Carousel Summer: Patterns, Press and Puppies

Carousel Summer: Patterns, Press and Puppies

Welcome back to the blog! We’re here to keep you updated on everything Carousel – from design news to event information and everything in between. Happy Carousel summer shopping!

Hot off the press

It’s been an exciting summer so far here at Carousel. While the bees are busy with the blooming flowers , the papers have been abuzz about our own brightly coloured creations.  On the 28th of June, we were delighted to be featured in the New York Times as one of the Five Places to Shop in Dublin! In a piece written by Elaine Glusac, we were mentioned alongside some of our favourite boutiques and restaurants in the city centre. The article touts our brand Circus and our beloved A-line skirts and unique vintage-inspired dresses and blouses. You can read the piece here!

Carousel summer 5 places to shop in Dublin New york Times article

If that wasn’t enough press coverage for one summer, on July 17 we were featured in the Irish Times Magazine. Irish Times fashion editor Deirdre McQuillan interviewed Carousel creator Tom Walsh about the story of Carousel and how Circus came to be. In the piece, Tom speaks about Carousel’s modern vintage style and the importance of Irish design. We’d like to thank Deirdre for her article and for continually promoting Irish design and small Irish companies.

Irish Times in interview with Circus creator Tom Walsh

canines at carousel

We held our first pup-friendly event  in our Exchequer Street shop on July 19. We opened our doors to our furry friends to raise money for Dogs in Distress. This brilliant charity works to find foster homes and forever homes for their rescue dogs. Between the hours of five and seven, we allowed our canine companions into the store and took donations for the charity in exchange for a personalised portrait of our customers’ pups. We offered a 15% discount on our Circus range on the night and 10% of all proceeds went to Dogs in Distress. Keep up to date with our Facebook page for information on more of our events!

dog photography and shopping night at Carousel summer Dublin


We love colour and individuality

Vintage inspired Irish designed Circus

Hello ,

I’m Tom, the owner of Carousel. Its been too long since our last post and with that in mind I have decided to begin afresh. From now on we will be using this space to keep you, our customers, fans, potential customers and anybody who likes what we do, up to date with all things happening in and around Carousel our retail business and Circus our clothing range. So if you’ve ever been curious about what goes on behind the scenes of a small Irish business, how our unique pieces make their way into the store and into your wardrobe – watch this space! We’ll even be offering sneak peeks into the coming seasons’ patterns and colours, so you can always stay ahead of the trend. 

First things first, let me give you a little background on me.

I began my working career in Cork, in a bank, a useful if not a fun start to my career. From there, onto the USA to figure out what I wanted to do, having realised it was not banking… After a few years in and around Boston I returned closer to home – London.

London was my introduction to the retail world. I got a job in Selfridges department store. This was a fantastic time; I met some great people and learned the ins and outs of retailing. After 6 years there, I finally spread my wings and opened up a vintage store in Camden market, selling original vintage pieces sourced from all over the UK. Ever since then, I have ploughed my own furrow to varying degrees of success, but always learning from and enjoying the experience and always involved in Vintage in some way.

In 1992 I returned to Ireland. I have had shops in the “creative quarter” of Dublin, continuously since my return. I recently opened a new branch in my home city of Cork.

Four years ago, through a meeting with an old friend from the UK, I got the opportunity to create my own range of clothing. Pretty quickly the name “Circus” came to mind. Fast forward to today, 3 years on from my first trip to India, where Circus is made, and here I am sitting at my desk creating the next range of Circus for sale for Spring Summer 2018. Circus is now available for sale in over 60 stores across Europe, Canada and the USA. At times, when I take a minute just to sit back and assess where I am at, I find it hard to believe that this is a job and not a dream!

