Tuesday 19 September 2017

Jennifer Rothwell: The White Collection

Gown with belt, €695,
Jennifer Rothwell
Gown with belt, €695, Jennifer Rothwell
Dress, €795, Jennifer Rothwell. Shoes, €399, Fitzpatricks Shoes. Headpiece, €110; Necklace, €150, Ruby Jewels.
Gown with neckpiece and belt, €795, Jennifer Rothwell. Bag, €85, Jean Cronin Vintage
Dress, €795, Jennifer Rothwell. Hat, €110, Jean Cronin Vintage. Necklace, €150, Ruby Jewels

Constance Harris

I love old-school elegance. I wish we could go back there," designer Jennifer Rothwell told me when we discussed her new ready-to-wear, alternative-bridal and eveningwear range, the White Collection.

“People say to me, ‘Oh, I love your clothes — I wish I had somewhere to go, to wear it.’ I always say to them, ‘Well, create somewhere to wear it!’ We need reasons to dress up and look fabulous,” she said.

Jennifer is an Irish designer whose clothes are vibrant, a little sexy and very comfortable. She has always had a genuine feel for the 30-plus gal and designs dresses that are forgiving, as well as uplifting.

“I like to keep the shape simple; complicated takes away from the flow. And I love that garments feel comfortable on the body,” she said.

Ironically, these days Jen is attracting women as young as 17 with debs’ balls on their minds, as well as bridesmaids and mothers of the groom. In the past year, she has seen a growth in alternative-bridal commissions. “

It is alternative bridalwear without being bridal. People can wear these dresses to red-carpet events. That is why I called it the White Collection. It was inspired by a different era,” Jen explained to me.

“By wanting to give more choice to someone who wanted something different, I have deliberately created a mix of drama with understated sophistication. The collection is unique, elegant and timeless.”

The collection was inspired by a trip to Paris last year during which Jen found lots of vintage trimmings. When she got home and looked at the collection of beautiful silks that she had amassed over the years, the idea came of producing a range of one-of-a-kind, ready-to-wear pieces.

For a unique range, the White Collection is reasonably priced: from €595 to €995, in sizes 8-12 and some 14s. Special orders are an additional 20 per cent of the cost of the ready-to-wear piece. The final price depends on fabrics used.

Jennifer Rothwell’s collections are exclusively available in Les Jumelles, Galway, where she will be showing in the g Hotel show next week, and Project 51, Dublin, which is the sole stockist of the White Collection.

“All of my collections are 100 per cent made in Ireland so, when a woman buys from me, she is supporting not just my business, but all the local economies that we, in turn, support. It is a hugely positive purchase,” Jennifer explained. “The people who buy my dresses think outside of the box. They aren’t just interested in labels. They are strong, independent women with their own confidence.”

Photography by Peter Evers

Make-up by Sara Golding for Make Up For Ever

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