Christmas Random Round Up

After the nightmare that was 2016 I sincerely hope that Multiverse readers are looking forward to a relaxing and joyful festive season. In case you’re looking for something to while away your time over your holidays, here are some suggestions. I look forward to seeing you again in 2017. Squillions of love to you all.

The above video is a cute interpretation of a classic and one that is a tradition amongst me and my best friend’s family. It always makes me think of her.

A recent and hilarious Vanity Fair article on Trump Grill(e): ‘And like all exclusive bastions of haute cuisine, there is a sandwich board in front advertising two great prix fixe deals.’

I’ve become a huge fan of Taffy Brodesser-Akner‘s writing and this article on sugar dating (published last year in GQ) is just brilliant: ‘A thing you should know is that there are very few people to root for in this story.’

A great Harper’s article on the 80s literary Brat Pack: Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis, Donna Tartt, et al. ‘One member would go on to win a Pulitzer; one would become better known for controversy than fiction; another would exemplify the excessive highs and very public lows of the decade; and another would slowly fade from view.’

I’ve read so many books this year and as always I try to read a mix of recent and classic fiction. Some were terrible, some were superlative and a lot of them aren’t even worth talking about. Here are a few of the books I’ve really liked but not gotten around to reviewing in depth, (if you click on the links they’ll bring you to reviews of the work in question): Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig, Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sarah Baume, Devoted Ladies by Molly Keane, The Eden Express by Mark Vonnegut, The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks, The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch.

I’ve been a bit obsessed with this Thundercat song for months, even though it was released in 2015. The Prince influences and the 70s disco vibe combined with the funk bass-line all coalesce into an infectious groove.

Anyone browsing Netflix should put White Girl (Kids for Millenials), Black Mirror (dystopian tech nightmare), The Crown (sumptuous period drama), Love (Freaks and Geeks all grown up), and Daft Punk Unchained (documentary about the electro legends) on their list.

Go Fug Yourself is one of the websites I have visited daily for many years now. This year I particularly loved their AbFabtrospective and their SWINTON retrospective (Tilda being one of my sartorial heroines).

Lose yourself browsing the archives of Hooked on Houses, a website devoted to gorgeous homes, from celebrity abodes to houses featured in movies and random real-estate inspiration.

And now it’s time for my sister’s family’s favourite Christmas song, Nobel prize winner Bob Dylan singing a Pogues-esque polka version of a 60s classic. It’s barking and brilliant! Enjoy!

New Specs!

Just before Christmas I was contacted by Specsavers and asked if I would like to try out their prescription glasses service and perhaps choose a pair of frames, so off I popped a couple of weeks ago to take them up on their very generous offer.

I collaborated with Specsavers on a blog post before, when I was invited to try their contact lens service. Prior to that I had been getting my lenses from my regular optician but since I trialled Specsavers I have been using them exclusively. Firstly they’re almost twenty quid cheaper per month, and secondly, they have a great service where you can pay for your lenses by direct debit every month and have them delivered to your house.

I’ve been for a gazillion eye tests in my lifetime and I’m well used to the whole procedure (apart from the puffs of air in your eye – how does anyone ever get used to that?!). It was speedy and the optometrist was very friendly and thorough. When my eye test was complete the optometrist handed me over to a young man on the floor who gave me an opinion on the frames I tried on, then guided me through the lens options and overall pricing. As I’m very myopic with a high prescription, I opted to get the extra thin and light lenses.

Specsavers have a good selection of frames in different price ranges. If you want something avant-garde or outrageous a different optician’s might be your best bet, but I wanted a pair of glasses that I could wear every day, not something that would end up wearing me!

I found an FCUK pair that were exactly what I was looking for, black metal frames with tortoiseshell arms. The frames are lightweight and comfortable, the colour isn’t too heavy on my face and they’ll fit with my overall style without making a huge statement.

Once I had chosen the frames I was told I could collect the completed glasses the following day, which is pretty unbeatable in terms of efficiency. When I returned to pick them up, I tried them on in front of another optometrist, who made a few tiny adjustments to make sure that they were a perfect fit. I’ve been wearing them for a couple of weeks now and I love them.

And here they are, in all their brand new glory. New specs for a new year!


(This post is a collaboration between Specsavers Ireland and Alex Donald’s Multiverse)


Iris, Dior and McQueen

I’ve been on a documentary binge recently, devouring anything that has been recommended to me or that I’ve come across on Netflix. Sometimes you really have to trawl through a lot of random 80s movies and B list thrillers to find anything worthwhile on Netflix but I can still usually justify the seven quid a month.

Iris Apfel is a ninety-three year old reknowned fashionista living in New York City who was the subject of a documentary released in 2014 called Iris, directed by Albert Maysles and currently available on Netflix. Apfel ran a business called Old World Weavers with her husband Carl (who died in August of this year aged almost 101, and was married to Iris for sixty-seven years) and they travelled the world sourcing fabrics for their high-society clients. They even worked with the White House under nine different Presidents. Iris has retired but in her later years has become a global fashion icon due to a 2005 exhibition of her clothing at the Costume Institute, and the press attention that followed. Albert Maysles, famed director of Grey Gardens, decided to make a documentary about her and in fact this was one of the last films he made before his death from cancer in March of this year.