What I do could not be more enjoyable and rewarding. I feel as much excitement when a box of new stock comes into our shops, as I hope you do when your on-line order comes through your post box. Even though I created the garment from an idea, it is not until the piece arrives into the shop and is hanging on a rail that I can really judge if I have done a good job. From time to time, I find myself in an airport or walking down a street somewhere and I see someone wearing a dress from Circus. I have to pinch myself knowing the story behind the dress and that I had a part in making it.

How to…dress like a First Lady?

How to…Dress like a First Lady?

With the American presidential campaign taking place next month Hilary Clinton is everywhere right now and so we couldn’t help but start thinking about previous first ladies as we sat chatting over a cup of tea and some macaroons at lunch (We are good to Ourselves-I know!). Throughout the decades the first ladies have been the epitome of sophistication and glamour providing fashion and style inspiration to women across the globe. I mean let’s face it every woman would love a wardrobe like theirs and even now first ladies from the past manage to inspire modern day fashion as their outfit ensembles were never anything less than classy, polished and of course timeless.

Probably the most iconic of all first ladies and the first lady we have the biggest soft spot for is none other than (drum roll please)-Jackie Kennedy. Jackie Kennedy is a classic style icon who will be used to draw inspiration from for years as her style will never go out of fashion. Of course we may be biased here at Carousel considering Jackie herself was half-Irish and married Americas first Irish-Catholic President but even still you cannot deny how stylish she was! Jackie gained worldwide attention from the moment they won the presidential election campaign in 1960. She became a fashion icon, an industry trendsetter portrayed by the media as the ideal woman-(ahem…of course she wasn’t cause really there is no such thing!)-with impeccable fashion sense.



As she often sketched her own designs she garnered her own signature style that got her international recognition. The famous ‘’Jackie Look’’ spread like wild fire as even lower end stores imitated her sleek, classy ensembles. Much in line with her checkered and colorful life she had a mixture of signature looks that evolved throughout the years but the most iconic of these involved structured shapes that showed skin in a very tasteful way, along with bows on dresses. She was an avid fan of classic cuts that emphasised the silhouette, were extremely sophisticated yet stylish and uber feminine. Much like us at Carousel Jackie wasn’t afraid to experiment with bright colours, to express her individuality and cinch her dresses in at the waist to show off her figure. Until she passed away in 1994 Jackie remained one of the USA’s most stylish women.

When we think of Jackie we immediately think of structured A-line dresses or dresses that highlights the silhouette topped off with a bow which Jackie loved to add to her ensembles. Her look is still so attainable and nowadays even more affordable. My favourite dress in store right now is the ‘Jackie Blue Dress‘created by our own Circus range available exclusively to Carousel. . This dress inspired by Jackie herself is as close to her style as you can get and the shade of blue is stunning against all skin tones! We also have the ‘Ava Grey dress’  which I think is the epitome of a relaxed, Jackie Kennedy day look as she strolled around the grounds of the white house with the kids.



How to…Dress like Bridget Jones

How to…Dress like Bridget Jones?
Hello ladies! If you are like us here at Carousel you consider winter and it’s long, dark, cold nights (which have certainly begun-eeekk!) to be the perfect excuse to get cozy on a couch beside the fire. Winter is THE perfect time to catch up on all your favourite series and movies and we recently kicked movie season off with a trip to the movies to see the long awaited Bridget Jones Baby!!

First off let me tell you my sides are still sore from giggling and I can’t help but laugh still as I think back on it. I always judge a comedy on whether it can make me laugh or not-let me tell you it is not easily done-but this movie did not disappoint! Bridget Jones movies have become romantic comedy classics, they are the ultimate chick flick and let’s be honest there isn’t a girl anywhere who can’t relate to Bridget.
Without giving too much away in this movie Bridget gets pregnant but in typical Bridget Jones fashion her life is all over the place and she has no idea who the father is. Her love hate relationship with mark Darcy is stronger than ever and we are kept on the edge of our seat in typical Bridget Jones fashion as to whether they will ever get together or not.
Dress like Bridget Jones
To be honest I was quite surprised with how good the movie was considering it is the third installment in the franchise but Bridget was her usual warm, witty lovable self and she looked better than ever! Throughout the film which has not lost any of its appeal and charm Bridget donned a few fabulous looks but our favorite was the chic green midi dress she wore to her son’s christening which she paired with a cute cream knitted cardigan and classy black patent shoes. We are delighted to have such a similar dress, ‘The Vivien dress’  here in stock at Carousel both in store and online and we also have the knee length floaty and fabulous ‘Peggy skirt’ that reminds us of the dress she wore. How great is that? I mean who doesn’t want to be Bridget Jones? (Hopefully though we have better luck with men!)


