Saturday 26 May 2018

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…

'Beau' pussy bow blouse in 100pc silk with pink butterfly and bee print, €325. Also available in blue silk and green silk crepe de chine.
'Beau' pussy bow blouse in 100pc silk with pink butterfly and bee print, €325. Also available in blue silk and green silk crepe de chine.
'Sarah' dress with pink silk butterfly and bee printed top with sleeves and fitted crepe skirt, €365. (Also available in blue colour way,exclusive to Arnotts.)
'Myra' dress with fitted bodice in red and pink summer tweed with silver lurex and fitted red crepe skirt and pleated peplum detail, €495; 'Beau' scarf (worn as hair band) in blue paint print, €95.
'Kim' dress with textured silk mix organza with metallic red shoulder ties, fitted and shaped bodice with gathered skirt, €495.
All smiles: Niamh O'Neill and her one year old son Lugh. Photo: Stephen Davison
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

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.

'Sarah' dress with pink silk butterfly and bee printed top with sleeves and fitted crepe skirt, €365. (Also available in blue colour way,exclusive to Arnotts.)
'Sarah' dress with pink silk butterfly and bee printed top with sleeves and fitted crepe skirt, €365. (Also available in blue colour way,exclusive to Arnotts.)

"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.

Weekend Magazine

Style Newsletter

Stay on top of the latest fashion, beauty and celeb gossip in our Style newsletter.

Editors Choice

Also in this section