Saturday 18 November 2017

That's a wrap - Designer Ciara Silke says her brand is all about colour


Silk-twill scarf, €180
Silk-twill scarf, €180

Colour speaks all languages," says Ciara Silke, quoting Joseph Addison. The Galway-raised and based designer adds, "My brand is all about colour." Her eponymous label is now in its third year of business, and this is the line's sixth collection.

So far, the brand comprises luxury silk scarves - the designer's surname, Silke, is a coincidence, given her choice of fabric. The designs come in two sizes, all in Ciara's signature bold colour combinations and graphic prints. This season's collection features 15 silk-twill scarves.

She's in the process of adding a smaller scarf size, something that can work more casually with a pair of jeans - "worn in a comfortable, fun way," she says.

Besides the scarves, the coming months will see Ciara branch out into a clothing line. She is currently working on kimonos and tunics; limited-edition silk garments which will sell exclusively from her website.

Scarves are the perfect way to introduce colour into our wardrobes, whatever the time of year.

Increasingly, Ciara says, she is moving away from traditional spring/summer autumn/winter collections and, as well as the new designs each season, she is collating a collection of her classic styles, her bestsellers, which will sell from the website. Irish women love colour, she reflects. "I try to have lots of different colour combinations. Everyone goes for different colours; it's a totally personal thing. Some of my bestsellers from two years ago are still selling well through my website. It is the strong colours that are the most popular, the bolder colours."

Pink is a favourite; "Irish women love pink. Any tone of pink," she says. "They love navy and monochrome as well."

Having studied in NCAD, she has worked in visual merchandising for Marks & Spencer, and with fellow Irish designer Helen Cody. Ciara also worked with Diane von Furstenberg in New York in the print department and the accessories department.

Some of Ciara's print designs made it to the runway collections. "It was magic," she recalls of her time working with the queen of prints in New York. "Diane was around the studio all the time; it was a really hands-on experience."

New York's loss is Galway's gain.

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