Irish Fashion: Native gems
Always trust your gut instinct -- and your fashion eye. Natalie B Coleman's 'All The Jewellery I Never Got' collection took my breath away when I spied it at the prestigious Innovation Fashion Awards, organised by Golden Egg Productions in Galway last year.
You could just sense that this young Limerick graduate was on the brink of something brilliantly creative, and this year Natalie returned and clinched the Designer of the Year title -- a statuette that won't be lonely on her mantelpiece for long.
Word of mouth about her moreish pieces is spreading like wildfire, so much so that other designers wear her.
Natalie is a girl who wants to have fun, and her designs in diaphanous pleated chiffon are rich in both irony and glamour. They are available from Bow in Powerscourt Townhouse Centre.
She is currently working on her spring/summer 2013 collection to show in New York, London and Paris, but has a very special personal project, too.
She marries at the end of July and is working on her wedding dress with Martha Hughes, a very talented Carrickmacross lacemaker.
If you want to inject colour and cover-up to your wardrobe, Heather Finn's multi-use pieces, found at Project 51 on South William Street, layer up for impact and practicality.
Case in point is the cardi with a gold crochet cuff (€195), seen here with a cashmere/silk-mix turquoise honeycomb dress (€125) and cashmere/lambswool orange fringe scarf (€150).
She also has some basic shrugs in bright colours, perfect for summer cover-up.
For information on stockists, see www.heatherfinn.com.
Jennifer Rothwell's Splash Of Colour spring/summer 2012 collection in silk charmeuse and chiffon really is knockout gorgeous. And, best of all, it is all manufactured in Ireland.
Jennifer trained in New York and she defiantly uses her vibrant digital prints as a "colour revolution" against the recession.
"Everybody needs a little splash of colour in their lives," says Jennifer, who sells from Project 51. "Colour inspires the spirit and soul and transcends the doom and gloom of everyday life."
I'm thrilled to see Clare Hynes' crystal and quartz jewellery become a massive success story in Hollywood.
Clare was design editor on 'Weekend' magazine until last year. In her spare time, the talented mother-of-two from Malahide made fabulous necklaces and earrings in mesmerising colours and gemstones.
Her celebrity fanbase expanded in record time after she featured in 'Grazia'. In the past few months, her pieces have featured twice on '90210', while singer and 'X Factor' judge Tulisa Contostavlos wore her amazonite and lemon quartz earrings on TV.
Check out Clare's newest designs at www.clarehynesjewellery.com.
Meanwhile, I'm nursing a total crush on Simone Rocha's critically acclaimed spring/summer 2012 collection of trapped lace and perspex brogues.
It sold like hot cakes, but Irish fans will find pieces such as her chiffon and net dress (a fave with Lady Gaga) at Havana in Donnybrook, Dublin
Watch out for her green brogues, too.