Early Signs of Spring in Ireland

rhodos-24Looking at these pictures you would never guess that this past week had its share of snow and hail and wind, but despite winter's tenacious grip on my region a few determined rhododendrons have started to blossom. Last year I discovered these early bloomers by accident on the first week of March. They were an unexpected but most welcome sign of spring. This year, pastel ribbon and ruffly dress-ed I headed to this garden optimistically exploring for a few tender buds and was spoiled with this gorgeous display of pale pink blooms. As LM Montgomery said, “it is always safe to dream of spring. For it is sure to come; and if it be not just as we have pictured it, it will be infinitely sweeter.” Sandwiched between gloomier days and muddy paths, this display of spring color was most welcome indeed.rhodos-28 rhodos-35 I am eager to shed my sweaters and darker shades and embrace bright colors and florals once again. This new dress from independent, ethical brand Nour and the Merchant, fits the bill perfectly. Delicately puffed sleeves, tiered ruffle skirt, and shirred bodice it suits its name as the "fairytale dress" fit for twirling around castles and tripping over daydreams. A zephyr of romance in clothing form. It felt lovely to wear on my first spring-like photographs of the year and it's a romantic style I know I'll be returning to again in the coming months. If you're equally enamored with it or another style by Nour and the Merchant head to my Instagram today as we're hosting a giveaway! rhodos-43 rhodos-3-side
nour rhodos-21
Style aside I'm delighted to be wearing this dress because Nour and the Merchant is a small, ethical brand out of Italy. In addition to being an ethical, slow-fashion brand, 10% of the sales are also donated to charity. I've been trying to dress more ethically for a few years now, but I've felt even more convicted in the past year to focus on discovering and wearing more independent brands. As a self-professed clothes horse it's difficult to quit the convenience of fast fashion, but I am discovering so many lovely slow fashion labels like Nour and the Merchant that feel good to invest in. I used to think that shopping more ethically would mean simpler, more minimalist fashion as that was most of the brands I was familiar with, but lately I'm learning I don't have to give up my whimsy. Nour and the Merchant describes their clothes as fitting for those who "wish they lived in a magic world among elves and dragons but still need "normal" clothes to go about their daily business"--a dichotomy I can well understand!rhodos-26-side rhodos-41 rhodos-6“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.” -LM Montgomery rhodos-12 rhodos-48


to top