From boom to embroidered bust
Sprawling ghost estates provided the inspiration for Ruth Duignan's summer 'NAMA look', which was showcased yesterday at the official launch of the new Council of Irish Fashion Designers.
Ruth (26), from Drumsa, Co Leitrim, crafted and captured the ongoing saga of the Irish property sector on traditional aida embroidery cloth, cross-stitching a glamorous completed home before progressing to an unfinished home, the hanging threads symbolising the developer's sudden departure.
The cautionary fashion tale concludes with the bare skeleton of a house, while the contrasting fabrics in her full circular skirts represent "the tensions" left behind in ghost estates.
"I live just outside Carrick-on-Shannon and you have all these uninhabited houses with absolutely nothing around them," she explained.
Ruth set up her label with the help of an AIB bursary for her graduate collection at Limerick School of Art & Design.
But does it take a small mortgage to buy her one-off outfit? "This one would be about €800 because there was an awful lot of work in it.
"It is a very difficult time with the economy, but it is a time when people are taking more risks with what they are wearing," the young fashion designer said.