'I'm proud to be Irish and part of this movement' - top designers come together for 'Fashion is Repealing'
Some of Ireland's best known designers are coming together for a cause close to their collective hearts - repealing the Eighth Amendment.
12 Irish designers, including Chupi Sweetman, Jilll DeBurca and Natalie B. Coleman, among others, are creating custom pieces for the Fashion is Repealing event next week, organised by founder of the Hunreal Issues Andrea Horan.
Horan said the goal of the event is to "meet people where they are" and encourage people to come together.
"The issue is primarily a women’s issue and I noticed that a lot of women's media hadn't really broached the topic. There was a disconnect for something that's so important to women wasn't in those space. I wanted to give that area a reason to talk about," she told Independent.ie Style.
Margaret O'Connor, a milliner from Co Clare, became active in the Together for Yes campaign because she felt that "you can’t wait around for other people to do things" and is customising a piece for the event next week.
"I can look back at this and see that I spoke out, created some art and at least I did something – I’d hate to look back 20 years from now and think I was one of the people in the corner who said nothing because it felt safer," she said.
O'Connor spent the last eight years living in the UK before moving back to Ireland in 2017 and said she believes Ireland is "pushing our problems underneath the rug and let another country deal with it".
"I know a lot of people won’t agree with it, but I feel so strongly about it that I wanted to put my name on it. I’m proud of it. I believe we should have proper healthcare for the women of Ireland."
On the night of the event, taking place on May 10 at Atrium in Powerscourt Town Centre, she will be auctioning off a haute couture flat cap, as well as a more commercial piece, from which the profits will be donated.
Emma Manley, who has been running her eponymous label Manley for seven years, said she was inspired to join to take part in support of women.
"Here’s the thing – I’m not somebody who wants to be going forward with a political voice, but I’m a woman. I feels strongly about women having access to things they may need," she told us.
"It’s an incredibly sensitive topic and there’s so many areas that sadden me, but when it comes down to me, I am pro choice in life.
"And I am pro giving women the choice to react in whatever way we feel is right for them. It’s all about choice. I’m about less aggression with this and more progression."
Manley said she feel the 'Yes' campaign consists of many supporters who mightn't be as vocal as those taking part in public marches and giving speeches.
"I’m not going to be one of those people in the streets marching - I’m quiet with my opinion. I have conversations with my friends and family," she explained.
"The repeal campaign consists of more than people marching in the streets, it’s also representative of people like me and my friends who have a conversation over a meal in the evening, talking about things we've never had to talk about before.
She has specially designed an American football jersey-inspired couture piece for auction and is working on 50 limited edition t-shirts for €50 each to fundraise.