WITH just four weeks left to Christmas, local shop owners across the city have been busy decking their stores with boughs of holly, tinsels, baubles, and other assorted accessories in a bid to take the silverware in Limerick’s Festive Window Display 2015.
Thanks to an idea by leading stylist and fashion icon, Celia Holman Lee, 40 local businesses transformed their windows into winter wonderlands. The initiative forms part of Celebrating Christmas in Limerick – The City of Fashion 2015 which got under way this Monday and features a mix of free fashion events, style, hair and make-up demonstrations, and a series of in-store events across Limerick city up to this Friday.
While each store, Celia said, was a winner in its own right, there could only be two official winners - Tippe Canoe, Thomas Street, and No 15 Le Maison de Curio on Anne Street, which were named winners of the most festive window display and most creative window display, respectively.
For Lorraine O’Connell of No 15 Le Maison de Curio the win was “better than an Oscar”.
Her display is based on the film Brooklyn. “I’ve Saoirse Ronan making a phone call to her mother,” she joked of the mannequin which stands in the old style phone box in the shop window. “I’m over the moon because I love my window – I love doing it! I’m so excited. The award is absolutely stunning – I am going to put it in the window straight away. I love promoting Limerick. I have to say thanks to Annie Ruffles, where I got my props,” said Lorraine, who is from Raheen.
Teresa Keogh of Tippe Canoe was equally as chuffed after all her hard work. “We had a plan – we were doing another window but it didn’t work out. It wasn’t ready in time so I just put this in as an emergency window,” Teresa explained. “I used what I had from previous years. I went home and cut branches off my weeping willow and I went to Woodie’s and I sprayed them in white paint. Then I dipped them in glitter and dried them with a hair dryer.
“On Sunday, Celia called into us – we were just drying out the wood. I loved the white and the forest look. I used a white background for Rose to show the quality of her work. Anything that promotes Limerick city is great so thanks to everybody involved - I really appreciate it.”
Teresa paid tribute to Rose Walsh of O’Connell Avenue, a graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design, whose graduate collection features in the display. A shortlist of locals shops were assessed on Tuesday morning by a panel of adjudicators, which included Celia Holman Lee, Anne Melinn, head of the fashion department at Limerick School of Art and Design; Aine Fitzgerald, Limerick Leader; Fergal Deegan, Limerick’s Live 95FM; Mary Hayes, economic development officer with Limerick City and County Council, and Olivia O’Sullivan, Limerick Post.
The two winning retailers were presented with handcrafted pieces based on the Treaty Stone by ceramicist Clare Jordan of Limerick Craft Hub, at the prize-giving ceremony at the Cornstore on Thomas Street.