizzie Gore-Grimes & her hubby Nicholas. Pastries, sandwiches and excellent espresso... Psst! While walking there, go via Lord Edward Street and peek in at Peacock and Green - their window says it all ?
The AW 13 Prada campaign. Prada's campaign stars 19 year old model Malaika Firth in a moody spread, their first to feature a black model in over 19 years. Along with Raf Simons? Dior campaign, featuring Puerto Rican and Chinese models, there's an apparent (and long overdue) move toward ethnic diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry.
I'm casually browsing birthday presents (to myself, naturally) and am craving St Laurent jewellery. Yes, Hedi Slimane has been shunned by fashion press for his first season with the fashion house, a high-end grunge collection that didn't go down well with a bevvy of editors, but I'm totally on board. Check out the site and pieces here - ysl.com
These Zara shoes. I love them. Inspired by my friend ?ine who rocked a pair at the beginning of the summer, I followed suit and am totally obsessed with the creeper-wedge -sandal phenomenon. Sandal season could end any minute, so it's OK to wear them all of the time, right?
Jo Linehan @jo_linehan