The more I travel, the more I appreciate those occasional evenings – and even rarer, whole days or weekends - at home. Like most, when time allows, I was actually delighted, the last weekend I spent in Dublin, conveniently stranded by the Dublin Marathon, to undertake an autumn clean. (The window for a spring one had briefly opened and then swiftly closed again!) Somehow one feels so purged, and virtuous, it’s like a little spa break. Well, not really, at all, but bear with me …
So there I was, turning the studio at 56 upside down and inside out, and marvelling at what I was uncovering from the archive, which of course was all grist to the inspiration mill. (My dear, patient atelier team were not so quite thrilled to see all my unearthed “treasures” on Monday morning.)
Anyway, it was wonderful to feel the weekend stretching ahead, even if there were chores to be done. And soft, casual clothes were the order of the day, my workaday tee hastily covered by a soft knit whenever the doorbell rang.
I was thrilled to meet fantastic Margaret Cahill, who was running her second marathon in a month, and looked as fresh as a daisy. Since then we have been in touch and I've told her the coffee is always on in Merrion Square if she would like to drop by.
Our Lily sweater, above, now in ivory and sapphire as well as midnight, is our cosiest knit yet, with the cable stitch giving it a “chunky” look, but because it’s knitted with the lightest, softest pure wool woven in Florence, it doesn’t feel hot, heavy or scratchy, just cosy and cocooning.
I love to layer the Lily, which has a cropped sleeve, with a shirt from the range we created with Turnbull & Asser. My favourite shirt is the Louise (funny, that!) which has deep cuffs which peep out from the sleeve of the sweater and look crisp and smart. I like the Louise in fresh, flattering blue. And of course, since we are talking weekends, I always wear it with skinny jeans and trainers.
Nicki, the softest crew-neck ever, comes in midnight, sapphire and rose pink. Our Liza cashmere fitted polo-necks made in a small mill in Scotland , the same one Chanel uses – in fact, Chanel bought it, to safeguard their supply of lovely wools. Marlena is a long, cosy cardigan which I often pack in my hand luggage on a flight, so I can swathe myself when the air-conditioning gets chilly. To elevate it for an evening at home with friends, I wear it with a white tee and a tasselled belt.
After a day of re-organisation, I love to slip around, with a pal or two, to the cosy Cellar Bar at the Merrion for supper and a glass of something chilled, after which, I walk home, in my supersoft Theo gilet, light the fire, and snuggle up with a book on the sofa. Exhausted from his vigorous supervision of the chores, Paddy might join me. He's the cuddliest layer of all.