Saturday 10 December 2016

Youngsters are taking to an old craft with a new style

Sam Griffin

Published 13/06/2015 | 02:30

Madeline Mulqueen models the tailored bridal gown designed by student Jennifer Young (right), who won the ‘excellence in craftsmanship’ award at the National Tailoring Academy in Dublin
Madeline Mulqueen models the tailored bridal gown designed by student Jennifer Young (right), who won the ‘excellence in craftsmanship’ award at the National Tailoring Academy in Dublin

The reputation of tailoring as an old man's game is facing a stern test, as more and more young people turn to the craft with the industry undergoing a revival both in Ireland and internationally.

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The increasing interest coincides with strong growth in the sale of formal wear, and particularly men's suits, in both high street stores and by independent traders.

Stores such as Debenhams have posted massive increases in sales of suits, which are up 19pc compared with this time last year.

The increase is being put down to shoppers having more disposable income and a workforce, who grew up in the dot-com bubble of hoodies and T-shirts, maturing in the fashion stakes.

Sinead Doyle, who is course director at the National Tailoring Academy in Dublin city centre, said young people have recognised there was a real demand for high-quality clothes and were taking up tailoring after years of inactivity.

"You try and find a tailor in Ireland now and they're all in their 60s, so there is a skills gap that needs to be filled. It's an industry where there is actually money now and it's important these skills aren't lost," she said.

Among its programmes, the college is concluding its second year of its bespoke fashion tailoring course in both menswear and womenswear.

The course is open to those who have already obtained a qualification from a fashion college and Sinead says the course is oversubscribed every year.

Jennifer Young, from Aberdeen, who this week won the 'excellence in craftsmanship' award, says she sees a big future for the industry in Ireland

"It's still a niche market, but I think it's beginning to broaden out.

"People are becoming more aware of where their garments are coming from," she said.

Irish Independent

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