Iris is irrepressible, droll, full of energy despite her advancing years and incredibly creative when it comes to fashion and aesthetics. This is a great watch.

Dior and I is a documentary about Raf Simons’ first couture collection as head designer for Dior, a position he undertook in 2012 after the very public dismissal of John Galliano. Simons’ is a Belgian designer who has his roots in furniture design and has in fact never studied fashion formally. He came to the Dior atelier without a word of French and without the technical skills that would usually characterise a couturier. The documentary shows the process in the run up to his first show, Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2012, which was very well received by the fashion press and buyers and included a fantastical runway space with walls of flowers.

My favourite parts of the documentary were the behind-the-scenes look at the atelier and the women who have worked there for decades. Their skill and painstaking attention to detail is astonishing and shows exactly why the clothes command the astronomical prices they are famous for.

And lastly there’s a documentary available on Youtube which was first shown on Channel 4 called McQueen and I, an exploration of Alexander McQueen’s work and his association with stylist Isabella Blow. At just over an hour long, the documentary is not an in-depth look at either but it does contain interesting archive footage of McQueen’s shows which were more like performance art than mainstream fashion events, and it also contains some interview material with Detmar Blow, Isabella’s husband, who explains the reasons that lead to her suicide in 2007. McQueen followed in 2010, apparently devastated after the death of his mother, although it has recently come to light that he also suffered from childhood sexual abuse and this may have contributed to his drug use, unhappiness and eventual suicide. It’s a short but interesting documentary and well worth a watch.

Club Thing (RAC Remix) – Yoav

Pic by Lili Forberg

A couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of DJing at the Dundrum Town Centre Spring/Summer 2015 fashion shows. I’ve been working with the team there for five seasons and it’s always a lot of fun. Plus Colm Corrigan’s impeccable styling generally makes me want to spend my fee there and then!

I love researching tunes for shows, trying to find the perfect songs for the brief and the perfect tempo for the models. Dundrum shows happen on the mall and the audience ranges from two to eighty-two, so the music was fun with a summery vibe.

I usually end up with a shortlist of twenty songs and have to narrow it down to six. This tune was one of the ones that didn’t make it as it gets a bit heavy towards the end but I really like this RAC remix. It’s got an 80s electro feel, plus the ‘beautiful girl’ lyric would have really worked with models stomping the runway!

A Multiverse Bumper Christmas

The Multiverse wishes you all a very merry Christmas! It’s the time for chilling out, sleeping, reading, watching, partying, and debaucherous fun. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a well-deserved rest. Here’s some of what I’ll be doing…

I’ll be tackling some of the current pile by my bed. John Niven’s The Second Coming is first on my list. Niven is one of my favourite literary discoveries of 2014; I read Straight White Male in its entirety on the flight home from New York and it made me laugh more than any novel in years.

Also in the pile is Rory O’Neill’s autobiography Panti: Woman in the Making. Panti was one of 2014’s Irish stars. Her speech, ‘Panti’s Noble Call’, in The Abbey Theatre was one of the most powerful things I’ve heard this year, and was described by Fintan O’Toole as ‘the most eloquent Irish speech since Daniel O’Connell was in his prime.’ I couldn’t agree more.

I’m very much looking forward to delving into the best Longform pieces of 2014. For those of you who don’t know the site, Longform provides links to classic and current essays, articles and interviews that are over 2,000 words. It’s one of my weekly reads and well worth checking out.

These inspiring graduation speeches by famous women will provide some food for thought.

I’ll mostly be wearing these new trousers and keeping an eye on this sale.

I’m going to take the time to watch some of 2014’s lauded documentaries and feature films that I haven’t yet seen. Despite all my best intentions I never got to see Interstellar so that’s got to be sorted out. I’m really intrigued by this documentary about one of my favourite songwriters:



And I can’t wait to see American Sniper. I know it’s a movie that panders to America’s hero complex but it still looks like a great piece of cinema.



My grandmother was a big fan of Nat King Cole and she always played his albums at Christmas. ‘Stardust’ is one of my favourite songs of his.



While we’re at it, this Christmas song always puts me in a good mood.



And if this carol doesn’t bring on the Christmas magic, I’ve lost all hope for you.



My Christmas tree has become rather crispy and droopy so I won’t disturb you with a photograph of it. Instead I’ll disturb you with a photo from last year which I entitled ‘Mad Santa’! Merry Christmas!


Alexander Wang x H&M

Once again I get the pleasure of working with H&M at the launch of one of their designer collaborations. Last year I DJed at the launch of Isabel Marant pour H&M, and on Thursday morning I’m taking to the decks instore at King Street for the launch of the Alexander Wang collaboration.

The video below shows a preview of what we can expect, and it’s heavily sportswear influenced; leggings, hoodies, crop tops, and technical fabrics. I can’t wait to see the clothes in person!

If you’re in town, come in and say Hi. I’ll be playing from 9am to 12pm.

