Tuesday 20 March 2018

Wild heart: Jill de Burca's newest collection


Jersey bomber jacket, €345; leopard-print metallic lace skirt, €215
Jersey bomber jacket, €345; leopard-print metallic lace skirt, €215
Top with embroidered tiger patch, €305

Designers whose background originates in textile design view fashion differently, and often in a much more interesting way. Fabric is the foundation stone of all fashion design. Because they design that foundation, textile designers create fashion differently.

Jill de Burca studied textile design at NCAD, and worked in the UK for several years as an embroidery consultant, before returning home three years ago to launch her own label. From the moment I first saw her dramatic, yet subtle, embellishment executed on a beautifully cut kimono-tux jacket, I was a fan.

Jill's ethos is simple: create with passion, make it wearable for everyday - not just for special occasions - and make it sustainable.

"It is important for me that we produce the collection here in Ireland. People are caring about where and how their clothes are made. I small-produce: I only do small numbers in production. It was difficult at the start, but I have learned a lot from doing it," Jill explains. "I am very hands-on. I change things a lot. I re-do things and re-work them in order to be completely happy. I guess that is the nature of being from a textiles background."

There is an endearing wildness about Jill's newest collection. It's no surprise she was inspired by her research in our brilliant Natural History Museum.

"I was looking at a lot of moths, which have been a big inspiration to me in other collections," Jill explains. "Moths create a ravaged effect on fabrics, so I chose a lot of lush fabrics such as velvets and devore, and experimented with textures. I thought about the fact that moths come out at night - that inspired the stars and jewel placement, the blue metallic lame for the night sky. Also the spotted tulle with laser-cut leather stars and velvet embroidered cut-out moths."

With its mix of easy sweatshirting, T-shirts and pencil skirts, to dressier evening pieces and embellished collars, the collection has vibes of Kenzo and Dolce&Gabbana, though it's less try-hard and ostentatious; more 'of now'.

"The collection is feminine but in a different way," Jill says. "I never wanted 'really pretty butterflies' on everything. Which is why I went with the moths. The collection is a little grungy, a little rock and roll. I never like things to be too girly-girl. I think it is always important to have a bit of edge to pieces, a bit more cool."

Though barely six seasons old, the label has a loyal and strong following. Jill has her own online store. Or if you prefer the physical realm, you can see the entire collection in Atrium - formerly [MADE] - in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre.

If you wish, as I do, that you had bought a particular piece from one of her previous collections, go to So Collective in Kildare Village, the curated Irish-designers outlet experience. As my mother often reminds me, you only truly regret the things you don't buy.

Photography by Sorcha Gillet

Styling by Kim O'Mara

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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