Pair with some low heeled vintage style shoes for the ultimate, classically vintage ensemble!


Desserts and Dresses: Our Photoshoot in Laduree Dublin

Photographing our new stock is always a pleasure, but when we get to use a fun, or in this case a delicious, location it is all the more exciting.  We try and switch things up as much as possible, and we are very lucky to have lot’s of great places to shoot around this fair city.

This week our neighbours at Laduree Dublin let us use their pastel and pretty surroundings to photograph some of our new arrivals, and boy did we have a sweet time.

Laduree dublin vintage style dress

This location really transported us, it didn’t feel like we were in Dublin anymore! It was like stepping back in time to the court at Versailles, a tea (dress) party held by Marie Antoinette herself! Macaroons and sugared almonds galore.  We just had to indulge post shoot – Pistachio being the groups favorite.

Laduree Dublin shop photoshoot

We welcomed two new shapes to our collection this month.  We have the ‘Cora‘ (below) and the ‘Sadie‘  that are two very different styles, but both have that nostalgic vintage inspired look that we are all about!

Laduree Dublin with the Cora 1940s inspired dress

The ‘Sadie’ (below) features an ascot style collar and a simple shift shape.  It comes in a cool cotton so its perfect for Summer.  Then once Autumn is upon us you can team it with navy tights and a cardi.

Laduree Sadie boats dress lookbook

The ‘Cora’ is a 1940’s tea dress dream and slotted right in to our setting. It has a wide waistband that cinches in the waist beautifully with cap sleeves and a shirt collar.

Laduree dublin Brigitte dress morning tea

We have also gotten some of our best selling and timeless classic shapes back in stock, in new colours and patterns for summer. These include the fit and flare Brigitte dress (above), now available in a fresh and fun botanic pattern. Back by the popular demand, the darling Ava dress in green (below), covered in an adorable pattern of swooping swallows and cute clouds, in now also back in stock, and available here.

Laduree Dublin vintage style maccaroons

Laduree Dublin Vintage Ava dress Dublin

Thank you to Laduree Dublin for allowing to use your beautiful surroundings. We think the combination of vintage inspired dresses and pretty macaroons is a match made in heaven!

Vintage Inspired Looks from Carousel on Xpose

We caught ourselves on camera earlier this week on Expose! – did you see us? made it onto the small screen with some celebrity vintage inspired ‘get the looks’.  Our style is often compared to the likes of Taylor Swift, Zooey Deschanel and Imelda May to name a few!

The two celebrities chosen were the ever chic Alexa Chung and ladylike Kate Middleton who both have very different styles but do have one thing in common and it’s a love for vintage inspired style.


Alexa – who has been a poster girl for plaid and peter pan collars since she popped up on the celeb scene was a dream to dress.  We teamed our ‘Diane’ contrast top (which has just come back in to stock in a range of colours) with our  ‘Peggy’ check skirt.  This outfit super interchangeable and trans-seasonal which is very handy considering the dodgy weather we are currently having!  Add a Jumper and brogues to this and hey presto hello Autumn!

vintage inspired style trend on TV3 Xpose

Our second outfit based on Kate Middleton is fit for a Queen (I am sorry, I had to!)  The ‘Ava’ swallow and clouds dress is back in-stock and boasts a very flattering shape.  We are throwing back to the fifties with this shirt dress and is an absolute dream to wear.  Curvy of straight it nips in at the waist giving a sensational silhouette.