Edge Only

Edge Only is a new jewellery brand from Jenny Huston launched earlier this month. Jenny is most well known as a radio DJ and author and this is her first foray into designing. She explains her reasons for this new career direction:

‘I created Edge Only out of frustration. While out shopping, I would find a cool piece of jewellery that was gold or silver coloured, and then after wearing it for a while, the plating would wear off and the ugly base metal started to show through. That great ‘bargain find’ now just looked cheap and had to be thrown out or sent to the charity shop. So I decided to stop wasting my money on disposable costume jewellery and started looking for real, solid silver and gold replacements. Disappointingly, I found that most jewellers had luxury pieces that were suitable for black tie events and very large wallets, or the same old conservative, delicate, pieces. Where was the edge?! Where were the affordable cool contemporary pieces for everyday wear?’

As you can see from the pictures below and from the website, Edge Only is a brand that focusses on contemporary design; clean lines, both matt and polished finishes, rock and roll inspired items, and geometric statement pieces. Every aspect of production takes place in Ireland by highly skilled Goldsmiths and members of the jewellery trade and each piece is hallmarked, which is a guarantee of precious metal content; you won’t find gold plate, vermeil or gold fill in Edge Only pieces.

Edge Only collections are made with sterling silver, 14 carat gold and 18 carat gold as standard, but they can custom-make pieces in rose gold, white gold or platinum. Some of my favourites from the collection below. As always, click on the pics to be taken to the items on the original site.

Plectrum Pendant - €125.00
Plectrum Pendant – €125.00
ROCK pendant - €125.00
ROCK pendant – €125.00
Pointed Lightning Bolt Earrings - €80.00
Pointed Lightning Bolt Earrings – €80.00
Parallel Ring - €120.00
Parallel Ring – €120.00



Like many people, I have found my clothes shopping budget decimated as a result of the recession. Perhaps that’s why there haven’t been as many fashion posts of late; window shopping with no money is frustrating for someone who loves clothes as much as I do. However I do have lots of items in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn and that don’t suit me, but they’re too expensive to donate to a charity shop and selling on ebay seems like serious hassle.

A few weeks ago I visited Kingdom of Style (one of my daily reads) and I read Michelle’s post about Depop which immediately piqued my interest. Depop is a new app which allows you to sell your clothes via your phone; you simply take a picture, add a description and upload it to the app. You can then publicise this using your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and you can follow other people on the site. Best of all the app is free and so is uploading items.

I joined about two weeks ago and have been browsing regularly. There’s a huge range of clothes and accessories on the site; vintage, designer and high-street. You can spend anything from a fiver to a grand depending on what you’re after. There’s a search function too so if you’re looking for something specific like a Vivienne Westwood jacket or stiletto shoes in a size 8 it’s easy to find.

So far I have two items on the site (I’m listed as Alex Donald) but my photography skills suck so I need to improve those before adding anything else. (The main reason my photography is so bad is that my medication makes my hands shake so much that it takes me ten tries to get one average photograph!)

I reckon this is a great marketplace and an app that has real longevity.  If you need to make space in your wardrobe and don’t want lots of hassle, it appears to be an easy way to declutter and make some cash. All the better to spend on those shoes you’ve been eyeing up!


Now that we seem to be firmly into summer (hello sun!) I have done an inventory of my summer wardrobe and found it lacking in a few departments, one of which is lingerie. Of course I’m always up for buying more frillies but I’d specifically like to add a couple of brightly coloured sets into my current arsenal. (I’m sorry. I can never resist using that word when describing my lingerie collection!)

Claudette are a lingerie and swimwear brand currently stocked on ASOS which is where I came across them. The collection has a comprehensive range of sizes (right up to a G cup) and they specialise in bright eye-popping colours. The pieces are made from fishnet and mesh so they have clean lines that won’t show up under sheer summer tops. Best of all they’re mid-priced so you could easily splurge on two sets and not be wracked with guilt. I’m in!

Fishnet Set in Turquoise and Black
Dessous Set in Blondie and Hot Coral
Dessous Set in Parma Violet and Concrete
Dessous Set in Hot Coral and Concrete
Fishnet Scoop Set in Hot Coral and Blondie


Swedish blogger Elin Kling and her fiancé and business partner, Karl Lindman, launched a debut collection of clothing under the name Totême last month. It consists of twenty pieces of luxurious sportswear inspired basics including silk trousers, camisoles and midi-dresses. The collection is available in a limited number of places including Net-A-Porter and on the Totême site.

I really like the collection, in particular the Toulon trousers and Rocha camisole which are classic items you’d wear for years. These are just the kind of pieces that you’d see on Kling herself or on Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast. Given that much of the collection is already sold out on Net-A-Porter it looks like Ms. Kling has a winner on her hands!

Toulon silk trousers with Rocha silk camisole
Toulon silk trousers with Rocha silk camisole
Havana crepe dress
Havana crepe dress
Rhones Cashmere Sweater
Rhones Cashmere Sweater
Amarante silk shorts with Rocha silk camisole
Amarante silk shorts with Rocha silk camisole