Going native: Showcasing contemporary Irish design

Ahead of St Patrick’s Day, Carolyn Moore showcases Ireland’s finest design talent. 

Made in Ireland. It’s a phrase that conjures different things for different people, but as March sees a resurgence of the #WearingIrish campaign on Instagram, following the hashtag might be an eye-opening experience for those who think Irish-made fashion is somehow stuck in the past.

When the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland unleashed a new initiative called TextILSE at this year’s Showcase tradeshow, not only did they team designers, such as Peter O’Brien, with Irish fabric mills to produce one-off garments that were entirely homespun, they also showcased a new wave of designers who are committed to giving homespun fashion a fresh, contemporary feel.

Designer Jill de Búrca is an example. Her pieces are not just made in Ireland, they are individually embroidered on a legendary Irish Singer embroidery machine. 

Natalie B Coleman collaborates with Donegal weavers Molloy and Sons to create hand-woven tweeds for her collections; while Jennifer Rothwell digitally prints modern, Irish- inspired fabrics in her Dublin studio.

Brian McGee of the DCCOI feels provenance is becoming increasingly important to consumers of higher-end fashion, and that sentiment is borne out on the high street, where more and more retailers are pushing to highlight products produced on these shores. 

Across varying price points from retailers such as Kilkenny Shop; Made, in Dublin’s Powerscourt Centre; and Kildare Village’s So Collective, the selection of Irish-made goods on the market today is nothing if not surprising.

As the following photos show, Irish knitwear is still a given, but is being given a modern twist; jewellery is going from strength to strength; and everything, from Irish-made watches to leather goods to high-end fashion, ensures that if you’re #WearingIrish this month, you can fly the flag for Irish fashion in style.

Photography: Miki Barlok
Styling: Carolyn Moore
Hair: Donna Malone for Peter Mark
Makeup: Deirdre Sheehy for Clarins, using Clarins Spring ’17 Collection
Model: Lara Quinn at Lockdown Models

Beaded and embroidered tulle dress by Jill de Búrca, €690, and leather-trimmed mesh top by Sook Young Song, €100, Design Centre; watch by Ansley, €249, Made; Flow pendant by Seamus Gill, €175, and Globe pendant by Maureen Lynch, €249, Kilkenny Shop. (Shoes, €13, Penneys; jeans, vintage.)

Baby Alabama Worley tote by The Kinsale Leather Co, €215, kinsaleleather.com; Plexus cuff by Maria Dorai Raj, €440, and ring by Tuula Harrington, €600, Designworks Studio; Stonewall bomber by Keem, €390, Made; Lia corset by Delphine Grandjouan, €750, www.delphinegrandjouan.com trousers by Jessica Joan Donnelly, €138, Design Centre; necklace by Capulet & Montague, €68, Atelier 27. (Shoes, €11, Penneys.)

Beaded and embroidered T-shirt by Jill de Búrca, €150, Made; Deirdre corset dress by Delphine Grandjouan, €1,250, www.delphinegrandjouan.com initial necklace by Juvi, €54 , Kilkenny Shop; Lacuna necklace, €135, Namara ring, €110, bangle, €150 and earrings, €125, all by Inner Island, www.innerisland.ie

Ribbed knit dress by Mary Callan, €520, So Collective; Cori necklace by Manley, €179, Made; Tulle capelet by Jennifer Byrne, €32, Atelier 27. (Shoes, as before).

Stonewall trousers by Keem, €350, shirt by Edel Traynor, €390, knit top by Rebecca Marsden, €128, sterling silver BAM pendant by Edge Only, €199, watch by Ansley, €269, all from Made; Jamie foldover clutch by The Kinsale Leather Co, €125, kinsale - www.leather.com (Shoes, as before).

Quilted wool top by Jack Roche, €130, Atelier 27; shirt by Edel Traynor, €185, www.edeltraynor.com Donegal tweed skirt by Natalie B Coleman, €469, Made; earrings, €89, and cuff, €65, by Scribble & Stone, www.scribbleandstone.com (Shoes, as before).


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