Life changes... fee G is full of fashion heart and dedication
It was 15 years ago when I first came across an intriguing new Irish label called fee G, created by young designer Fiona Heaney with her husband, Don Gormley.
What grabbed my attention in those early days was fee G's bold colour and gently retro styling, while still having an entirely modern feel. The label was aimed at mid 20s to 40s working women, and was completely different to what was around. It captured our imaginations.
Since its launch in 2004, Fiona and Don have grown fee G as a boutique label; had a family; started a second, more casual-focused day label called Luke Lovely; experienced a recession; decided to save their sanity and call it a day on the second label; grow fee G abroad; remembered what was important to them; made even more changes.
"It has taken a while, but definitely since last autumn/winter, we are finally getting to say in fee G what we have long wanted to. Which is that we are about more," explains Fiona when we meet. "That we are about more than dresses. That we can be your day wear, or your office wear, or your 'go out with your friends' wear. We are a lifestyle boutique label."
Lifestyle for Fiona means your wardrobe is not a place of division, where 'dress up' wear and the jeans and tops we really live in are world's apart. That looking good is for all days - when you go to work, collect the kids, meet your mum, or sister or friends.
Fiona is making fee G about more easy-to-wear, adaptable pieces - knitwear, skirts, trousers, coats; and in natural fabrics such as linen, cotton and viscose.
The lifestyle changes in fee G are being gently done. A little change in last autumn's collection, a little more in this spring's. Next autumn will be the full fee G in all its newfound power - and you are going to adore it.
"Fashion is a business that is always changing. You can't be in it if you don't understand that," states Fiona. "Your customers are constantly evolving. They need different things, or are at different stages in their lives. There is a lot going on internationally [in fashion] and Irish women are really aware. It took us a few years to get our customers [Irish boutiques] to see fee G differently, that we can be casual wear and work wear, as well as occasion. They needed to see that their customers were changing and they want them to change, too. But they are getting it."
Fiona, and thus fee G, is full of fashion heart and dedication. Copying is said to be the height of flattery; since forever, fee G has been 'flattered' quite a bit by competitors.
Photography by Eilish McCormick
Styling by Sinead Keenan
Fashion edited by Constance Harris
Sunday Indo Life Magazine