THE unsightly fire-retardant suits worn by racing drivers and the dull pinstriped numbers favoured by Wall Street bankers wouldn't inspire most fashion designers.
But for Zoe Jordan -- daughter of former Formula One supremo Eddie Jordan -- a childhood spent in the blokeish surrounds of the motor racing pits and an early working life in the equally macho world of New York banking has had a big influence on her stylish creations.
Her clothes defy 'girlie' stereotypes and mix the masculine with the feminine, resulting in androgynous but sexy pieces.
Fresh from the success of her first ever London Fashion Week catwalk show, Zoe arrived in Dublin yesterday with her spring-summer 2011 collection, a cool mix of Savile Row tailoring and heritage fabrics. Zoe's label, Irwin & Jordan, has proved a hit with style icons like Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller and Natalie Imbruglia.
Born in the Coombe but now based in Hong Kong with her husband, Stephen Aspinall, Zoe has a pop-up shop at Brown Thomas, Dublin, for the next month. Fans of her clothing range, which is sold in UK, America and the Far East, met with the designer yesterday.
And joining in the celebrations in her hometown last night was Zoe's mother Marie and some of her Jordan and McCarthy cousins.
Zoe's ash, stone, tobacco and bronze spring-summer collection includes tailored wool jackets and slouch waistcoats, jaunty cropped silk trousers and draped soft jerseys separates.
Every year she collaborates with an artist and this year, Jacky Tsai, the man responsible for Alexander McQueen's iconic skull print, created an illustration entitled Celebration of the Year of the Tiger, which features on Zoe's silk pieces.
"I've a good eye for mannish shapes and I've always been interested in tailoring," she said. "I design for the girl who is best friends with all the boys but shares all the girls' confidence. She has her own style, is quietly confident and cool, like Lauren Hutton."