Friday 20 January 2017

Guaranteed Irish: Cream of the Irish fashion crop

Fashion editor Bairbre Power goes local with the cream of the Irish fashion crop

Published 27/08/2011 | 05:00

Purple sweater in 100pc
cashmere/lambswool,
€125; turquoise
honeycomb dress, €165
and skinny scarf, worn
as bow, €40, all Heather
Finn at Project 51,
51 South William
Street Dublin
Purple sweater in 100pc cashmere/lambswool, €125; turquoise honeycomb dress, €165 and skinny scarf, worn as bow, €40, all Heather Finn at Project 51, 51 South William Street Dublin
Clockwise from top left: Magenta two-tone dress, €248, Fee G. Also available in navy. All styles from Fiona Heaney; 'Daisy May' fuchsia dress with black beaded neckline, €149, Carraig Donn; Fee G. Also available in red, blue, raspberry and black 'Basso' beige cotton dress with scalloped black lace overlay and hem detail, €229, Fran & Jane Faux-faux capelet with floral tie, €139, Bébhinn Flood at The Loft, Powerscourt, Townhouse Centre;
Left to right: ‘Bonnie’ cashmere/ lambswool mini-dress, €225, Unicorn Designs. Also comes in chocolate/black lace and jade/black lace. Main stockists are The Garden of Unicorn, Greystones, and Place, Gorey; Pink cotton waffle top, €300; grey neoprene skirt, €150; chiffon underskirt, €125, and green neoprene pocket belt, €50, all Keelin Cunningham at Design Centre, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre; Black ‘Slasher’ dress, €290, Emma Manley at Brown Thomas; Collarless shearling jacket, €2,270; embroidered georgette top, €470; skirt, €665, and boots, €960, all John Rocha.; Right: Sculptural leather corset, Una Burke

I love the way Irish designers fight back. They just get on with it, dealing with tough trading times by encouraging each other's creativity and sharing wisdom and contacts.

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The newly formed Council of Irish Fashion Designers (CIFD) has created a forum to share commercial information and build an aspirational brand for the premium sector.

Happily, names are re-emerging, such as Caroline Kilkenny -- one-half of the N&C Kilkenny label -- who is now designing on her own. Her autum/winter 2011 collection features some very wearable coats and dress-up, dress-down frocks that work 24/7.

Project 51, the exciting new designers' collective at 51 South William Street, Dublin, is showcasing 14 clothing and accessories designers. Having taken baby steps in the rag trade here, they are all moving up the ladder.

Case in point is quirky and affordable knitwear designer Heather Finn from Galway. Her new collection is supremely tactile, with fab pieces in 100pc cashmere and silk. Glorious to touch, Heather's knitwear delivers welcome pops of colour. The pieces layer up brilliantly, including smart styles for the office and casual cores for weekend looks.

Brown Thomas fashion director Shelly Corkery, meanwhile, has invited a number of new faces into the Grafton Street store for a special showcase from September 8-18.

They include Eilis Boyle and sculptural leather genius Una Burke, whose fans include Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness.

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