This modern Sligo farmhouse with a dreamy home office chalet and a treehouse is for sale for €245,000
This modern Sligo farmhouse with a dreamy home office chalet and a treehouse is for...

Lauren Heskin

Picnic season is here, so up your alfresco dining game with these chic accessories
Picnic season is here, so up your alfresco dining game with these chic accessories

Megan Burns

Soon enough, we will all be united in hate-watching Wild Mountain Thyme
Soon enough, we will all be united in hate-watching Wild Mountain Thyme

Lynn Enright

Stress Awareness Month: 6 tips to help you mange symptoms (and avoid burnout)
Stress Awareness Month: 6 tips to help you mange symptoms (and avoid burnout)

Jennifer McShane

Lizzo slides into Chris Evans’ DMs and his reaction is everything
Lizzo slides into Chris Evans’ DMs and his reaction is everything

Shayna Sappington

What’s on: What to watch, stream, read and listen to this April
What’s on: What to watch, stream, read and listen to this April

Holly O'Neill

Soggy veg at the bottom of your fridge? Tips to make sure your produce lasts until your next shopping trip
Soggy veg at the bottom of your fridge? Tips to make sure your produce lasts...

Megan Burns

Image / Fashion

Andrea Horan reveals her style secrets as Renailssance opens at the National Gallery


by Marie Kelly
23rd Jul 2019
blank

Andrea Horan is the founder of kitsch Dublin nail bar Tropical Popical and a passionate advocate of the three Fs – feminism, femininity and fun. Renailssance, an exhibition showcasing work from the year-long collaboration between Tropical Popical and the National gallery opened at the gallery last week. Here in conversation with Marie Kelly, Horan reveals what fashion means to her, how she brings vibrancy to her eclectic look and why women don’t need to sacrifice femininity for strength.


I’ve never been a follower of fashion or trends. Instead, I’ve always had an eye for the extravagant and the alternative, and for this reason, I’m happier sitting on the outskirts of the mainstream. When I opened Tropical Popical, I never felt under pressure to try and appeal to everyone. I was happy for us to find the people who loved our vibe rather than dilute it for a wider audience.

My style suggests that comfort and glamour can live harmoniously. When I dress in the morning, I’m ready for work, dating, partying and anything else the day throws at me. What I wear has to be comfortable, and smart enough to project authority, but always with what I consider a sexy edge. The pieces I wear are quite basic; the vibrancy comes mostly from my accessories.

Andrea Horan in her home, which is as vibrant and eclectic as her style


In the past, when I’ve gone through difficult times, I’ve put on weight. My size wasn’t catered for then, so I had to get creative with accessories to continue to communicate who I was through what I wore – my personality hadn’t changed, just my size. I can shop standard sizes now, but am I more deserving of beautiful clothes simply because my body is smaller? Getting dressed is not and should not be a moral issue.

I don’t shop very often; I’ve owned most of the pieces in my wardrobe for years. I’m not a hoarder, though. I only buy items I love and rarely throw anything out. My wardrobe is a hotch-potch of pieces that I rehash in different ways. Each item takes on a totally new lease of life depending on what I pair it with.

My style icons are Joan Collins in Dynasty and Elektra in the BBC drama Pose because they are power looks that celebrate femininity.

Too often, women are asked to sacrifice femininity for what is perceived as strength. Each of these women projects strength, but celebrates the power of softness and vulnerability too. This is what I aim for when I get dressed – strength, kindness and empathy.

I love the political statements Natalie B Coleman and Richard Malone make in their collections, and the vibrant prints and inclusiveness of Helen Steele’s designs. It’s always good to remember, though, that while fashion is art, a thing of empowerment and a bringer of joy, at the end of the day, we’re talking about clothes.

Portraits of Andrea Horan by Doreen Kilfeather.

RELATED: Five summer dresses from the sales you won’t have spotted anyone else in

RELATED: If your style is a bit boyish, you’ll love this drop of masculine-inspired pieces

RELATED: If your mad about hats, take a look at this collection