Sunday 25 June 2017

Cool as ice: Irish label Fee G

Dress (also comes in navy), €322, Fee G. Earrings, €75; bracelets, from a selection, €70-€95, MoMuse
Dress (also comes in navy), €322, Fee G. Earrings, €75; bracelets, from a selection, €70-€95, MoMuse
Liadan Hynes

Liadan Hynes

The feedback from buyers, boutique owners, and many Irish designers of the last two seasons is that the Irish customer is more confident than ever about styling her own look. Some put it down to the blogger effect, which is all about mixing it up to create an individual look.

Since its inception in 2003, Irish label Fee G has become known for its beautiful, feminine dresses, perfect for those big occasions for which Irish women love to dress up. Increasingly, though, the label is moving into including more separates in their collections, which is a reflection of the customers' self-assurance, says Fee G's designer, Fiona Heaney.

"Separates have been getting stronger for us," she says. "I think people like to get a lot of versatility out of our collection, and they want to wear it for different occasions. For example, an off-the-shoulder top or a piece of knitwear that we have paired with a very dressy skirt can also work with your jeans at the weekend. I think we've all had a tough few years, and there's a little bit more confidence back."

The label now sells in the UK and on the continent, and Fiona reveals that of all their customers, the Irish woman knows her own taste and style."The Irish customer is actually quite clever," Fiona says. "They know what they want. And they can see how to style it themselves, and understand what we're trying to do. I'm not trying to design a collection where pieces can only be worn to just one function."

Futhermore, the Irish customer does not shy away from colour, she reflects, something Fee G is known to use to great effect."In comparison to the UK market, we would find the Irish customer a little bit more daring," Fiona says. "Certainly more receptive to colour. A little bit bolder, I suppose. Especially in the UK, they would be a little bit more pared-back and conservative."

This season's collection has two colour stories. Crisp whites and neutrals, off-whites, and soft, silvery greys for early in the season; with strong, bold shades for later in the season - fuchsia pinks and cobalt blues. It was inspired by a holiday Fiona and her husband and business partner Don Gormley took to the west coast of California several years ago.

"That whole vibe," she explains, "that's where I'm getting the pale icy blues, and the clean colours." Fabrics are a starting point of inspiration with each collection, and this season they reflect the Californian aesthetic, with light, airy organza embroidered to resemble the waves of the sea; a lot of stretch crepe; and printed jacquards.

They've stayed true to their signature overall feminine look, but it feels particularly modern and contemporary this season. "I like to continually push the collection," says Fiona, adding that she does so to keep herself interested, too. With this newest season, there is little chance of her boring anyone.

Photography by  Eilish McCormack

Words by  Liadan Hynes

Fashion edited by  Constance Harris

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