Wednesday 14 November 2018

'Traditional with a twist' - This Irish designer predicts Meghan Markle's wedding style

Britain's Prince Harry's fiancee US actress Meghan Markle greets well-wishers as she and the prince arrive at Millennium Point to attend an event hosted by social enterprise Stemettes to celebrate International Women's Day in Birmingham on March 8, 2018
Britain's Prince Harry's fiancee US actress Meghan Markle greets well-wishers as she and the prince arrive at Millennium Point to attend an event hosted by social enterprise Stemettes to celebrate International Women's Day in Birmingham on March 8, 2018
Model Aoife Walsh wears a bespoke gown inspired by the latest addition created by top Irish fashion designer Synan O’Mahony. Picture: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Model Aoife Walsh wears a bespoke gown inspired by the latest addition created by top Irish fashion designer Synan O’Mahony. Picture: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Model Aoife Walsh wears a bespoke gown inspired by the latest addition created by top Irish fashion designer Synan O’Mahony. Picture: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Model Aoife Walsh wears a bespoke gown inspired by the latest addition created by top Irish fashion designer Synan O’Mahony. Picture: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman at the IFTAs afterparty at the Shelbourne Hotel in 2008
2008: For their first IFTAas, Amy and Brian let people know early they were a power couple to be reckoned with.
Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman at the IFTAs in 2008
Meghan Markle leaves after attending the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 12, 2018 in London, England
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the depth of the pool of talent in Ireland.

And Irish designer Synan O'Mahony, from Dublin, is up there with the best. It was, after all, his structured sequin gown that Amy Huberman wore to the 2008 IFTAs that elevated her to style icon status, so it’s only fitting that his business has evolved into a diversified portfolio of bespoke wedding gowns, red carpet looks and couture pieces for international jet-setters.

“I love those ones are slightly different, I hate the cookie cutter look,” he says of his work, a sentiment his brides agree with.

“I’m finishing up with some alternative brides, they’re getting a bit more daring, using more metallic and sequins brides. I’ve done them for the last 10 years, I designed Georgina Ahern Byrne’s dress around 10 years ago and I do a pieces for The Design Centre.

Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman at the IFTAs in 2008
Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman at the IFTAs in 2008

“Last year I had a couple of tea length 1950s pieces, but most brides still prefer to stay more traditional with length. I’ve got another one on the go now that’s black and white and it’s quite spectacular, it’s like a Galliano ballgown.”

So what are his predictions for Meghan Markle in the wedding of the year? 

“I’d say it will be traditional with a twist,” he explains. "We were all wondering Kate Middleton would be wearing and she chose that spectacular Alexander McQueen dress, so I think it will be equally spectacular.

“She’s her own girl, she’ll have to follow certain etiquette, but because she, and their whole relationship, is so different, the dress will be as well.”

Britain's Prince Harry (R) and his fiancee US actress Meghan Markle attend a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in central London, on March 12, 2018
Britain's Prince Harry (R) and his fiancee US actress Meghan Markle attend a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in central London, on March 12, 2018

Synan holds a special place in his heart for their wedding venue, having studied and worked in Windsor.

“I studied theatrical corsetry right across the road from the castle, so I always have a grá for Windsor,” he explains.

“Every day, we’d keep an eye on the castle because the royal standard was flying so we need Queen Elizabeth was in there.

“The place itself is quite magical. The town is centred  around the castle, so regardless of royal weddings, it’s a beautiful place.”

Model Aoife Walsh wears a bespoke gown inspired by the latest addition created by top Irish fashion designer Synan O’Mahony. Picture: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Model Aoife Walsh wears a bespoke gown inspired by the latest addition created by top Irish fashion designer Synan O’Mahony. Picture: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

But we’re chatting to discuss worthy causes and Synan recently designed a custom dress to highlight Lindt chocolate’s Easter chocolate campaign, with a limited edition range being launched and personalisation available, with funds raised going towards Temple’s Street Children’s University Hospital.

“It started with a bunny,” he jokes of the dramatic gown modelled by former Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh, a design which took one month to come to fruition.

“The first thing I thought really was a gold sequin gown, so we have some of the colours from the foil of the bunny incorporated somewhere. I decided to make it more dramatic, using spring colours to make it more youthful and sort of ethereal with pastel colours, inspired by chocolate mini eggs.”

As always, the devil is in the detail and this piece is filled with it.

“Then I added an 80 metre tulle ball gown for the back of the gown. There are flower sequins with some pink pearl glass scattered onto the bodice as well,” he explains.

Make Easter Sweet takes place at Dundrum Town Centre from Friday 23rd March to Saturday 31st March

Online Editors

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