Saturday 18 November 2017

ARC's Angels: Ireland's biggest fashion show

Ireland's biggest fashion show takes place on March 9, with top names coming together with the Irish Independent in aid of cancer support. Here, Bairbre Power previews some of the featured outfits and meets their designers

ARC fashon show design by David O'Malley
ARC fashon show design by David O'Malley
ACR fashion show design by Colette Ashe of Coletti
ARC fashion show design by KDK
Sisters Keira and Dairine Kennedy from the KDK label
ARC fashion show design by Niamh O'Neill
Arc fashion show design by milliner Aoife Kirwan
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Celebration is the theme of the ARC cancer support fashion show at the RDS and there will be plenty to celebrate, especially the work of five talented milliners - Mark Burke, Margaret O'Connor, Aisling Ahern, Aoife Kirwan and Martha Lyn - who have each made four pieces, one to be worn by an 'ARC Angel' cancer survivor.

Fashion consultant Eddie Shanahan put the show together. "In keeping with our mission to bring some of the biggest names and the best rising talent, the show will include Louise Kennedy, Richard Lewis, Helen Cody, Lucy Downes (Sphere One), cocktail wear by Delphine Grandjouan, Aideen Bodkin, Heidi Higgins and Natalie B. Coleman," he says.

Exciting new talents include Dubliner David O'Malley, Tom Oliver, a couture and ready to wear designer from Cork and Richard Malone, from Wexford, who is tipped as 'one to watch.'

Three Irish designers working in the UK returning to show include Derek Lawlor (presenting his collaboration Ethologie by Derek Lawlor), Carla Johnson (presenting her swimwear collection Mona Swims) and the extraordinarily creative milliner Margaret O'Connor.

Into the mix goes Bláithín Ennis, Rebecca Marsden, Niamh O'Neill, Honor Fitzsmons, Celine Magill (Art on Fashion), Umit Kutluk, Emma Manley, Keira and Dairine Kennedy (KDK), Colette Ashe of Coletti and Lisa Ryder, while jeweller Maria Dorai Raj completes the line up.

Proceeds from the night go to the ARC Cancer Support Centres, currently celebrating 21 years providing support to men and women living with cancer and those who care for them.

Here, photographer Emily Quinn invited the six designers attending our Weekend shoot to create their own, personalised backdrop with chalk. David O'Malley, one of the youngest showing on March 9, chalked up beetle wings as a backdrop for his luxurious cashmere and silk organza dress. Dairine Kennedy from KDK did the equestrian artwork while her sister Keira took a seat - well, she is just a few weeks away from the birth of her second child! Niamh O'Neill sketched one of her S/S15 tailored dresses, while Colette Ashe, who makes fine gauge Coletti cashmere knitwear in Co. Wicklow, recreated a floral motif from her newest collection. Aoife Kirwan's love of architecture for the head saw her quickly fill in the shape of her newest gold hat design.

Tickets for the RDS Concert Hall show cost €45 and are available from ARC, (01) 830 7333 and

Irish Independent

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