Christmas is nearly upon us and it’s time to batten down the hatches and let the list-writing commence in earnest.
Unless you’re one of those organisationally gifted creatures who start stockpiling gifts in August, the months of November and December can be a fraught time when your usual day to day workload expands faster than a Christmas-day waistline.
The great Christmas land-grab for free weekends in December seems to start earlier each year, with any scrap of free time around the festive period obliterated by catch-ups with old friends, office parties and family reunions. Amidst all this revelry and a groaning social calendar, you'll have to find the time to buy everyone gifts, help decorate the house and more than likely organise a Christmas party or two yourself.
Among all the palaver, don’t forget to take a moment to recognise all your hard work by adding your own name to the gift list and investing in an item that will continue to bring a smile throughout the year. In the spirit of sustainable fashion, here are five suggestions for a Christmas gift from you to you, all of which are both functional and fabulous.
For pure perambulatory indulgence, outfit your feet in a pair of 5yMEDIO shoes. The Spanish company’s tagline is #HealthySexyWalk, and their mission is to create footwear that is comfortable without sacrificing anything in elegance.
All of their shoes have heels of a ‘healthy’ height according to medical research. Lined in kid leather and with outers of nubuck suede or leather, you can choose from a range of dusky, festive colours, including burgundy and burnt orange.
A quality, handmade woolen jumper is the gift that keeps on giving. When properly cared-for, this is a garment that lasts a lifetime what's more, is a cosy heirloom to be passed from mother to daughter.
At Atrium, we stock knitwear creations from both Irish and international designers, all of which are made with care both in their design and in the materials they use
Print-centric label Electronic Sheep mixes the best of both worlds with Irish origins and a multi-cultural base. Vibrancy is the aim of the game for Electric Sheep as they create modern tapestries of jacquard and illustration.
Looking for something a little more festive? Try this cashmere sweater from AMME. This Devon-based design company weaves together the softest ethically sourced cashmere and a dash of metallic appliqué to create this oh-so jolly jumper.
Diamonds and pearls
Jewellery is a classic Christmas gift, but it’s also a personal item that’s difficult to get right when bought for someone else.
This Christmas, satisfy your heart’s desire by gifting yourself the perfect piece for you, the ring or earrings that bring a smile when you put them on in the morning.
Spanish jewellery designer Beatriz Palacios graduated as a mining engineer before discovering a love for design. Her timeless and imaginative pieces are made using gold, pearls and semi-precious stones like garnets.
Bags of fun
Whether you’re looking for a stylish yet hardwearing daily reliable, or a sophisticated number for special occasions, finding the right handbag is one of life’s great treasure hunts. In either case, elegance and the quality of materials are paramount.
Spanish company Mercules produces handmade leather and suede bags that answer all requirements, ranging from their smart and durable Trunk Leather Satchel in rich plum for daily use, to their delicate Dusty Salmon Suede for special occasions.
Or perhaps just one in a bid to avoid the grasps of excessiveness.
If ever there was a fashion item that’s a real personal style statement, the winter coat is it. Whether you favour monochrome chic and sharp tailoring, or flamboyant frills and bold colours, donning your overcoat transforms your outfit. Not unlike jewellery, it’s an item best bought by the wearer themselves.
For a contemporary twist on the classic tweed coat, take a look at the work of Irish designer NATALIEBCOLEMAN, whose pieces are woven by sixth-generation Donegal weavers Molloy & Sons.
For a real statement piece, treat yourself to a coat of quilted velvet by Berlin-based designers Steinrohner, who are making work that straddles the divide between art and fashion.