Ireland doesn't exactly have a fashion week. But it has an alternative, the Dublin Festival of Fashion. Now in its third year, 2012 promises to be bigger and bolder. Having been involved in the festival from its inception, from presenting to style spotting, I have seen the city's style evolve; street style is at its peak and our level of experimentation with fashion is more prevalent.
But the very special element of this year's festival is its face, Amanda Byram. We are just a little bit proud of the former model-turned-presenter-turned-superstar, and as she returns to her home town to launch the festival, I chatted with her about style, Dublin town and dressing for the elements.
What are you wearing today?
A Philip Lim dress and Chloe Green shoes.
How are you managing in those sky high shoes today?
How would you describe your style?
I have often said that weather back home cramps my style. I dress for California; I do love a "boho chic" look. That's kind of my thing. I can't do that here, because it's too cold so I'm learning very slowly how to dress well for the winter. My style is just comfortable.
Your style is so reflective of who you are, you're so personable and bubbly.
Aw, thank you!
What is your ultimate favourite outfit?
(Thinks for a minute) I'd go back to outfits that made me feel incredible. At the Harry Potter premiere last year I wore BDYAMR. It was a black plunge neckline, leather top and the bottom of the dress went down into see through chiffon. I said to the guys "I'm not wearing that, no way" and they told me you can wear it and you will go out there and you will own it! I just remember thinking I felt so empowered in that moment. I genuinely think that a huge amount of style is about attitude.
Is there any piece of fashion that you don't currently own that you would love to have in your wardrobe?
I'm very much a shoe and bag girl. I wouldn't mind a Mulberry Alexa!
Have you any contemporary fashion icons?
My admire my friend Fearne Cotton, hugely. I love her attitude. I'm also a big fan of women who embrace their curves and Monica Bellucci is one of them. Embrace every inch that you have! I love Jessica Alba's style too. I just like to pick bits and pieces from everyone's style.
Have you any fashion pet hates?
Head to toe in the same designer and matching things, oh and big tacky jewellery. Jewellery has to be simple, I like wearing just one piece. Strip it back and keep it simple!
If you could give one piece of style advice, what would it be?
Keep it simple and pick things that you like for you and be confident!
Being the face of the Dublin Festival of Fashion is pretty amazing, what are you expecting of the festival come September?
The reason I am most excited is that it is in its third year; I have been back and forward [from Ireland] over the last few years, and I think that finally, I've seen a huge development within Ireland, Irish style and especially in Dublin. I used to be a model in Dublin and we used to spend our days in "town". Now we don't have "town" anywhere else in the world. There's no such thing as "town" in LA. No one else gets it! So Dublin city centre, for me, is where I grew up and its where I used to go shopping! So to be able to be a catalyst to get the word out there is huge for me. We're trying to get the footfall back into Dublin city centre again. There is nothing like coming into town and going for a pint afterwards!
The Dublin Festival of Fashion takes place from 6 to 9 September.