Thursday 18 January 2018

Fashion: Lucy in the sky

Cashmere sweater, €265; cashmere lounge pants, €265, both Lucy Nagle. Boots, €260, Senso, Samui. Cashmere beanie hat, €98, Lucy Nagle
Cashmere sweater, €265; cashmere lounge pants, €265, both Lucy Nagle. Boots, €260, Senso, Samui. Cashmere beanie hat, €98, Lucy Nagle

Constance Harris

To my mind, Ireland's love of cashmere really began in the 90s with Lainey Keogh. Since then, only a few - the late Rachel Mackay, Sian Jacobs, and Sphere One - have dared to dip their toe in this most luxurious of yarns, with its exotic background of the Far East, and make it their own.

But there is a new cashmere designer in town, and she is quickly drawing a strong following for her chillaxed look. That designer is Dublin woman, Lucy Nagle, who, in 2008, returned home from the UK.

"I worked in interior design in London for eight years. But I had been looking into doing something new," Lucy tells me. "I think I used coming home as an opportunity to change things. I have always loved knitwear - it is my daily uniform. I went to a cashmere world trade fair in Hong Kong, and I knew then that this was what I wanted to do."

Though Lucy plays it down, I believe she invested a lot of hard work and research into things before she finally decided she was ready to put her label out there, just over two years ago.

"I brought my samples together and I thought I would start at the top," Lucy recalls. "I emailed Shelly [Corkery, Fashion Director of Brown Thomas]. I didn't expect to hear back so soon because I know she travels a lot, but she got back to me very quickly. Brown Thomas Create was starting in a couple of weeks, and she asked me could I do the pieces in winter colours. Of course, I said yes. Those pieces flew out. They were really popular. Then she asked me to come into the store."

Since then, Lucy Nagle knitwear has grown so fast it is now available in Brown Thomas, BT2 and select designer boutiques around Ireland, in Britain and from the Intermix stores in the USA.

"I try and do things that are a bit more fun; make them that bit more interesting, be it with print, or clashing colours," Lucy explains. "I love bright colours and colour blocking; working with lengths and textures. I am about things that I would wear every day. Layers, texture, comfort and colour. Quality is the most important thing. You need pieces to last for years. And versatility - so that every woman can style it her way."

The Lucy Nagle collection for this winter consists of both cashmere and Merino-wool comfort styles, in dusty blues, raspberry sorbet, fiery red, grey and black. Motifs are stars and stripes (not together) and clashing colours.

Mother of a new baby, with promotional trips to New York, trade shows in the UK, online sales - Lucy strikes me as a hard-working, driven woman. Doesn't she get tired, I ask?

"I love knitwear and design. I get a huge kick out of it," Lucy tells me. "I want to do more. I feel we are only here once. I feel you have to give as good as you can. I mean, I love interior design, but I always felt there was something more, and this has been it."

Photography by Agata Stoinska

Styling by  Tanya Grimson

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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