I went travelling last year around the world. Did you know? I presume you do as it is a running joke among my friends that I literally talk about my travels, Oz and backpacking to every Joe soap I meet.
Before I left, I was disheartened with Ireland, I admit I didn’t see the beauty in it anymore and was quite bored with everything to do with this little island. It probably was an affect of the recession, working long hours on graduate wages, trying to survive. Going out every weekend letting off steam to the same places with the same people got tiring. I simply couldn’t wait to leave.
Cue one and a half years later and I’m back on Irish shores with a whole new perspective on things. Firstly, one thing that stood out was how many alternative foodie haunts had popped up and the fact that people were actually in them. It seemed that there was a bit of love around town again. With initiatives like #LoveDublin from Failte Ireland and influencers on social media, Dublin started to become ‘cool’ again in my eyes. Clearly I am easily led.
I have been home 9 months now and I have enjoyed Ireland more than ever. I’ve been to Achill Island for the first time and stuck my head out the car window along Wild Atlantic Way, just like they told me to in the Discover Ireland ad. I’ve sipped on a pint of Guinness in Templebar like a typical tourist, walked the Strand in Rosslare in winter, enjoyed cocktails around town on rooftop bars, and sampled more Irish restaurants than ever before. You get the point.
So when I first heard about the Emporio Armani AW14 shoot shot on Dollymount Strand I immediately didn’t think, ‘Why they hell would they shoot in Ireland?‘. Instead I was excited to set my eyes on it. Shot by famed Irish photographer Boo George and assisted by the Irish Film Board, Armani have described the location as “striking” and the perfect accompaniment to the “subtle colours and textures” of their sleek Autumn/Winter 14 campaign. One has to just look at the shaggy fur coat below against the stark background and they’re coveting after it.
When Annie Leibovitz shot for American Vogue in Kerry last year it was collosal, with Tourism Ireland stating, ‘Vogue’s Kerry shoot is ‘invaluable publicity’ for region’ and boy weren’t they right! It seems like Ireland has caught on like the Irish common cold for shooting fashion films, documentaries or high-end editorials. It is fast becoming the go-to fashion destination.
The American Vogue piece from last year titled ‘Wild Irish Rose’, was a nine-page fashion shoot featuring renowned beauty, Daria Werbowy who actually lives in West Cork for part of the year. It was styled by Grace Coddington, one of my all time styling idols.
While fashion journalists from Ireland continue to jet off to sunny Morocco in the midst of March for high summer bikini shoots, fashions game players are arriving on our shores. I understand we don’t have the weather for getting models in their nips in the height of December and having worked in the industry, I know this needs to be done, However you can’t help but wonder whether we are using our little Ireland to the best of our ability.
But either way the shoot is a great advertisement for Ireland and may it be continue…Windswept and freezing, the models probably didn’t have to pretend to be moody.
Here is a few pics of me enjoying Ireland to the maximum.
Plus watch out for my next post on the Penneys AW14 collection which looks like it is shot in Ireland and is amazing…