Fashion's new faces
As young Irish designers, photographers, milliners and models, take the fashion world by storm, DEIRDRE MCQUILLANlooks at the ones to watch
Eve Connolly, model
A neighbour’s tip-off after an item on RTÉ’s Mooney Goes Wild prompted 17- year-old schoolgirl Eve Connolly from Celbridge to attend an open day at Assets Model agency in Dublin. “That was in September and they took me on immediately,” she recalls. A student at St Ultan’s Community College in Celbridge, she had always been interested in fashion, but within the year was in demand for catwalk, advertising and editorial fashion shoots.
“I was really lucky with the work and seeing the finished product in editorial shoots, seeing everything come together really gave me a better understanding of the modelling and fashion business,” she says.
She has appeared in a number of catwalk shows including those of Harvey Nichols and Brown Thomas and was one of only two Irish models selected for the latter’s winter campaign. She has now been signed up with a French agency and according to Assets “with her long blonde hair and porcelain skin, she has a real international look that should guarantee further work abroad”. In the meantime, she has to face the Leaving Cert in June but afterwards intends to take a year out and continue modelling. “My whole family have been very supportive and my two sisters are really into fashion. My younger sister keeps asking me about how my make-up and hair are done,” she says.
Her real interest, however, is in drama and performance which was one of the reasons for trying her hand at modelling and ultimately her ambition would be to study drama.
Anne-Olivia Monaghan, stylist and singer
An Irish costume designer based in Paris, Liv Monaghan founded Alto Figaro last year, a vintage designer site for men whose most popular selling items are designer ties from YSL, Dior, Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs.
She is also a jazz singer and styles musicians with Alto Figaro clothing, as well as hosting collaborations between artists. Her made-to-measure kilt in this category attracted a lot of attention and she now has plans to design T-shirts, bags, shorts, trousers and jackets for men.
A theatre and history graduate of TCD, Monaghan started working as a costume designer with the award-winning Sinead Cuthbert, where she became interested in menswear, “and costuming a male-heavy Irish theatre made me start to think about how to introduce drama into menswear”.
Living, working and studying in Italy furthered her desire to get men to dress creatively and have as much fun with their clothes as their female counterparts. “I realised that worlds can be turned upside down by simply wanting to touch someone’s jumper,” she says.
As costume designer she has worked on a number of productions for Blood in the Alley theatre company, Coscéim and gay and fringe festival productions. altofigaro.com
Steve Corcoran, menswear designer
Steve Corcoran is a young Irish designer from Dungarvan, Co Waterford. He is currently based in London. Corcoran started out studying industrial design, but moved to fashion and completed an honour’s degree at NCAD (his graduate collection was based on his interest in architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright) before going on to complete a Master’s at the London College of Fashion.