When I say Ireland, what do you think of?
Green hills…Guinness…Niall Horan…Leprechauns…Craic?
I’m guessing that we’d be at this game quite a while before you came around to ‘fashion’. But, Ireland has produced several successful (even iconic) designers, and the next generation is holding their own.
In honour of Saint Patrick’s Day, I’ve collected some of the Irish players in the fashion industry that you should have your eye on.
Born in County Galway, Philip Treacy is THE go-to miliner for celebrities and royalty alike. And, if you’re like me, his popularity with British Royalty probably made you think that we was English. Treacy’s works have been featured on runways for ages, always attracting attention, but never distracting from the clothes on display. As showpieces in their own right, Treacy’s inventive use of materials and fearless approach to proportion and perspective ensure that heads will turn when his hats or fascinators pass by.
Ali Hewson (a.k.a. Mrs. Bono), Edun
Edun was founded in 2005 by Bono and Mrs. Bono, and is targeted at supporting industry and sustainability in Africa. While the firm was successful by its own right, the purchase of part of the company by LVMH in 2009 cemented its position as a force both in the fashion industry, and in the realm of sustainable development. A relative pioneer when it comes to responsibly sourced materials and production, Edun set the target of producing 40% of its collection in Africa in 2013.
Dublin based designer Sinead Doyle launched her own line in 2009 – and has moved from strength to strength since, being named Newcomer of the year at the Irish Fashion Awards in 2011. I’m drawn to the mix of textures that Sinead uses in her work – the mix of stronger lines from the ‘tough’ fabrics with the fluid draping of others leaves me feeling both empowered, and cocooned. That a lot of her work is monochromatic highlights this play with fabrics. http://sineaddoyle.ie
Winner of Ireland’s version of ANTM, The Model Agent, Jennifer Foley has become one of the better known Irish models. Oddly enough, when you serach for ‘Irish Models’ online, most of the names that come up are girls with Irish heritage, rather than provenance – Coco Rocha and Erin Wasson, for example. Though Jennifer was highlighted by Vogue magazine as a model to watch in 2010, her ascent in the industry hasn’t been as swift or as eventful as predicted…I think she’s got a great, unique look and would love to see her in more editorials.
What do you think of when you think of Ireland? Irish Fashion?
Photos sourced from: Philip Treacy, Edun.com, Sinead Doyle Facebook, StyleBible.ie