I’m back in Toronto now, but I swear I could write a hundred more blog posts on
Ireland. I am trying to break it down to just a few more, because in all honesty, if you have the chance, you need to get there yourself to fully experience it.

So next up on my fashion tour of the green isle is, as promised, a bit on the arts and crafts scene in Kilkenny. I remind you, this isn’t crafts in the sense of grannies knitting in a circle. It’s one-of-a-kind designs, crafted by highly skilled artists who have had years and years of training. Here are just a few artists and shops you must check out in the Kilkenny area to get the full Irish design experience.

Millinery by Rebekah Patterson Tucked upstairs in a building along the street across from the castle in Kilkenny is the home of a fantastic little hat shop. Rebekah Patterson creates her luscious and fanciful hats and fascinators right in her own store/studio. The best thing is, she can whip one up customized just for you and your special occasion. Her playful confections are just as bubbly as the creator.

Bonzie Designs When you have Courtney Love eyeing and purchasing your pieces, you know you’re on to something that’s not only eclectic but pretty funky too. Yvonne Crotty’s Bonzie Designs is located in nearby Waterford and is definitely worth the quick drive. Her vintage-inspired, theatrical, Victorian-esque pieces have been a massive success on
etsy.com. It might not be your typical idea of Irish fashion but that’s just what makes it so appealing.

Heidi Higgins To sum up Heidi’s designs (who has set up shop in Portlaoise) you can think of two words – tailored and colour. “I like lines that are simple, minimal and structured as such,” explains the designer who also worked for
Louise Kennedy. And her fashion can range from something a 25-year-old would wear to something a 60-year-old would try. It’s all in how you accessories and pair her classic cuts that come in vibrant shades of fuchsia, cobalt and red. And she has expensive tastes in fabrics – often sourcing her silks and chiffons from Paris. If you’re looking for chic, classic with a splash of bright hues, Heidi’s creations will fit the bill.
Jewels more your thing? Check out some amazing designers after the jump!