LTB 2013

With the theme “How Fashion Can Take You Forward?”, Look the Business 2013, hosted by The Gloss in association with Vodafone, we took the conversation of business blended with fashion further than before, with an invitation to two oustanding women to speak to almost 600 guests who gathered in Dublin’s Round Room at The Mansion House on October 17.


Anya Hindmarch, MBE, opened her first store when still in her teens and is now head of an expanding international business with a turnover of tens of millions. She has just opened a New York flagship store in addition to nearly 60 worldwide and has appointed a CEO for the first time so that she can concentrate on the creative side of her brand. She instantly won over the crowd with a warm and engaging account of her journey in life and her trajectory in business. She encouraged the women in the audience to value their unique-ness, saying “As Oscar Wilde once said, ‘Be yourself. Everybody else is taken’.”

“Ignore fashion at your peril,” said Janet Street-Porter as she cut a swathe through the crowd in an emerald sequinned dress by Malene Birger, hurriedly put on in The Shelbourne post-dash from the airport. Worn with lace-up boots, the dress she explained, was chosen for its comfort (not as a nod to her Irish audience), comfort being just one of the criteria for choosing clothes to wear at work (the others, she declared, are determined by occasion, whether you are trying to make money or get it out of somebody or if you just want to be noticed).

The Fashion Show was the best ever, according to attendees: with a line-up that included Brown Thomas, Marks & Spencer, LK Bennett, Dunnes Stores, Next and boutiques Khan, Alias Tom For Women and Costume, curated by show stylist Catherine Condell with hair by the talented Michael Leong and make-up looks by Lancôme, the looks were strong and polished, selected for their relevance to this business audience.

[Anya Hindmarch] encouraged the women in the audience to value their unique-ness, saying “As Oscar Wilde once said, ‘Be yourself. Everybody else is taken’.”

Although Janet Street-Porter claimed that “black is like crack; it’s so addictive”, there wasn’t a woman in the room who could give up the black in her wardrobe for a solely colourful approach. Street-Porter believes black is too much of a safety blanket, drab and draining and worse the older you get. It seems that Brown Thomas agreed in part: a powerful collection of beautiful pieces – all in black – from Brown Thomas from wonderful Céline, Balenciaga and Lanvin enforced our view that black is unbeatable but a wine tweed and lace jacket from Dolce & Gabbana, Claudie Pierlot’s navy pinstripes, the Bordeaux jacket, shirt and trousers from The Kooples and a taupe wool dress by Victoria Beckham would certainly have you consider to balance black with colour. Let’s face it, both have their place. (Brown Thomas’s personal shopper Michelle Curtin can advise on the ideal balance). The accessories from Brown Thomas were second to none: great shoes by Saint Laurent, Gucci, Tom Ford, Manolo Blahnik and Kurt Geiger, bags by Anya Hindmarch, Tom Ford and Victoria Beckham and more.

Over the years, the Look the Business events, hosted by THE GLOSS have influenced the creation of fashion labels, the merging of ideas and many many introductions and collaborations between businesses. It’s an atmosphere conducive to table hopping, to seeking out someone you might have been hoping to speak to. When Anne O’ Leary of Vodafone, sponsors of Look the Business, addressed the assembled guests she mentioned the recent high-profile appointments of some women in the room: Cathriona Hallahan to the helm of Microsoft Ireland, Muirne Laffan to RTÉ’s digital business, Siobhan Talbot as CEO of Glanbia and Julia Sinnamon as CEO of Enterprise Ireland. Anne O’Leary was appointed CEO of Vodafone Ireland, a role, she attested to the applause of the audience, she was extremely proud to have.

Over the years, the Look the Business events, hosted by THE GLOSS have influenced the creation of fashion labels, the merging of ideas and many many introductions and collaborations between businesses.

Look the Business has many fabulous elements, not least the legendary Designer Handbag Draw which featured extraordinary prizes including two business-class Aer Lingus flights to one of two new Aer Lingus destinations operating from spring 2014 – Toronto or San Francisco – worth an incredible €8,000. Further surprises included ten smartphones (to mark the tenth event) from Samsung and HTC presented by sponsors Vodafone, a fabulous voucher for €1,000 from stylish furniture store Roche Bobois as well as bracelets from Alex & Ani, 14-carat gold necklaces from and a fab weekend break at The Lodge at Doonbeg. Look the Business wouldn’t be Look the Business without shoes and the pair of Manolo’s worth €540 from Brown Thomas elicited the expected reaction: unbridled joy. Vouchers from Marks & Spencer went to each lady at one table as did an express business lunch for two at Town restaurant.

A staycation at The Shelbourne was on the cards for one businesswoman and her lucky guest – with treatments at the spa included. A table of ladies each received a multi-tasking Cross pen and stylus in one and yet another got practical and pretty make-up bags from LK Bennett. A year’s membership of the Heritage Golf and Spa resort was given away: the recipient also got an overnight stay and dinner. For one woman at every table in the room there was the gift of a gorgeous scented candle and diffuser courtesy of Max Benjamin. Indeed, The Gloss gift bags also contained Max Benjamin’s scented sachets (cleverly attached to stretchy elastic and now adorning doorknobs, wardrobes and perfuming bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry rooms everywhere) and Carolyn Donnelly’s very cool paisley paper napkins from Dunnes Stores. The Gloss were also delighted to give every guest a travel candle from Helen Roden and Joe Ensko’s divine Irish Country House Collection range and a brilliant exfoliating mitt from TanOrganic. And, for every woman in the room, Lancôme’s lovely goodie bag was a highlight: packed with beauty must-haves (including their hit scent La Vie est Belle). Each goodie bag was worth a cool €100 and very much appreciated by guests including Janet Street-Porter who never leaves home without her lipstick on.


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