Colour & Comfort from designer Niamh O'Neill
Designer Niamh O'Neill talks to our fashion editor about how comfort has become very important to her since she became a mum, and how she has extended that thinking into her vibrant new SS18 collection…
No matter which part of life's journey you are on, you want to feel special, says Niamh O'Neill, who marks Mother's Day this weekend with her husband, Garrett Greene, and their one-year-old son, Lugh.
"I am more aware of different body shapes because I've experienced it all within a 12-month period," said Niamh. "It's one thing designing with your customer in mind, it's an entirely different thing designing with the experience of being the singleton, the working woman, and the working mum."
Niamh says, "It's not necessary as a designer to go through it yourself, but having the experiences, you become aware of the intricacies of dressing for all of these life events as well as the changes in body shape. You realise the importance of outfits which are easily changed, dressed up or down, special fabrics and details for special occasions. It has never been more apparent to me that fashion is not so much about a dress or an outfit, it's about how that outfit makes you feel.
"Since being pregnant and having my son, Lugh, just over a year ago, my approach to design has changed. Whilst structure and tailoring remain an important part of my collections, there is a notable unrestraint in certain styles.
"Comfort has become very important to me and I wanted to extend this into our collections. It sounds very simple, but life as a mum is made a lot easier when you feel comfortable! The 'Bibi' silk shirt dress was designed with this desire for comfort in mind. It's dressy enough for special occasions and also promises that blissful level of comfort we all enjoy.
"The SS18 butterfly and bee print was hand-drawn and designed from scratch in our studio. Other special dress styles like 'Valencia' and 'Biarritz' are structured on top, with a more free-flowing skirt, skimming over tummies and hips, rather than hugging them."
Her summer cotton tweed in pink and red was woven in Paris and has a gorgeous metallic yarn running through it to make the fabric shimmer and shine.
"These are the special details every woman appreciates in every stage of their lives," says Niamh.