Ireland’s latest online boutique Forever Fabulous celebrated their official website launch in style last week. The venue was smart Blackrock bar Suite 54, suitably glamorous with it’s contrasting chandelier lit black and white rooms. I was handed a nice cool vino on arrival – let the fun begin! First stop the VIP area where an array of delicious Forever Fabulous goodies were on display. Heaven on earth…
There were gorgeous crystal studded clutch bags, sparkling shamballa bracelets and seriously bling bangles, in a variety of colours. I also checked out the crystal phone covers, cute flower hairbands and beautiful diamante earrings. Oooh – what to choose? While I had my larks trying on the jewellery, a couple of girlfriends went for makeovers with stunning results. One even discovered red lipstick!
Forever Fabulous really is the go to place to sort out your whole look. Owner Rachel O’Riordan, who is a professional make up artist, told me that her bespoke make up service is ideal for bridal parties and girly get togethers. She does a range of beauty treatments perfect for a big event or a luxury pick me up. And you can book yourself a handbag and jewellery party to accessorise your look!
Rachel had arranged a glamorous photo shoot with top model Michelle McGrath earlier in the day but there were also some famous faces at the launch party. Well known beauty blogger Joanne Larby, The Make Up Fairy and model Jessica Gallagher, face of Forever Fabulous, rubbed shoulders with uber cool Cars Love Girls singer, Orla Breslin. We talked make up and fashion all night, natch!
The star of the night though was Rachel herself. She really is something else! Rachel came up with her business concept, creating a unique online boutique and is steadily building up her brand name. And she’s a beauty columnist too! Rachel’s elegant style is the hallmark of Forever Fabulous, as she personally buys her exclusive lines and produces dazzling looks. Watch this space Darlings!
Last night saw hot Dublin band Cars Love Girls launch their debut album “Skip School” at the Workman’s Club. I rocked along to the shabby chic music venue on Wellington Quay – blood red walls and rickety furnishings give this place a lived in look that just about works. Somehow I couldn’t picture the stylish Cars Love Girls on the ancient stage but it turns out they can add gloss to any room.
CLG kicked off with “These Girls” a sing along tune that brought me back to the Top Hat roller disco circa 1986. I wasn’t the only one basking in retro vibes, as the crowd swayed to the band’s easy mix of luxurious riffs and melodic vocals. With winning brother and sister combo Bres and Orla working in harmony with an accomplished band, the songs are high tempo floor fillers that play so well live.
I wasn’t surprised to hear CLG single “Lose Your Mind” playing in one of my fave boutiques last week. Their stuff is seriously radio friendly. Bres’ obvious musical talent shines through but it’s Orla, all skinny jeans and cheekbones who has potential to own the stage. She’s the sort of blonde front woman who transcends Topshop cool and I think as her persona develops so too will the bands success.
But if songs are the bottom line then CLG have certainly got the goods. “Skip School” has all kinds of moments from Prince to Kate Bush to Fleetwood Mac but it’s the palpable feeling of “Pretty in Pink” or just something of another era that strikes a chord with me. Maybe a lady of certain vintage like moi can appreciate a Sunshine 101 worthy guitar solo but I do see the crossover to a greener audience.
My fave tune is the epic “Funny Little Thing” and CLG have saved the best ’til last. I love how the whole band got stuck into it, Bres melting into his guitar and Orla reaching the high notes as deep as she would a whisper. This one is a kissing at the disco slow number too. And that’s what I think CLG are all about. For all the delicious New York sexy licks there’s a universal boy girl theme to their lyrics.
Last night’s stunning debut by Cars Love Girls was one of those hot Dublin moments I just didn’t know was going to happen. Always a random Wednesday night! First stop food and since I was in the area, Café Bliss on Montague Street of course. I was delighted to be greeted with a “great to see you again” by the lovely owner, who’s been feeding me for the last five years, to which I replied “great to eat here again!”
I slipped in beside a gang of Tipp ladies who provided entertainment with their Chardonnay girl talk – this is one of the best people watching spots in town! One delicious Caesar salad and a sunshine smoothie in my belly I was ready to rock Crawdaddy, under the arches of the old Harcourt Street railway station.
On arrival it was clear that Cars Love Girls first gig was hugely anticipated as the place was nicely swelled with fans & musician friends alike. The band come from Dublin rock royalty, being fronted by ex Republic of Loose axe man Bres and singer Orla. The sibling duo bring their unique retro R’n’B and pop sound, not to mention myriad talent, to Cars Love Girls in their first project together.
I scooped up my Tiger beer and ducked from the super chilled Chocolate Bar into the cavern of Crawdaddy – the intimate venue was wall to wall as I weaved my way front of stage. The air was thick with expectation as the band took hold, Orla and Bres on either side, with ex Boss Volenti honcho Rob Daly centre back.
Straight off the bat Cars Love Girls launched into a stonker with pristine sound, deep instrumental integrity and very impressive vocals knitting them together. Orla is a cool blonde who looks as good as she sounds, Debbie Harry cheekbones, channelling Alison Moyet through Stevie Nicks in the voice department.
It’s clear from the off that this is one smart outfit with Bres’s distinctive licks layered into loungey cuts, his own vocals a honeyed version of his sister’s powerful sound. There are shades of Republic but it’s almost as if the Breslins have distilled all the good bits and perfected them into radio friendly heaven. A girl can’t help but dance to this stuff – if Sile Seoige was here I’m sure she’d have a smile on her face! Cars Love Girls do sexy with a natural ease.
This band owned the stage and just three songs in it was obvious that something very special was happening in Crawdaddy. Belters like “Lose Your Mind” and “Cars Love Girls” are well crafted pop songs – I was picking up Prince, Steely Dan and Madonna. Excellent lyrics make up the package with songs like “Future Ex Wife” re-inventing Fleetwood Mac in funk disco – you just have to hear it!
Non stop action from the duo and a polished back up including sax player Keith transported us back to 1980’s New York. Kudos to Cars Love Girls for creating such a good feeling, Bres getting lost in spiralling instrumentals, diamante guitar strap glistening with every pick and Orla all lungs, shimmying kohl and LBD. It just works.
Lots of oohs and la la las cushioned well thought out numbers and the audience was delighted by covers of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Eurythmics “Heaven Must be Missing an Angel”, both of which showcased Orla’s sultry vocals. Cars Love Girls left the stage on a high, their debut a triumph and my head filled with hooks and words I look forward to dancing around my lounge to.
I bumped into Jan Van Couver and Kendrick Berrera of 80’s super group Springbreak fame bopping away in the corner. Van Couver couldn’t contain his excitement when he said “There was high expectation of this gig and the Breslins delivered. This is a sibling combo at its best – think the Carpenters, Pointer Sisters, the Bee Gees.”
I then caught front woman Orla Breslin fresh off the stage and she revealed to me how much Cars Love Girls enjoyed their first gig. “We’re really happy! Bit nervous at the beginning but we’re pretty tight so we got into it” she trilled “We’re delighted with the turn out and reaction. It’s great to be on stage with Bres, we get on and musically we bounce off each other so I love working with him.” Indeed the pair oozed a confidence that highlighted how well they work together.
Orla told me how much fun it’s been recording new material. “We’re hoping to release a single in October / November, then our album “Skip School” in the spring time” she says “And we just signed up to FM 104’s The Gig at the Olympia in October.” Then I joined the rest of the crowd, euphoric on hops and tunes, a chilled disco DJ set bringing me back to earth.