Paris Fashion Week may be in full swing in the City of Light, but back home Irish designers have proven they can rival the big names when it comes to creativity, sustainability and a passion for color – and the brighter the better .
Members of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers (CIFD) yesterday launched a range of Spring Summer 22 collections with a clear message ‘We are open for business’ and in a very sustainable way.
Their 30 minute virtual presentation film was a riot of color filled with exotic prints, chic accessories, ethnic influences and collectibles from the 40 designers on display.
There were garments for the return to the office, from flowing dresses by Heidi Higgins and Niamh O’Neill, to elevated, hand-painted loafers by Barbara Bennett in Galway, to utilitarian handbags and laptop backpacks.
However, it was the designers’ commitment to sustainability and belief in producing as locally as possible that really stood out from the collections.
A strong carbon footprint can be a real passion killer for conscientious buyers, and CIFD members’ innovative use of ‘dead stock’ that could otherwise end up in landfill has been impressive.
FéRí’s Faye Anna Rochford used orange crepe fabric, an alternative to silk made from orange peel. Her cardigans were crafted from dead knits that were deconstructed and upcycled with crocheted squares and Irish linen trimmings.
Utilizing high-quality fabrics from renewable and regenerated sources such as fishing nets, members introduced metered production runs with a made-to-order service provided by Eadach’s Sara O’Neill, Charlotte Lucas, Lia Cowan and Caoimhe Murphy, among others .
video of the day
Local manufacturing is also important and is practiced by experienced bridal designer Delphine Grandjean, who is originally from France and lives in Tralee.
Caterina Coyne from Co Monaghan was a principal dancer with Riverdance before training in fashion. She created a very modern silhouette with a pleated tulle bodice with metallic detailing and a train worn over pleated cream trousers.
Carolyn O’Sullivan of Not Another White Dress company explored the alternative bride who wants to express her personality and be different from others. Her brand name encapsulates her philosophy for weddings and her new runway looks for SS22 included ‘Glitter & Gold’ which features a cropped blazer, gold mini dress and glittery veil.
Carolyn’s new business was launched during lockdown in Co Waterford and just last Monday she had a bride-to-be traveled from Sweden after seeing Carolyn’s alternative bridal wear on Instagram.
The appetite for white bridal looks with a twist is clearly increasing. Helen Hayes’ silver and white dress is all about textures and has a bodice that is handmade with pleated and manipulated ribbons.
Working with Broderie Anglaise, Sarah Murphy liberally beaded the neckline and pockets.
For a bride looking for volume and a dramatic color, Sarah’s new collection includes a purple silk tulle long gown.
Hat maker Aoife Kirwan created a very 3D headdress for the show, featuring Breton wire frames intertwined with handcrafted silk roses and leaves.
The Council of Irish Fashion Designers represents 52 designers from the fashion, accessories, jewellery, millinery and childrenswear categories.
Eddie Shanahan, Founder and Chair of CIFD, said the organization became a member of Guaranteed Irish because the majority of its members live at home and support Irish jobs.
Referring to the retail landscape, Mr Shanahan said: “Retailers are saying to shop locally, but we need to get the retailers behind us and stock a lot more Irish designed and made products and offer that choice to a wider market.”
https://www.independent.ie/style/fashion/sustainability-takes-pride-of-place-as-irish-designers-showcase-creativity-and-colour-41409507.html Sustainability ranks high as Irish designers display creativity and colour