Communion dresses without the glitz
Irish children’s clothing company uses handmade tweeds and linens
The theme of the latest collection from Irish children’s clothing company Si+Lu is the intriguing sounding “pagan renaissance”. Designer and musician Lucy Clarke holed herself up for weeks in the National Archives to find inspiration for the special occasion clothes which fit the bill for everything from a birthday party to a first Holy Communion.
“Archival patterns were a big influence so the dresses deliberately avoid satin, pearls and glitz and evoke a more 19th century elegance,” says Clarke. The heritage-inspired collection is made up of handmade tweed boys’ suits, including a snazzy three-piece version, and handwoven Irish linen dresses for girls, with floral headdresses. All the linen in the garments is handwoven from one of the last linen mills in the country and the tweed is from Donegal. Everything, including the pretty headpieces, is handmade by experienced craftspeople around the country.
“I think people are looking for something different from the usual special occasion clothes. We’ve had lots of interest from customers looking to avoid the more showy Communion dresses, for example, and they want party clothes that are of good enough quality to be handed down through the family,” says Clarke. The clothes are available for ages one to nine.
Up until now the Si+Lu range has only been available online but this weekend their new studio opens on 49a Leinster Road (rear), Rathmines, Dublin 6. Open Tuesday to Friday 9.30am-12.30pm and Saturdays 12-4pm. siandlu.com. Dresses from €200, suits €138.