At lunch-time last Friday, I was stopped by an elderly couple in the middle of Swords, looking for directions to Superquinn. I told them how to get there and added “I’m going there myself”. I walked on ahead of them, checking every so often in the reflections on shop windows that they weren’t going astray. They kept up behind me all the way into the Pavillions Shopping Centre and when I relaxed I remembered “I didn’t want to come to the Pavillions at all, I wanted to go to Subway for lunch!” I am a bit of a goldfish at times.
There must have been a higher power at work because as I veered towards Hodges Figges (I have a strange walking impediment that makes me tend to veer towards book shops and yarn shops) what was the first thing I saw in their sale bins at the front of the shop?
At €6 I had no qualms, what-so-ever, about adding this to my stash of knitting books.
There are some beautiful designs in the book. I particularly like the evening dresses – such as the one on the front cover. And there are some classics worthy of note: the two-piece jumper and skirt sets; belted wrap coats or the “sackcloth” series.
Unfortunately most of the photographs of his work in the 60s and 70s are in black and white. While much of the outfits are described as being in “Báinín Wool” (and I’m getting less and less clear about what is meant by that), some descriptions mention some very vivid colour combinations: melon with bottle green; Peacock blue with natural; Poppy Red with Black and Buttercup Yellow. It’s a pity we can’t get to appreciate them in full.
Cyril designed the sweater worn by the lead man, Fred Astaire, in the film Finian’s Rainbow. The image on the left above shows a series of quirky postcards featuring real wool inserts of mini-Aran sweaters.
And this debonair-looking fellow, on our left, is non-other than Terry Wogan – he of the silvered-tongue and senior-moments. This is an excerpt from the RTV guide (a fore-runner of the RTE guide, I’m guessing). Given the date – in the run-up to St. Patrick’s Day – I suppose he’s to be forgiven.
The image on the right is enough to give one pause for thought – thoughts such as “I hope she sued his ass for making her wear it!”
Check out the crochet vest and particularly the shorts in Báinín wool with Aran-style cabling! Err… itchy?
And while you do, take a look at the smug face of the model sitting down. You just know she’s thinking “That’s what you get for arriving late for the photo-shoot.”
You can look forward to learning more about Cyril Cullen and his work as I know I’m going to be dipping into this again and again.