Meet the next generation of Irish designers

Carolyn Moore showcases the most exciting new names in fashion

AMIE EGAN

Amie wears fringed neck scarf; Jeanne wears fringed anorak and waders; Eimear wears painted camouflage jacket with fringed backpack, silk blouse and PU coated trousers, all by Amie Egan. Prices on request from amieegan.com.
Amie wears fringed neck scarf; Jeanne wears fringed anorak and waders; Eimear wears painted camouflage jacket with fringed backpack, silk blouse and PU coated trousers, all by Amie Egan. Prices on request from amieegan.com.

Showing as One to Watch at next week’s Irish Fashion Innovation Awards in Galway, Amie Egan won the coveted Persil Award in 2014, the year she graduated from NCAD.

With a design approach rooted in problem solving and story telling, form meets function in her spring summer collection of reimagined rainwear.

Using waxed cottons and coated textiles to execute her singular vision, she may be inspired by traditional Arctic dress and Irish country-wear, but as her strong silhouettes and experimental surface applications indicate, her outlook is fiercely modern.

“I’m ready to be a bit bold and shake things up,” she says.

“I’m not interested in compromising my work.”

ORLA LANGAN

Elen wears paneled denim jacket, €275, and organic denim culottes, €175; Orla wears bubble sweatshirt, €105; Jeanne wears reflective jacket, €265, and denim culottes, €165, all by Orla Langan at Om Diva, Dublin. Trainers, €50 at Buffalo  ShoeLab.
Elen wears paneled denim jacket, €275, and organic denim culottes, €175; Orla wears bubble sweatshirt, €105; Jeanne wears reflective jacket, €265, and denim culottes, €165, all by Orla Langan at Om Diva, Dublin. Trainers, €50 at Buffalo ShoeLab.

Having worked in fashion for two decades – designing for brands like FILA, Puma and Lee Jeans — NCAD graduate Orla Langan’s eponymous label has been a long time coming, but Irish fashion fans can’t get enough of her graphic, colour blocked designs.

With a masters in Multi Media Systems, starting her label allowed Orla to meld passions for sportswear and denim while exploring the possibilities of wearable tech.

Selling in ethical store, Atrium, and online at The Fashion of Ireland, she cites her mother as a key influence.

She always said, ‘dress well and buy quality not quantity’; a message synonymous with my brand signature.

SARAH MURPHY

Elen wears hand-beaded dress, €1180; Eimear wears 3D embellished dress, €1,100, and cardigan, €550; Sarah wears panelled knit dress, €890, all by Sarah Murphy at Havana Boutique, Dublin. MTNG satin trainers, €50, and Halo brogues, €88, at Buffalo ShoeLab.
Elen wears hand-beaded dress, €1180; Eimear wears 3D embellished dress, €1,100, and cardigan, €550; Sarah wears panelled knit dress, €890, all by Sarah Murphy at Havana Boutique, Dublin. MTNG satin trainers, €50, and Halo brogues, €88, at Buffalo ShoeLab.

Winning six different awards for her graduate knitwear collection in 2016, Sarah Murphy was barely out the door of Griffith College when she was marked as one to watch by press and industry alike.

After working for designer Helen Cody, she launched her debut collection at Brown Thomas CREATE in 2017.

Snapped up by Havana – sole Irish stockist of Simone Rocha – Sarah’s designs reflect her affinity for merging traditional craftsmanship with couture details and a modern femininity.

“I like to tell a story with each collection,” she says.

I know how I want someone to feel when they’re wearing my pieces before I know what I want them to look like.

HELEN HAYES

Eimear wears cotton shirt with ribbon ties, €450, and hand-worked ribbon skirt, €950; Jeanne wears hand-embellished top, €650, with stitch motif trousers, €600, and cuff, €85, all by Helen Hayes. Email helenhayesclothing@gmail.com for information. Trainers, €50, and brogues, €88, at Buffalo ShoeLab.
Eimear wears cotton shirt with ribbon ties, €450, and hand-worked ribbon skirt, €950; Jeanne wears hand-embellished top, €650, with stitch motif trousers, €600, and cuff, €85, all by Helen Hayes. Email helenhayesclothing@gmail.com for information. Trainers, €50, and brogues, €88, at Buffalo ShoeLab.

While a background in graphic design is evident in the work of Helen Hayes, her appreciation for craft is equally apparent.

Having studied fashion by night at the Grafton Academy, on graduating in 2015 she found herself a finalist in several student design competitions, winning UCD’s Student Designer of the Year in 2016.

Embellishing her exquisitely tailored pieces with innovative hand finishes, her intricate signature ribbon

work can see 70m of ribbon go into one garment.

“I like how hands on it is in this increasingly fast world of technology,” she says of her approach.

I like things that have interesting finishes; things you just want to touch.

PEARL REDDINGTON

Elen, Eimear ,and Pearl wear preview pieces from Pearl Reddington’s upcoming collection, prices on request. See Atrium, Dublin, for current collection, and pearlreddington.wordpress.com
Elen, Eimear ,and Pearl wear preview pieces from Pearl Reddington’s upcoming collection, prices on request. See Atrium, Dublin, for current collection, and pearlreddington.wordpress.com

Another One to Watch at this year’s Fashion Innovation Awards, Pearl Reddington has been leaving her playful, graphic stamp on Irish fashion’s most traditional realm since graduating from NCAD in 2016.

Torn between studying fashion or textiles, in knit she found the best of both worlds, and her exploration of its boundary pushing potential secured her a prestigious Future Makers award in 2017.

Making limited-edition and bespoke pieces gives me the freedom to create what I want and to break down the stereotypes of knit.

Too often seen as something ‘crafty’, for Pearl, “knitting is about being an artist interpreting my world and responding creatively to that”.

DAVID O’MALLEY

Jeanne wears hand-woven leather and fur dress with laser-cut leather and crocodile waistcoat. Prices on request from domalleydsign@gmail.com.
Jeanne wears hand-woven leather and fur dress with laser-cut leather and crocodile waistcoat. Prices on request from domalleydsign@gmail.com.

Combining an avant-garde edge with formidable technical skills, David O’Malley graduated with a degree in textiles and embroidery from NCAD in 2013, before honing his eye with a masters in fashion in 2017.

Weaving, knitting and draping his signature skins to mould and shape the body, his interest in textiles continues to invigorate his work, and bespoke clients around the world have come to appreciate his unique approach.

“I love making exciting, dramatic, one-off pieces which excite, engage and sometimes even shock audiences,” he says.

I get a thrill from incorporating unusual materials; manipulating them so people are unaware of exactly what they’re looking at.

CREDITS

  • Photography: Miki Barlok
  • Production & styling: Carolyn Moore
  • Hair & make up: Keira Smyth and Annie Keogh for The Make Up Crew, Temple Bar, Dublin and Tobin St, Cork. See themakeupcrew.ie.
  • Models: Jeanne, Elen and Eimear at Not Another Agency.
  • Shot on location in the Circle Club,Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Grand Canal Square, Dublin. See bordgaisenergytheatre.ie/circleclub.
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