Over the festive season, I was transported into a whirlwind of whimsy served up in a perfect bohemiam rhapsody by working with the Irish designer Yvonne Crotty, known to her regulars as Bonzie. With the likes of Irish designers such as Simone Rocha, Danielle Romeril, Helen Steele, Sorcha O’ Raghallaigh and Zoe Jordan making their mark on the international scene in a major way, I decided what better way to learn about the industry I love than to immerse myself in the world of the designer? My new year’s resolution is to learn about an Irish designer every fortnight. Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Niamh O’ Neill for Irish Tatler magazine and I learned so much from her about the machinations of the industry. Although it is such a creative career pursuit, one has to achieve the perfect marriage of business savvy and creative musings. So having one’s own eponymous label, like Bonzie, is no mean feat.
Working with Bonzie was a real eye-opener. Her retail store ‘Willow and Wild’ is a treasure trove of vintage-inspired accessories and adornments for weddings and special occasions that doubles up as a studio and Bonzie and her assistant work from the premises on Bailey’s New Street in Waterford, stitching and embellishing each and every item by hand. The store has a specialised bridal area upstairs which is the epitome of Grace-Kelly chic! Not only does Bonzie stock all her own specialised accessories, she also sells the convertible dresses recently seen on TV3’s Expose.
Bonzie herself is a local treasure and the customers love popping in to listen to her old-school jazz tunes and have some friendly banter. She will always have a needle and thread or some new-fangled instrument at hand. Some of the items on display include bridal headpieces, boho veils, juliet caps, birdcage Veils, Vintage Pillbox, Rhinestone Combs and much more meaning that the Bonzie customer always gets a unique, custom-made piece.
‘Willow and Wild’ by Bonzie is open to visitors each Thursday, Friday and Saturday from ten to five each day. She re-opens on January 15th this year. Pop by and choose from a unique range of handcrafted and carefully selected pieces for a wedding, communion, birthday or any special occasion that demands some vintage-themed glamour.