Monday 1 May 2017

Irish designer makes 'most daring piece yet' for disco legend Nile Rodgers

Claire Garvey and Nile Rodgers
Claire Garvey and Nile Rodgers

Sharon McGowan

Disco legend Nile Rodgers was in Dublin this week and he made sure to pop by his favourite Irish designer.

The iconic musician (62) and his band Chic played the Iveagh Gardens last night but before his performance, he was fitted in a custom-made creation by Dublin designer Claire Garvey.

The homegrown couturier, who kitted out Rodgers for this year’s Academy Awards, created a psychedelic jacket for the disco star and two unique dresses for his Chic bandmates.

The Temple Bar based designer has made a number of jackets for the Nile but she told the Herald how her latest design is the most daring yet.

“I made secret compartments on his sleeves so when he unzips them one arm says Nile and the other has Chic embroidered into it and they glow in the dark,” Claire said.

"He doesn't wear my designs to his concerts, only usually when he has bigger events."

At the end of the gig last night, Nile showed off Claire's creation when it was thrown up on stage.

"Is that really my jacket? That's my girl Claire Garvey," he said

"How did you get my jacket? Do you have my wallet too?" he joked.

Despite his superstar status, Claire revealed Nile is a gentleman to work with.

“I fitted him with the jacket early on in the day and then he put me down on the guestlist so I could head along backstage to the show, get photos with him and everything,” she said.

“It’s always intimidating meeting a big star like that but he’s so lovely and not a diva at all. He really appreciates what you make for him."

While world famous fashion designers eager to dress Rodgers, he regularly commissions designs from Claire and even insists on paying for her work.

“He has just finished working with Louis Vuitton where he performed for their Paris fashion show, and then for him to choose my designs is really amazing,” she said.

“I’m a small independent designer so I can’t compete with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Karl Lagerfeld who he gets his clothes from, so to have that financial support makes you feel very appreciated for your work.”

Prior to working with the disco icon, Claire specialised in designing for women but now her work with the star has inspired her to branch out into men’s fashion.

“I never had any interest in menswear and his first jacket that I did for him was my first go at it. It was my simplest design for him and after I knew that he liked it that kind of gave me more freedom for what I could do next,” Claire explained.

“I love doing collections for men now.”

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