Wednesday 22 February 2017

Masterly strokes - Couturier Niall Tyrrell's special occasionwear secrets

Published 22/05/2016 | 02:30

Eau de Nil layered split top, €475, worn over a circular cady skirt with applique detail,€580.White leather Van sneakers, €95.
Eau de Nil layered split top, €475, worn over a circular cady skirt with applique detail,€580.White leather Van sneakers, €95.
Blush pink pleated cady and lace round neck dress €1390.00. Metalic leather platform €130.00 Michael Kors.
Iris coloured boat-neck split tunic-style layered dress, €850.
Cream asymmetric cady dress with sheer panel and blue lace applique,€1495.00
Sleeveless blush pink cady dress with draped neckline €1150.00.Snake print sandals €185.00 Michael Kors

Our Fashion Editor talks to couturier Niall Tyrrell about the secret to special occasionwear, right down to those pleats and ruffles

  • Go To

Ruffled couture turned up time and again on the catwalks this season, with Miu Miu, Roberto Cavali and Michael Kors all expounding the trend, and style bibles pointing to ruffles as a major asset for SS16.

Now, ruffles can be troublesome if too lavish or overly attention-seeking, but in the hands of talented Irish couturier Niall Tyrrell they deliver subtle impact and surface detail. And they are also a super clever device to flatter.


The secret here is to work them in a fluid, flowing manner so they draw the eye down, with the bonus of making you look taller. Case in point is the white dress (pictured above) where there are a number of clever design tricks by Niall, starting with the softly draped peplum.

Niall's new bespoke collection was influenced by the Art Nouveau movement with flowing natural lines and geometric contours, and he added a gentle asymmetric cascade of flowing ruffles. Lace applique going in a complementary direction flatters the waist and lines of the body and the sheer tulle top defines the T-bar silhouette, plus it's cooling under the arms at summer events.

Niall was formerly one half of the highly respected Tyrrell and Brennan label and he now has his own salon located just off Mount Pleasant Avenue where the Ahascragh man with over 20 years' experience in his field, creates exquisitely crafted garments in luxurious fabrics. His cady fabric was a new one to me and is quite a revelation. It falls beautifully, swishes divinely in skirts if you have dancing on your mind and is easy to care for, Niall assures me.

fn new 9 _DON0720_2.jpg  

The blue top (above) is like the purple dress (below), with two split layers which can be executed in matt and satin. Double matt is very flattering to ladies with bigger bustlines. Niall, who has dressed a string of well-known ladies who required red carpet wow, such as former President Mary McAleese, is famous for his attention to detail and skills fitting the female form. Women love pleats and if you are concerned about creating too much from the waist down, the secret, says Niall, is to sew them flat over the waist and let them begin at the top of the hip. Tricks of the trade from a true expert.


All clothes: Niall Tyrrell, Fortescue Lane, off Mount Pleasant Avenue, Dublin 6. (01) 498-3377,

Photographer: Anita Sadowska

Model: Karen Fitzpatrick, Assets Model Agency

All shoes by Harvey Nichols, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin

Weekend Magazine

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in this section