You can watch the feature here for further styling tips.

Sneak Peek! Circus Autumn Winter Collection 2016

We know autumn and winter are the last things everyone wants to think about as the summer sun is still shining, but here at Carousel we are always looking forward to what new treats we can bring to you every season. A new season brings a host of new colours, patterns and shapes, and we are always so excited to share them with you, as they are designed by our team here with you in mind. We always take customer feedback into account when we are making every new range. Our Circus autumn winter collection will be no exception this year.

Circus autumn winter color palette by Circus

The Circus autumn winter collection, as always, is very influenced by the vintage style of decades such as the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. We’ve used a colour palette of rich, earthy shades, mixed subtly with darker colour patterns that are inspired by nature. Cold weather dressing doesn’t have to be dull and drab, and these combinations will add just the right amount of fun and vibrancy to your autumn/winter wardrobe.

circus winter preview lookbook

Many of the pieces in the new collection come with sleeves ranging from half to full lengths. Also, most are made using thicker cotton twill fabrics also, making it easier to keep the chill out this winter, while also staying stylish! Our winter skirt lengths will be a bit longer than our summer collection, and many of the shapes have a formal but feminine vibe to them, making them perfect versatile pieces to take you from work to after work soirees!

Circus autumn winter lookbook

Keep scrolling to see more sneak peeks of what to expect from our Circus autumn winter collection, arriving online and in store at the end of August. Have you spotted any favorites?

winter vintage inspired fashion

Vintage inspired dress by Circus

vintage inspired winter dress

vintage style outfit for winter 2016

Circus autumn/winter collection

circus winter style preview

Winter vintage Vivien dress from Circus

winter ss16 preview from Circus

Black winter 1960s vintage inspired dress

Thankfully there is still lots of summer weather ahead of us, so why not take a look at our current Circus summer collection here now.

Circus Summer Lookbook: A Trip to the Beach!

Our latest Circus summer lookbook is all about laid back vintage style, that’s perfect for staying cool, calm, and stylish, no matter where these sunny days take you! We were inspired by vintage photos of some of our favorite old school Hollywood icons letting their hair, and their guards, down in relaxed and playful shoots by the sea. We knew the beach would be the ideal location for us to showcase the latest summer collection from Circus. As always, the collection is jam packed with fun and unique patterns, bright, fresh summery colours, and flattering shapes made from light, comfy, breathable fabrics – and all designed by the team here at Carousel in Dublin to boot!

Keeping things casual, we decided to keep hair and make up simple and not too groomed. Although many of these dresses look just as fab dressed up with heels and accessories, we paired them with simple sandals and pumps for a beach look that’s just right. We think the resulting look book is dreamy and romantic, but playful and relaxed at the same time, and reminds us of long summer days gone by spent at the beach. We can feel the sand between our toes! Take a look at a selection below, and let us know what you think. You can shop all the looks included in the lookbook here.

vintage inspiration beach moodboard

Some of our vintage inspiration

circus vintage style summer lookbookGina polka dot dress

Circus Olivia dress summer lookbookOlivia Boat Dress

Circus summer lookbook at the beachGloria Polka Dot Dress

vinatge inspired beach lookbookDebbie Boats Dress

Dublin seaside summer lookbook Lily Striped Dress

We also made a video lookbook, so you can see the collection in action, take a look below!

The Circus summer collection is here!

