Tag Archives: fashion

Cycling in Fashion with Petria Lenehan

15 Aug

Note: we wrote a guest blog for the American Bike League — in an effort to show how great cycling in Dublin is (becoming). We’re republishing that same blog here. Feel free to let us know if you think we gave the right impression. Photo’s by Rich Gilligan.


Petria Lenehan is a Dublin fashion designer schooled in New York, Florence and London. She owns Dublin fashion boutique Dolls.

Dolls is a Disneyland for fashion lovers. Every item contributes to making it a magic kingdom for grownups: Panama hats, brown leather camera cases, and copper pharmacist scales line the walls. At the entrance stands a matte green Dutch bicycle.

Petria primarily has that bike because it brings structure to her days. With a dual role as fashion designer and boutique owner, Petria’s life is hectic. Five years after opening Dolls, she still finds herself sketching dresses in business hours – meaning she will have to do bookkeeping later that night. But now, with help of her bike, a change has come about.

Petria recently rented a studio, forcing herself to be business woman in her boutique and fashion designer in her studio. It does require Petria to frequently travel between studio and shop, though. For that, she heavily relies on her bike, which has become the beacon of structure in her working life. Every day at her boutique, she loads shirts and skirts in her bicycle basket and cycles to her new studio.

But Petria also has the bike for its style. When the Irish Times recently wrote an article about Dolls, it said ‘you don’t have to arrive (…) by Dutch bike, but if you do you will be among your tribe. This is Dublin 8, darling.

And so Petria decided to display a bike alongside dresses, hats, scarves, frocks, jumpers, socks and clogs. She also decided to get a Dutch bicycle herself. As with her fashion designers – such as Peter Jensen, Cahterine André, and Renate Henschke – Petria personally knows the owner of the Dutch bike company, Joni Uhlenbeck.

Next to Dolls, in the same building, is a café called Bibi’s. It is run by Petria’s sister: Maisha. The food at Bibi’s has won more awards than the King’s Speech won Academy Awards , and Dublin 8’s Dutch bicycle tribe now has an extra reason to go shopping at Dolls – many customers walk into Dolls with peanut butter brownie crumbs still on their lips.

Petria – knowing the amount of calories going into her sister’s brownies – is happy her clientele comes by bike. Seeing her customers cycle away assures Petria they had a guilt free shopping experience. And that they won’t come back to change clothes that all of a sudden no longer fit them.



Bicycles, Fashion, Rain.

15 Dec
Christmas Party at the Pod

Christmas Party at the Pod

Tomorrow, the Dublin Cycling Campaign hosts its annual Christmas Party (8:30 pm, The Pod, Harcourt Street). Like previous year, bicycle lovers will have plenty to look at: bicycle Christmas trees, bicycles films, and bicycle battles (next week, this blog will bring you a report of the party itself). This year, however, the Dublin Cycling Campaign also introduces a new element: fashion. In a Bicycle Fashion Show, Dublin designers will be sending out models to show their costumes and bicycles.

bicycle and fashion

Sleek, meaningful - bikes on billboards

Fashion and cycling go hand in hand these days. Bicycles are found in shop windows and glossy magazines. Models with tilted heads and meaningful stares, leaning against sleek bike frames, decorate the city’s billboards. So a fashion show dedicated solely to cycling is the natural next step to educate people cycling should be done in style.

We’re glad it has come this far. However – coming from the Netherlands – we are also surprised it has. To us, cycling is as much a fashion statement as taking out your garbage. We had not expected bicycles could be a centerpiece on the catwalk. To clarify that, have a look at these lovely ladies in Amsterdam:

Dutch bicycle with lady

Lady walking with Dutch Bicycle, Amsterdam


Dutch bicycle lady

Lady on Dutch Bicycle, Amsterdam

This is the Netherlands: where cycling is purely functional and style isn’t on a cyclist’s mind.

At least, until now.

Because more and more, the non-Dutch focus on cycling in style is also surfacing in the Netherlands. For example: three Amsterdam ladies recently set out on a mission to bring style to Dutch cycling. Inspired by 18th century Victorian couture, their company Madame De Pé produces stylish raincoats that make flapping poncho’s belong to the past. And there’s more: fancy fixies and bmx bikes are other examples of foreign influences on Dutch cycling.

So tomorrow, at the Dublin Cycling Campaign’s Fashion Show, we’ll be extra alert. Maybe we’ll find some Dublin fashion that suits the Dutch.

Madame de Pé Victorian Coat

Madame de Pé Victorian Poncho