Saturday 1 October 2016

Fashion Warriors

Published 10/08/2015 | 02:30

Deirdre Devaney, Arnotts director of fashion, beauty and accessories, wears: Leather top, €435, Raoul; skirt, €280, Peter O’Brien, both Arnotts. Shoes; jewellery, Deirdre's own
Deirdre Devaney, Arnotts director of fashion, beauty and accessories, wears: Leather top, €435, Raoul; skirt, €280, Peter O’Brien, both Arnotts. Shoes; jewellery, Deirdre's own

Dublin city, as well as the rest of the country, was rocked by the loss of that great old department store, Clerys.

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Along with all the jobs, gone is the history and character of what was a unique retail experience, especially important to the country people who relished their day up in Jackeen-land to do their December 8 Christmas shop. It was also important to the elderly, who felt respected there, and local office workers who valued its ease of access.

So today, we in LIFE are celebrating the Dublin fashion survivors - the retailers and businesses that have survived the recession and are now thriving, and taking part in Dublin Fashion Festival next month, which runs from September 7-13. And we're thrilled that some of the people behind the successes agreed to model for these pages.

From the big department stores such as Arnotts and Brown Thomas, to the small-but-beautiful players in Dublin's creative quarter - between Grafton Street and South Great George's Street - through fashion gems such as the Design Centre, Om Diva and Lennon Courtney, to hair and beauty emporiums such as Brown Sugar and Davey Davey, and great ideas such as the National Tailoring Academy, founded by Louis Copeland.

The idea behind the Dublin Fashion Festival, organised by DublinTown (an initiative supported by Dublin City Business Improvement District) is to get people back into Dublin to enjoy the fair city.

During the week, there will be fashion shows on all over the city, styling events, special offers in pubs and restaurants and lots, lots more, see dff.ie for more details.

People who have gone to the Dublin Fashion Festival love the fashion shows. This year, there are lots. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, September 10-12, there will be a permanent stand for fashion shows and demonstrations in the Jervis Centre, the Ilac Centre, and on Grafton Street.

The big show of the week takes place in the grounds of the Bank of Ireland on College Green, on Wednesday, September 9, showcasing the new season's trends as well as announcing the Young Designer of the Year award.

Judged by Deirdre Devaney, Arnotts director of fashion, beauty and accessories; Aisling Kilduff, owner of the Design Centre (both women are on our pages today); Bairbre Power of the Irish Independent, and photographer-to-the-stars Barry McCall, the extremely valuable prize is a photoshoot of the winner's collection, taken by Barry.

Then, on Friday night, at the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, there will be a fashion show to celebrate all the small businesses and boutique owners who have been instrumental in creating a lively retail experience in that part of town.

Dublin Fashion Festival is a great 'last fling' of a summer outdoor event, while getting us properly in the mood for autumn's fashion glory.

Photography by Emily Quinn

Styling by Linda Conway

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Sunday Independent

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