As a city girl, it’s easy to become comfortable in your hometown and always shop at the same stores. But when venturing out of the capital it’s also exciting to discover new boutiques, new brands and the people behind them. So at the weekend, myself and Lorna headed down to Kilkenny City to do exactly that.
High Street brands are great, affordable and have plenty of sizes, but one of my favourite aspects to personal style and fashion is having that unique, one-of-a-kind piece that truly stands out. Kilkenny City has plenty of this; their fashion boutiques are dotted along many of the side streets, but specifically on St. Kieran’s Street, that’s dubbed “boutique street” by locals. We visited six wonderful stores, all run by empowering women, and truly discovered the hidden gems of Kilkenny fashion.
Butterslip, 31 Rose Inn Street, Kilkenny City
A one-for-all kind of boutique, Butterslip is very special. Anne Barber has run this little store for years now, located at the top of St. Kieran’s Street on the corner of Rose Inn Street, offering everything from jewellery and fashion accessories to homeware, as well as gifts for brides & grooms to be and the little ones. Anne’s personal experience traveling and living in France is reflected in her colourful boutique, that stands out among the grey pavements and brickwork of the latter street. Irish designers as well as European brands make up the stock at Butterslip, including Findings Jewellery, MoMuse, Katie Loxton, Ginger Ray and Olga Berg.
Peaches Boutique, 8 St. Kieran’s Street, Kilkenny City
A very popular spot within Kilkenny, Peaches Boutique is run by Andrea Lyons and is home to extraordinary fashion, for pieces that suit big occasions including mother of the bride, race day attire and wedding guests, as well as stand out pieces. The boutique features many brands, both renowned labels and local designers, and is a go-to for many of Kilkenny’s ladies. From trendy denim dresses to midi gowns and cosy knitwear, there were many pieces I adored in Peaches Boutique!
38co, 38 St. Kieran’s Street, Kilkenny City
This boutique, run by Cathy O’Connor, is one of the newest on the street, offering customers a cool, vintage-esque style to discover. From all kinds of clothing to an impressive collection of handbags, jewellery and accessories that include Emma by Jane and Rebekah Millinery brands, 38co. is one nifty little boutique. Cathy herself has excellent experience as a fashion buyer, and handpicks the fashion from all around the world including Asia, America and Europe, as well as stocking Irish designers.
Mimi Boutique, 39 St. Kieran’s Street, Kilkenny City
If you’re on the hunt for European fashion that’s that little bit more eclectic, then Mimi Boutique is the place to go. Run by Edel O’Brien for over 10 years now, the store brings in brands from the UK, Denmark and France to name a few. In this treasure trove you will find everything from unique prints to padded jackets, longline blazers and leather coated leggings, as well as designer dupes, accessories and jewellery. I found a gorgeous striped & embroidered shirt jacket by Silvian Heach that I’m still dreaming about!
Regina Nails, 40 St. Kieran’s Street, Kilkenny City
As a little pamper for myself and Lorna, we headed into Regina Nails in the middle of St. Kieran’s Street for a much-needed manicure. Having only opened that week, Thu Ha and her staff here are very friendly and very polite, and really understand how to give a great manicure. I opted for the Shellac Mini Manicure using CND in Ruby Ritz, a pinky red that is one of my favourite shades from the collection. Starting with a file and clean up of my nails & cuticles, Henry then applied the usual shellac polish process that took just under 20 minutes, while the experience also included an amazing surprise hand and arm massage! This was pure heaven! What’s even more, there is a brilliant 30% discount on every treatment until May 6th!
Lady Lorna Designer Emporium, 14 Parliament Street, Kilkenny City
At the bottom of St. Kieran’s Street on the corner of High Street is Lady Lorna Designer Emporium. With monochromatic Parisian decor inside, you’d almost miss this gem with its step-down entrance. Run by Lorna Doogue, the boutique is a haven for on-trend fashionistas, particularly popular by those who are in need of a special something for the races as well as daily fashion. Lorna is as bubbly as can be, a glamorous lady herself, who strongly supports Irish designers in her boutique including Lorna Doone Designs, Emma by Jane, Jill De Búrca, Catriona Hanly, Natalie King and Laura Hanlon. From lace and prints to delicate silk, chiffon and mixed materials, here you’ll find pieces for all occasions. Dresses are aplenty, formal coats and capes are expertly handpicked, and suits are a strong feature too. Plus, if you’re on the hunt for a standout headpiece, Lady Lorna Designer Emporium houses four Irish millinery designs including Michele Fallon, Michelle Treacy, Siobhán Daly and Aoife Harrison. Oh and for the magpies out there, there is a lot of sparkling jewellery too!
A big thank you to Kilkenny Tourism for this wonderful experience*!
Read all about the restaurants and delicious food we indulged in, as well as the Smithwicks Experience over on Cookie FM
Check out Lorna’s blog Fashion Boss to read more about Kilkenny
Images © Nirina Plunkett & Lorna Duffy
*This press trip experience was free of charge, however this does not influence my opinion