Monday, 19 March 2012

The Irish are Coming.

Dia Dhuit! Conas atá tu agus lá naomh Pádir shona duit! (That was probably all really grammatically incorrect Irish, but it's the thought that counts)...
Seeing as it was St. Patrick's day on Saturday and I am in fact Irish, I thought it would be nice to do a post about some Irish designers that I like at the moment. 
It'll pretty much be the only nationalistic thing I did this year for Paddy's day beside go and get buckled like the rest of the nation.
But all "the Irish have a drinking problem" jokes aside, there really are some pretty sweet Irish designers out there at the moment. So here are my pick of the crop so far...

Eilis Boyle

Favoring simple colour tones, Boyle uses textures and cuts to grab the attention of the fashion world. 
Her patterns can tend to dominate those that are wearing them, so you get situations (as below) where it's almost like the garment is wearing the girl instead of the other way around. 
But they're still really nice clothes to looks at.
And isn't that what it's all about really?

Emma Manley

Having started life at the Grafton Academy, Manley went on to work for Alexander McQueen (eh, wowza!) before heading up her own line "Manley".
Her work is structured and fluid at the same time (sounds counter-intuitive and like a load of pretentious bollix but hopefully you'll get my drift).
She also manages to do that whole androgynous thing that I've posted about a few times really well.
The clothes look sharp and masculine in some regards (the tailoring) but retain their femininity as well (chiffon, the floating denim skirt etc).
Pretty sweet stuff if you ask me.

Natalie B. Coleman

Cutting her fashion teeth studying in the Limerick College of Art (arguably the best fashion college in the country, or so I am told) and following it up with an MA from CSM, Coleman definitely has the makings of a hot Irish fashion designer on paper.
But does it translate onto the collections?
Em, pretty much yeah.
The collection was titled "All The Jewellery I Never Got" and spanned over two seasons (S/S 11, A/W 11/12).
Bold use of colour and print gave the collection a youthful vibe, which was carried on through the choice of cuts in the garments. 
(Like the oversized shirt-dress which looks like someone got lost in one of their Dad's wardrobes, in a good way).

Sorcha O'Raghallaigh

Born in a rural Irish town, O'Raghallaigh got her degree in fashion from CSM in London (where she is now based) and interned with DVF and John Galliano (one of my all time favorite designers, as you've probably guessed if you've read any of my other posts).
It's been a pretty hectic year for the up and coming Irish designer.
Probably the best known of all the designers on the list, O'Raghallaigh was picked for the Selfridge's "Bright Young Thing" initiative, where young designers are given a Selfridge's window to showcase their designs.
This made her the first Irish Designer to have a display on Oxford Street. Fair Play.

Also, being name dropped by Lady Gaga can really help boost your profile as a designer these days.
Gaga wore her designs on both Jonathan Ross and the X-Factor this year which sparked a massive surge in interest in the designer.
Again, fair play.
Her designs are elaborate, romantic and at times a little bit eccentric.
O'Raghallaigh is anything but boring.
Definitely one to watch, she's blazing the trail, putting Irish fashion on the world map.



Hopefully, as you've seen, Ireland is producing some pretty slick fashion these days
And with the interest in fashion growing all the time, and Dublin (slowly) becoming more and more visually artistic and creative, it stands to reason that these four are only the Van Guard.
It's an exciting time for Irish fashion indeed.

On that note, I'll love you and leave you
Happy (belated) St Patrick's Day

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