Rain, rain go away, prays designer

FASHION designer Helen Cody, who has succeeded in replacing haute couture garments stolen from her studio over a month ago, was not going to let it rain on her fashion parade in Dublin.

Heavy rain battered the roof of the Spiegeltent in Iveagh Gardens but Ms Cody was determined that her fantasy-themed autumn /winter show would go on regardless in the legendary mirror tent.

She was, however, considering leaving out one item — an umbrella that appeared to rain from the inside out.

“We have a raining umbrella, which I think is a bit ominous, given the weather — you open it up and the inside is dripping with raindrops.

“We don’t know if we will need it today but I think we will get a laugh later on when the crowd comes in and sees it,” she said.

And Ms Cody was quite determined that the show would go on despite the torrential downpour.

“There is nothing I can do about the weather except hope that the work is good enough to make people want to put on their wellies and come in.”

Ms Cody got the use of the tent — the Dublin Fringe Festival’s main venue — to show her collection, the theme of which centres around a little girl called Cordelia Whitstable.

“Dilly is 11 years old and she has a pair of magic shoes. Every time she puts on these shoes, she meets these incredible ladies,” said Ms Cody.

Eventually, Dilly falls upon a travelling circus brigade who take her in and make her part of the show.

Over 400 people were expected to pack the 1920s-style tent before the Dublin Fringe Festival kicks off today.

Guests expected to attend included novelist, Cecilia Ahern; TV3 news presenter, Colette Fitzpatrick; actors Sinead Cusack and Liam Cunningham and the wife of twice British open champion, Padraig Harrington, Caroline.

Ms Cody had to replace 12 of the haute couture garments, worth thousands of euro, for the show and was fortunate that her team worked night and day.

Not all the garments taken could be replicated because Ms Cody did not have enough fabric left and was unable to purchase more because a lot of the mills in Italy had closed for the summer holidays.

“We had to rethink, remake and re-do,” said Ms Cody.

A total of 19 garments were stolen from her studio at the end of July. Nine were returned after gardaí apprehended a man believed to have taken them.

“There was nothing sinister about the break-in. It was totally random,” said Ms Cody, who moved into the premises in June and had not put up any signage.

There was an alarm installed but Ms Cody now has the place “totally wired up” to protect her creations which she shows by appointment and makes to order.

More in this section