Shape of things to come at FashionWeek

FASHION may be a cut-throat business but the offerings from some of Ireland’s hottest designers show a definite soft side.

Collections on show at the Motorola Dublin Fashion Week for spring and summer 2008 are all about soft shapes with floaty and flowing fabrics in gentle shades of creams, greens and blues.

Silks, satins and chiffons abound and waists and necklines are delicately outlined with lightly draped scarves, loose ribbons and billowing bows in ensembles that are feminine without fussiness. Even knitwear has a feather-light touch to it and the theme extends to footwear too with the angular pointed toe being given the boot in favour of rounded styles with generous heels.

A total of 30 designers of clothing, footwear, jewellery and accessories are exhibiting at the three-day event which draws international buyers and the fashion press in their droves as stores at home and abroad prepare to select next season’s stock.

As well as meeting the talent behind the designs, the 200-plus buyers in town get to gauge the all-important public reaction at a series of fashion shows showcasing the works of designers such as Eilis Boyle, Aideen Bodkin, Deborah Veale, Helen James and Eileen Shields.

A series of talks by industry experts is also being held with some of the creative brains behind brands like Levis and Topman sharing their trade secrets. In recognition of the fact that designers need a head for business as well as a flair for fashion, Dublin City Enterprise Board is holding a seminar entitled Ten Steps To Starting Up Your Own Fashion Business.

The twice-yearly showcase, which is now in its fifth year, is expected to generate some €1.75 million in sales so it provides a valuable instant opportunity for designers to boost business as well as to increase exposure of their brand on the international market.

The event is based at the Fitzwilliam Hotel on Stephen’s Green. Details on www.

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