The Circus summer collection has arrived! We couldn’t wait to try the new pieces on and take to the streets and parks of Dublin to see how they look. Summertime means sunshine, warmth, fun and colour, so of course this collection is infused with bright colours, fun patterns, comfortable breathable  fabrics, all combined with gorgeous vintage inspired shapes.  As Circus is designed and made by the team here at Carousel, we are always very excited when we get our hands on the finished product. Then we can get to the best part – wearing the clothes! Take a look at some of the new arrivals below, with plenty more available online here.Circus Vivien vintage style dress

Add some bright blooms to your wardrobe with our collection of floral patterns from Circus – flowers are always a summer staple. This Vivien dress is a showstopper, with a gorgeous combination of rich purple and reds.

Circus Lana tropical print sun dress

This new Lana dress has us feeling totally tropical! We love the adjustable straps – they ensure a perfect fit that’s just right for you! We’ll be wearing this beauty on all our sunny holiday adventures this year.

Circus Claudette sun dress

In a light denim like material and covered in a sprinkling of daisies, this Claudette is great for keeping things cool and casual on warm summer days in the city.

Circus Vivien 1940s inspired dress

This bright and pretty tulip pattern Vivien dress will ensure you stand out this summer! We love the warm deep orange colour and unique 1940’s inspired tea dress shape.

Circus summer collection new Nina dress

So fresh! The blue and white stripes on this new Nina dress reminds us of the seaside and ice cream – which is exactly what we plan on eating all summer, so we are so glad for those flattering vertical stripes! This versatile dress shape can be easily dressed up or down, and we can see ourselves wearing it to all kinds of summer occasions.

Circus summer collection seperates polka dot Anita skirtDon’t forget your separates! Mixing and matching from our range of blouses and skirts means you will have endless outfit options this summer. This Anna blouse and cute Anita skirt are a match made in heaven.

Circus summer range designed in Ireland by Carousel

Take a look at our lil’ video below to see these looks in action. All of these pieces, and more, are available in our new arrivals section here now. Keep your eyes peeled for more new pieces being added to the Circus summer collection very soon!

The Circus Spring Summer 2016 Preview!


We recently hosted an in store event for members of the press to preview the new Circus Spring Summer 2016 range. Circus is a vintage style clothing range, and is Irish owned and designed in house by the team here at Carousel in Dublin. Needless to say, we are very proud of this line, and we were excited to get a chance to show off the new Spring Summer pieces to members of the press!

Models with vintage style dresses at Carousel Press night

Our lovely models headed to Makeup Forever on Clarendon Street to get their make-up done and get the build up to the event started.

Circus Spring Summer 2016 clothing range sneak peekAs make up was underway, back at our Exchequer street store we prepped our selected looks for fittings. We wanted to show a range that would best represent what Circus is all about  – vintage inspired, unique, feminine, fun, and with oodles of personality. There’s so many shapes we adore in the Circus range that it was hard to chose, but we eventually narrowed it down to nine.

Vintage style Brigitte fit and flare floral dressThe nine looks we featured included some best selling and timeless shapes, like the Brigitte dress above, which we have made available in a variety of colours and patterns. We think this dress’s popularity comes from its versatility – it’s so easy to style for all occasions!

Circus Ingrid Fern dress 1940s styleWe also wanted to preview some of our new patterns and vivid colours for Spring/Summer, many of which have already proven a hit with customers, such as this Ingrid fern print dress, above.

Circus vintage inspired blue dressIn Spring and Summer we like to reintroduce some of our sleeveless or strappy shapes, like the Sylvia and Claudette dresses. We will also shorten sleeves on our popular winter shapes, making them perfect for sunny weather!

Circus Spring Summer 2016 Claudette dress We got the show on the road once our guests had arrived and had some refreshments. Betty took everyone through each individual look, giving the details of each shape, their inspiration, and tips on how to style the pieces.

Circus spring summer 2016 range Charlotte dress

Green twiggy shift dress from CircusThe evening went off without a hitch, so of course we all felt like we deserved a glass of bubbly to celebrate! You can take a look at all the new Circus Spring Summer 2016 arrivals here, with more on the way next week.

Carousel staff and models celebrate press night wrap up