If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed – apart from all the minor anti-blogger ranting, and TV chef fan-boy cooing – that I’ve finally embraced online shopping, having received my first order from ASOS just a couple of weeks ago (can’t fault anything), and having pledged from the moment I opened the package to burn the remainder of my wardrobe.
Well, my reaction wasn’t quite so fervent but, as an Irish menswear consumer, what interests me about e-tailing etc. is the opportunities you’re afforded. At the risk of sounding like a v. badly broken record, Dublin is a great city (and has at long last got its arse on the bandwagon of fun, offering alternative entertainment from daytime artsy affairs like Electric Relaxation, to club nights of the London ilk like C U Next Tuesday). But in terms of menswear you can get manic about, it lacks the choice of other European cities of a similar size like, say, Antwerp. But, things seems set to change with labels like Arms emerging, and boutiques like Dublin-based Dolls introducing interesting menswear for a male population pretty much starved of it.
A firm favourite amongst Dublin’s female denizens since the inception of the original boutique on Clarendon St. several years ago, Dolls (owned by FIT grad, Petria Lenehan) opened its second store on Emorville Avenue in the post code area that could effectively be termed Dublin’s equivalent of Hackney – Dublin 8. Eager to uncover something a little bit amazing, I went along this time last week for brunch with Lil of This is an Offshoot who I hadn’t seen in forever. Yes, that’s right, brunch. No, we weren’t planning on tucking into a nice leathery pair of brogues or chomping down on quirky cotton tees, the latest branch of Dolls also boasts the cutest little café (Bibi’s) where we both feasted on what we’d like to think was a healthier version of a traditional eggs benedict – toasted granary bread and asparagus spears topped with perfectly poached eggs and smoked salmon. This would conventionally be the point at which I offer you a series of food porn shots to get you salivating but..er…we were caught up in such foody bliss that we only remembered to whip out our cameras when the damage was done. Still, nice crockery, right?
^ Limited range of view here ‘cos I didn’t fancy being seen to be papping Neil Hannon and Cathy Davey who were just a few tables from us.
The boutique itself is compact but well-organised, feels equal parts old-fashion grocers’, rustic living room, and Parisian boudoir, and stocks some menswear labels perfect for the discerning yet discreet Irish bloke – YMC, Peter Jensen and more.
Look out for Dolls’ online shop which is set to launch soon. Check here for updates.