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Image / Fashion

Eight Irish-made Christmas gifts I really, really want

by Niamh ODonoghue
06th Dec 2018

Let me tell you what I want, what I really, really want.

Electronic Sheep‘s contemporary winter-wear

Electronic Sheep’s tapestry-esque designs, contemporary illustrations and bold patterns have gained them international recognition and a permanent place in my seasonal wardrobe. It’s true; I’ve fallen hard for creative duo Brenda Aherne and Helen Delany’s strong signature design style and I think you will too. Scarves are large woolly, silky opportunities to wrap our bodies in art in as many ways as our imaginations will allow. I recently got my first ES scarf (the cat bandana, bottom) and I love wearing it draped over my favourite dress-up jacket. Right now, I’m crushing on the oversized stone age zine triangle scarf, below, that is demanding to be worn wrapped up on the couch over the holidays.

Red-eyed cats knitted bandana, €95 at, oversized stone age zine triangle scarf, €152 at

Top: Oversized stone age zine triangle scarf, €152 at, Red-eyed cats knitted bandana, €95 at

Danu Ceramic‘s party-ready agate and gold coasters
Agate and gold coasters, €13 at

Agate and gold coasters, €13 at

Tell me this; is there anything worse than having friends over only to not have the proper accoutrements for them to fully enjoy their brief rendezvous at chateaux you? Just like the knife goes with the fork, this dream-like coaster set goes hand-in-hand with a glass of temperature-perfect malbec (or tea). Artist Ruth Power is the skilled hands and passionate heart behind the colourful Danu Ceramics and designs jewellery, ceramic homewares, and wall art. Power finds inspiration through travel and food which translates into her colourful – almost animated – pieces.

An Anna Wintour tribute by Jill & Gill

Limited edition Anna sweater, €120 at

Limited edition Anna sweater, €120 at

Jill Deering and printmaker Gillian Henderson are future makers. The pair has been designing together since 2015 and in that time have helped transform and combine art and fashion through their unique wall prints and apparel collections. This Anna swearer is part of their ‘Boss Lady‘ series featuring powerful female figures like Frida Kahlo, Grace Jones, Kate Moss and, of course, Anna Wintour. I already have the Anna tote bag, so it’s only fitting that I get the matching jumper, too.

A peculiarly wonderful sock assortment from Chaos and Harmony

Chatty feet - the artist gift box, €35 at

Chatty feet – the artist gift box, €35 at

What do you mean you don’t take time to carefully choose the perfect sock-shoe combination?  Socks are the secret to wardrobe perfection. Yes, really. They are tiny but powerful vehicles for channelling your personal style, not a wardrobe afterthought, and Chaos and Harmony’s chatty socks prove that theory. Where can you find fine art masters in one place? The Louvre? The Guggenheim? No, they’re right here in this unique gift box. Meet Andy Sock-Hole, Feetasso, Frida Callus and Vincent Van Toe.

Monogrammed cashmere from Theo + George

Monogrammed Ella crew neck cashmere sweater, €174 at

Is there anything better than the soft, luxurious feel of cashmere? If there was a hierarchy in the knitwear world, cashmere would sit comfortably at the top. It’s true: investing in a beautiful cashmere piece is an indulgence, especially when they start in excess of €100. But buying the right piece will feel like enveloping yourself in a warm marshmallow; that’s what makes cashmere so special and luxe. This gorgeous, soft cashmere sweater from sustainable luxury Irish brand Theo + George is top of my knitwear wishlist. It’s monogrammed too, for an extra touch of luxury.

A brilliant and simple black leather tote from Landa bags

Ombu black leather bag, €495 at

Ombu black leather bag, €495 at

Fewer things in life give me enough joy as a sturdy leather hold-all, but this particular tote from new Irish brand Landa Bags is particularly special. Why? Because each Landa bag comes with a matching internal tote bag that folds away easily. And when you carry around an outfit change, gym gear and lunch boxes with you every day, one bag quickly becomes three. The brand offers a clever, design-based solution so you always look and feel chic. The result? Carrying bags around doesn’t have to feel like a drag anymore. This particular bag is made using the finest Spanish craft leather by artisans that follow traditional methods. It takes more than 15 hours to produce this piece.

A touch and smell-worthy, hand-rolled candle from Beeswax Candle Makers

100% hand-rolled mini beeswax candle, €7 each at

What is it about this time of year that lighting a sumptuous candle makes EVERYTHING feel better? A simple candle has transformative powers, whether it’s a scent that that smells explicitly and delightfully of Christmas or the feeling of warmth and comfort. These honey-scented, 100% pure beeswax pillar candles are hand-rolled in Ireland using a cotton wick and are as pleasing to touch as they are to smell. What’s more, they have a burn time of six hours, so there’s plenty of time to engulf your home/bedroom/flat/apartment with the sweet, tantalizing smell and cosy, seasonal feeling.

A cashmere blanket scarf from KDK 

If you are going to invest in a scarf to snuggle into this winter, it really should be blanket-sized, cashmere and Irish. The KDK sisters design colourful print scarves and super-luxe blanket scarves inspired by key Irish and global hot spots that have meaning to them. Our favourite is the River Liffey Blanket Scarf for €295, and the Sky View River Lee scarf pictured below for €60. A selection is available in Brown Thomas, Avoca and online. 

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