IT IS movie award season and Irish designers and their luxury creations were the stars of the silver screen this week.
A photographer who is accustomed to training his lens on A-listers such as Michael Fassbender, Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne and Helen Mirren has propelled homegrown makers onto the red carpet.
Só is the title of an inspirational short film by acclaimed photographer Boo George that had its premiere at Showcase — Ireland’s Creative Expo 2020, on Sunday.
Bear in mind London and US-based Boo is the photographer who put Kim Kardashian on the cover of Elle Magazine for the first time.
A native of Bray, Co Wicklow, the photographer also previously worked with Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Hermes, Emporio Armani, Dior, Joseph and Ralph Lauren and has shot Victoria Beckham for Spanish Vogue.
Produced by Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCI), Só throws the spotlight on Ireland’s luxurious crafts.
Só, which means comfort, ease and luxury, in Irish, is the second film produced and commissioned by DCCI to promote Irish makers overseas.
The emotive movie stars Ireland’s gorgeous textiles, accessories and jewellery produced by 22 Irish designers and markers.
Boo George worked with fashion director Paula Hughes on the project, which captures a magical day in the life of a couple as they escape the city to the countryside, weaving the landscapes, the people and the designs in an evocative and contemporary visual narrative.
“Boo is an amazing character. He has photographed so many huge stars in fashion and design, working for the very best publications and luxury brands, yet he stays down to earth, committed to the quality of his craft,” according to Brian McGee, market development director at DCI, who was also the project director for Só. “He is also passionate about Ireland and was so generous with his amazing team and his time to make such a beautiful piece of film.”
The true stars of Só are the clothes, jewellery and accessories, all coming from Showcase, added Mr McGee. “To this end we have been privileged to work with Paula Hughes who has delivered a masterclass in styling and fashion direction,” he said.
The Irish brands featured in Só were chosen because their products are not just beautiful and contemporary, but also have a timeless quality and all the attributes that make them certain to become future heirlooms, added Mr McGee.
The message of sustainability is at the core of what makes the work of Irish designers and makers so relevant and desirable globally.
The Irish designers and makers whose work is featured in Só are Bernie Murphy, Criostal na Rinne, Dubarry, Fawe, Fisherman Out of Ireland, Hanna Hats, Inner Island, IrelandsEye, Jennifer Kinnear, John Hanly & Co Ltd, Juvi, Lou Brennan, Mackintosh of Ireland, Magee 1866, McConnell Woollen Mills, McNutt of Donegal, Reuben Avenue, Ros Duke, Scribble & Stone, Soilse Candles, Studio Donegal and The Dualist.
Following its inaugural screening at Showcase, Só was released online and is available to view at www.showcaseireland.com/why-visit/films.
Só is the second in a trilogy of films on Irish textiles planned by DCCI. The first film, Fí premiered at Showcase 2019 and subsequently screened in Paris, Tokyo and New York.
Paula Hughes is one of Ireland’s most celebrated creative fashion directors. Based between Dublin and London, she has worked with some of the world’s leading brand names, including Swarovski, Harrods, and Harvey Nichols. As a stylist and director she has worked with some of the most famous personalities in fashion including Cara Delevingne, Daisy Lowe and Olivia Palermo.
Showcase — Ireland’s Creative Expo attracts the buying teams from over 2,760 retailers from across the world, generating sales orders of over €20 million during the four days of the show.
And from the red carpet to rugs, because we’re all about interiors, we were waiting with bated breath to see who would take the gong for overall best product in the “Home” category.
Let’s hope McNutt of Donegal has a super-fabulous mantelpiece as it is there that this award’s new home will be, thanks to McNutt’s woollen rug. Located in the seaside village of Downings, on the Wild Atlantic Way, McNutt of Donegal has been producing some of the world’s finest weaves for over 60 years.
Highly commended were woodturner Roy Humphreys, who is based in Mohill, Co Leitrim, for his wooden bowl and Saille Baskets, a maker based in Banteer, Co Cork, which was honoured for its woven contemporary basket.