My weakness has to be fashion - clothes, shoes, make-up, handbags and accessories! I love it all. But I am not a slave to fashion, I never just go with the trend – thankfully, well can you imagine me in a puffball skirt at age 41? No, I didn’t think so. I am not a lemming to the slaughter (albeit a well dressed lemming), I make my own styles.
My best friend Sara will tell you that I was doing the ‘wearing a dress with trousers’ style before anyone else was – certainly before any of the designers were. I didn’t do it because I had a vision that it was the next big fashion trend, no, I did it because I hate wearing tights and because on that particular day I was just too darn lazy to shave my legs!!!!!!
I am not saying that I don’t sometimes make mistakes – last weekend an RTE cameraman asked me to take off my coat as it was too loud and was ruining his shot! The coat was rather loud for wearing inside a cathedral now that I think of it – especially when everyone around me [all priests] were well men in black.
Dresses are my particular weakness - I have a kaleidoscope of different colour dresses in my wardrobe – I just can’t walk past them in the shop and I know that having 20 LBD’s (little black dresses) goes against the laws of fashion as there should only need to be one LBD, but they were all so yummy looking in the shops!
Now don’t assume that I am up on all the fashion lingo and names – I am no Sara Jessica Parker and I certainly don’t have the luxury of getting a brand new wardrobe of clothes each time a season changes!
But I often think of how different things would be if I was made Taoiseach! One of the first things I would do (after doubling whatever wardrobe allowance Brian Cowen has) would be to create a Department of Fashion Affairs with a Minister for shoes and handbags, a Minister for trends and accessories, a junior make-up Minister to keep an eye on all that side of things and an Ambassador for Irish Fashion – imagine the junkets to Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks!
Walk-in wardrobes would be compulsory in all new houses and I would introduce a scheme whereby older houses could get a grant for having them retro-fit!
I would have to introduce a new National holiday to give people more time to shop and of course there would have to be a new element to An Garda Siochana – in that I would have to introduce a new division to them – yes a fashion police. We could call them the Gunaí Gardai!!!!!
There would have to be a new tax relief introduced on the purchase of handbags and shoes – the more expensive - the higher the tax relief. I would make sure that the State would underwrite all credit card splurges on clothes and shoes etc. In fact, in the case where girls were under threat of having their credit cards taken away, we would even write off some of the debt as bad impulse buys! I would call that agency FAMA – Fashion Asset Management Agency!
The country would probably be in just as bad a state as we are now – but gosh we would look and feel great!