Our fashion editor rounds up the latest style news and fashion trends
For the week that’s in it, it’s easy to dress in green and reflect on the wealth of Irish design around us, both from the established and the upcoming designers.
Rachel Monahan from Julianstown, Co Meath, falls into the latter category. She is a final-year student at NCAD and has taken a year out to develop her business, with a website coming shortly.
You might have already spotted her work in the window at Om Diva on Drury Street, where the owner, Ruth Ní Loinsigh, has put Monahan centre stage to flag her arrival into the store’s atelier, where she is stocked along with other young designers.
This space is like a retail incubation unit, where young designers from fashion colleges around the country can test out their looks and interact with customers who want to invest in something different and Irish-made.
Fashion is in Monahan’s blood. Her grandfather had a clothing store in Drogheda, and the 25-year-old is eager to learn as much as she can. She previously attended the Grafton Academy, and pays tribute to its principal, Colin Atkinson, for the skills she acquired there.
She has received lots of compliments for her red jacket (€550) and green dress (€450) both made in luxury crepe that she bought at TWI Textile Machinery & Fabric Co on Dublin’s Mountjoy Square.
They are from her ‘Beauty & Belief’ collection, in which she explored her journey with religion and feminism.
“For me, it was incorporating lots of features and designs from priest robes
and how they swallowed the person’s shape.”
Her pieces are made on commission, but the dress and jacket, photographed at the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda, are available to try on in the Drury Street store.
Keep an eye out for Monahan, because she has exciting ideas about sustainability in fashion. Her sister, Sarah, was one of the fashion dynamos behind Borrower Boutique, a fashion rental business, and Rachel says that sparked the idea of her loaning pieces.
“I like the idea of being sustainable and the idea that if someone wasn’t able to buy a dress, that I could have specific pieces that are available for loans.” omdivaboutique.com
How often have I woken up to the sight of a gorgeous dress on breakfast news and, when I move closer to the telly for a better look, I recognise it as most likely being one of Dubliner Fiona Heaney’s designs. A quick check with the Fee G headquarters in Ballymount and, yes, that was a Fee G dress that Susanna Reid or Kate Garraway was wearing on ITV.
It’s not hard to understand why Heaney’s work has found such a following both at home and abroad, and this was reflected in her winning the prestigious Drapers Independents UK & Ireland Womenswear Brand of The Year last year.
Heaney’s new SS23 collection includes useful pieces like the short chiffon ‘Ava’ dress with pretty shell belt (€263). The print features a scattering of delicate florals, and there are lots of feminine touches, from the long cuffs with four covered buttons to the loop detailing on the collar.
With the confirmation and communion season upon us, and lots of requests coming into my email for ideas of summer occasionwear, I took a deep dive into the second drop of this collection, which is just out. It includes the ‘Blair’ dress with cutwork lace in a vibrant cerise with flip hemline (€288), available in sizes 8-18.
If you love colour, check out the ‘Hazel’ obi dress with wrap bodice in a striking shade of chartreuse (€266). The style incorporates so many elements that women love, like the cutaway shoulder so you are not all covered up on a summer’s day, a circular-cut skirt and pockets.
The first drop included the ‘Dakota’ (€336) in peach broderie anglaise chiffon with waterfall skirt, and ‘Evelyn,’ a short-sleeved lemon tweed dress (€263) with grosgrain ribbon on the neckline and waist. For details of stockists and to shop, go to fee-g.com.
The Irish-owned Kilkenny Design has some handy buys for the upcoming Mother’s Day. Its stores have become destinations for Orla Kiely bags, and there are still a lot of hardcore collectors out there who love the Irish woman’s signature motifs.
The selection in Kilkenny Design includes an orange carry-all tote bag in neon orange in a classic Orla Kiely ‘Stem’ print (€159), and there is also a matching phone-case holder (€147). I’m a fan of small backpacks for the commute to work, and the Orla Kiely classic mini ‘Lotta’ backpack is available in ‘Sycamore Stripe’ (€179).
Famous for its support of Irish brands, Kilkenny Design is stocking McNutt of Donegal pashminas in a glorious shade of raspberry rose (€65).
If pink is your jam, and you like a power trouser suit, check out the In Wear blazer, (€149.95) and matching trousers (€89.95), available at Kilkenny Design’s flagship store on Dublin’s Nassau Street and also in its branches in Galway and Swords. kilkennyshop.com