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Why our talented Irish designers never go out of fashion in London

Handbags at the ready, ladies. London Fashion Week kicks off today and you can expect a week packed full of bitchiness, backstabbing and boucle jackets.

While ice-queen fashion editors, eccentric bloggers and tightly wound stylists are prepping for the shows, we take a look at the Irish talent showing their designs at LFW.

John & Simone Rocha

John is one of Ireland's most esteemed fashion designers. He says his upcoming collection will be inspired by the Wicklow Mountains and his signature piece will be a crochet jacket.

"The collection is inspired by the Wicklow countryside," he said. "The colours and texture of the Sally Gap on a winter's day."

A sense of style runs in the family, and John's daughter Simone is fast becoming as big a name as her father. Simone is known for her sleek and strong silhouettes and already counts Kylie Minogue, Saoirse Ronan and Lady Gaga amongst her biggest fans.

The 27-year-old bagged the Elle Style Award for Best New Designer earlier this week and her latest collection was inspired by her grandmother and Patsy Cline records.

Paul Costello

Paul is a perennial at London Fashion Week and is known for his practical and unpretentious designs.

The Dublin native is the king of understated chic and Kate Middleton is a fan of his smart dresses and jackets. Versatility is Paul's middle name; he's designed everything from air steward uniforms for Aer Lingus to duvet covers for Dunnes.

"I'm sort of the Clint Eastwood of fashion," he has said in the past. "I just keep going. I just bulls*** my way through life and somehow manage to function."

JW Anderson

Son of Irish rugby star Willie Anderson, Jonathon William's quirky and androgynous designs have created a stir with London's most stylish celebs, including Pixie Geldof and Alexa Chung.

JW bagged the Emerging Talent Award at last year's British Fashion Awards and today sees the launch of his second collaboration with high street giant Topshop.

There's no stopping the 28-year-old designer and his latest collection will all about items "that can be borrowed from a man to a woman and from a woman to a man".

Orla Kiely

Dublin-born Orla Kiely is the princess of prints and known for her Sixties-inspired geometric patterns. Her quirky sense of style and practical handbags are a firm favourite with Irish shoppers. Orla encourages all women to introduce a shock of colour into their wardrobe, and we think donning one of her bold and bright satchels on your arm is the perfect way to do just that.

Electronic Sheep

They started out dressing dolls in their Glasnevin back gardens but this will be design duo Brenda Aherne and Helen Delany's fourth appearance at LFW.

The girls' signature triangle scarves have a loyal celeb following; ex-Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher and lovable eccentric Noel Fielding are big fans.

Last year, old Hollywood movies inspired their collection but this year's motif is a little closer to home. "The inspiration this year is the weather," Brenda says. "We're Irish after all. So a lot of the illustrations on the scarves have been inspired by weather forecast imagery".

ZOE JORDAN

Daughter of racing legend Eddie Jordan, Zoe will be opening London Fashion Week and is beyond excited. "It a huge honour," she says. "But the pressure's on."

Zoe quit her high-flying job as a city trader in 2007 to set up her own luxury label.

"It was quite scary to make the leap but I'd recommend it," she says.

The blonde designer is known for her tailored coats and says "monochrome and cathedral domes" were the inspiration.


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