“Trends are dictated by designers but accessories are dictated by you,” stylist, journalist and broadcaster Annemarie O’Connor tells me over a coffee as she’s showing me her five favourite frills. And she’s right – some seasons I despair at buying anything off the racks, so unsuited it all is for my shape and personal style, but there’s always a new handbag, shoes or fab piece of costume jewellery to make me feel better about all those pleather short-shorts, neon jeggings and bodycon bandage Barbie dresses clogging up the fashion pages.
O’Connor’s cred isn’t in dispute; you’ll know her from her turns on RTE TV as well as radio with Ryan Tubridy and Dave Fanning, her fashion writing for the Irish Examiner and her regular weekend gigs in-store at Brown Thomas.
Super-stylish, she innately understands the language of fashion and mixes and matches prints, colours and accessories effortlessly. I’m slap-free and bedraggled at 9am, full of a cold; she’s elegantly coiffed, expertly made up, colour-clashing a hot pink lip with an orange Zara blazer, statement neckpiece and artfully ripped skinny jeans. As the first Famous Five for Frillseeker – aww yeah, we done good.
Lets see what Ms O’Connor has for us, shall we?
“This is an archive piece from Joanne Hynes that I bought at a sample sale last September. If I had to guess, I’d say it was about €600 full price and surprisingly for such a fancy looking piece, I’ve worn it a lot. It dresses down jeans and it’s great on TV. You can’t really wear ultra-fancy clothes on telly but you can wear a great necklace!”
“These Dries Van Noten shoes were a sale bargain two years ago from Smock. At €300 down from €600 they’ve been a great buy. They’re really comfortable which you might not think but they’re wide fitting and have a round toe, plus the Perspex heel is great and has held up well.”
“I bought this Pied a Tierre bag in House of Fraser about a year ago for €190. It really works to brighten up whatever I wear it with, whether that’s colour blocking or with a khaki or military jacket. It’s a bit like the Joanne Hynes neckpiece in that it just lifts whatever else I wear it with.”
“My mum gave me this Claddagh ring when I was 14. She’d given it to my dad when they got engaged and it was bought in Fallers in Galway – the original place to buy Claddaghs – so it means a huge amount to me. I wore it so much that I had to get it repaired and only sometimes wear it now to keep it intact.”
“I love the colour of this Michael Kors Jet Set tote. It was a gift but you can buy it at BT2 stores. I love it because it is ideal for travelling. It features special pockets for iPads, passports and iPhones and has central zipped compartment which divides the bag into three. I also love the coral colour which matches my Mac Lady Danger lipstick. How’s that for girlie?”