I am joining Satu on her Ireland Special, and sharing a few of my best experiences from my trip to Ireland. I spent a week in Ireland only to realize there is overwhelmingly lot to see and experience, and I know Satu would agree – she lived in Ireland for years, and she still keeps going back each year and on each trip she finds something new! Don’t worry though if you can’t take a month (or a year…) off to experience Ireland, what I also realized that Dublin is a perfect destination for a quick 3-5 day trip, whether you are traveling from East Coast USA, or from anywhere from Europe. You will have enough time to experience the city life, but there are also excellent day trip destinations within easy reach from Dublin.
I did a day trip to Kildare and Newbridge, about 45 minutes from Dublin, and within easy bus or train connection (with shuttles to main tourist destinations). We started our day shopping at the Kildare Village designer outlets and continued to Irish National Stud horse farm (stay tuned for a post) and ended our perfect day at the Newbridge Silverware factory.
There is so much to love about Newbridge Silverware company
I honestly had no idea what to expect when I arrived at the Newbridge Silverware company. I had gathered that much that this is an old silverware company that now also makes jewelry, and have a fashion museum on the top of their jewelry store. It all sounded interesting, but not enough to make me understand why it was one of top tourist spots of the area, or of entire Ireland. What really is the best about Newbridge Silverware company is the story how it became what it is today. And of course the amazing museum… Scroll down to see Hollywood glamour!!
The company started in 1934 as the Newbridge Cutlery Company, and they were the premium cutlery maker in Ireland for years. This was the times when people collected heirloom quality silverware (real silver) and the sets were often passed down the generations. The times have been drastically changing over the years, and while the company was able to survive, it didn’t start blossoming again until the early 1990’s when it started its jewelry production.
The first line of jewelry was born out of attempt to use the scrap-silver left from manufacturing the silverware. The cutlery is manufactured by first pressing the form of the cutlery in a sheet of silver, exactly how you would make Christmas cookies. What is left is a sheet of silver with “fork holes” in it – perfect for smaller silver products, like jewelry.
The first ever piece of jewelry the Newbridge Silverware company manufactured was a bracelet made from the scrap silver from the between the “forks” by bending it oval.
Starting the jewelry part of the business was not an immediate road to new success for the company though. It needed much more.
Audrey Hepburn’s Little Black Dress
The owner of the Newbridge Silverware company, William Doyle, was quite obsessed with Hollywood memorabilia, and especially loved Audrey Hepburn as a style icon. When he found out that Audrey’s black Givenchy dress she wore as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, designed by Hubert de Givenchy, was up for an auction in London in 2006, he left Ireland with a sole mission: to win the famous little black dress. This was the first auction Mr Doyle was ever attending, and he unfortunately was unsuccessful in bidding the dress and lost it. The bidding war made the news even outside the UK though – Mr Doyle had been raising the bid so much that the dress was ultimately sold for for £410,000, six times its original estimate to everyone’s surprise to Mr. Hubert de Givenchy himself. Mr Doyle was able to purchase another Audrey Hepburn’s dresses, and by the time he came back to Ireland to display the new dress in the Newbridge Silverware company’s shop, everyone in the fashion industry had heard the name “Newbridge Silverware” company as the bidder against Mr Givenchy, and people were lining up to come to visit the store and see the dress he had won.
Mr Doyle realized that his hunch for bringing some glamour from Hollywood and European royalty to his jewelry store was a hit from day one. Since then Newbridge Silveware company has created many jewelry collections inspired by iconic stars. In 2010 Newbridge Silverware also announced an endorsement by the Princess Grace foundation and the Princess Grace Jewellery Collection. The store now has the Museum of Style Icons and it is much more than just a few famous dresses, and in my opinion a must see for all fashionistas! The Museum of Style Icons hosts numerous collections and artefacts relating to Stars of the Silver Screen and many modern day artists – including Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Grace, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, the Beatles and many more. Their own collection of memorabilia and fashion is extensive and in the addition they host other collections.
The Museum of Style Icons is a must visit in Ireland for all Marilyn Monroe fans. I almost fainted when I saw the famous white dress from Seven Year Itch, and even the original sketch from the designer of the dress.
The museum has a very nice amount of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia that you will recognize from iconic pictures.
And there is more
And there is so much more… Some of the most famous dresses worn by Elizabeth Taylor.
Princess Diana’s “revenge dress” – this was the dress and the photo of her the day after she found out Prince Charles had been cheating on her. She looked absolutely stunning in the little black dress, and not at all like someone who might be pushed in a corner. This is one of the many famous dresses she wore, and also not the only Princess Diana’s dress found at the Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware company.
Newbridge Silverware company, Kildare, Ireland.
Monday – Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday & Public Holidays: 11am – 6pm*
*restaurant closes at 5pm.
Free entry and parking
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