Irish craft’s many strands

FASHION thrives on diversity and Irish craft is brimming with creativity.

At one end of the spectrum are natural fabrics with raw textures and a muted palette reigning supreme. Petria Lenehan’s oversized coat is thoughtfully tailored to create an understated, yet super-cool silhouette. Made by Molloy and Sons, using Donegal tweed, it is exquisitely finished inside with Liberty print, wool trim.

Eilis Boyle’s kitten-soft, cashmere scarfs are so comforting, it’s difficult not to fall in love with them, while Fashion Hothouse’s unbleached linen shorts are flatteringly cut high on the hip, and skim the body like a pair of pretty, vintage tap shorts. Tutty’s handmade shoes are around since 1946; bespoke classics that give any look an enviably effortless finish.

At the opposite end of the scale is the explosive burst of colour from Helen Steele. She has hit the ground running since she launched her legion of kaleidoscopic prints, which transport her painterly roots to new levels. Emblazoned on everything from leggings and puffas to kaftans, she is definitely one to watch. Jennifer Rothwell’s use of bold colour will undoubtedly perk up your wardrobe. Her fluid, silk-jersey pieces, with their elegant, draped lines, provide the ideal canvas for her tropical, humming bird print.

The recent introduction of collections by Helen Steele and Jennifer Rothwell to the ladies’ fashion floor at Arnotts marks a further addition to the joint collaboration between the Crafts Council of Ireland and Arnotts. This follows the opening of the Irish Craft Collection at Arnotts, in the home-and-gift and jewellery areas, during 2012. The store has always been a quintessentially Irish brand, so it seems fitting that they would join forces with the Crafts Council of Ireland to celebrate, and recognise, the wealth of skill and design that is flourishing here, right now, by promoting work that is imagined, designed and made in Ireland.

* For more information on Irish craft, visit


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