Fashion's new faces
While there he was chosen to be the sole representative from the student body in the UK to meet Queen Elizabeth at an event in Buckingham Palace to celebrate the fashion industry.
On graduation, he was awarded the highly coveted Guo Scholarship and travelled to Hong Kong where he worked as a designer for nearly two years.
In September he reached the semifinals of Sky Living’s Styled to Rock fashion reality show, on which the judges included the London designer Henry Holland.
His focus is menswear and he is putting the finishing touches to a collection of fashion and accessories. His work blends military Napoleonic style regalia with shiny, metallic fabrics in silver and pink silks with embellishment.
“I have always been a fan of feminine colour palettes and fabrics combined with very structured masculine shapes,” he told Cillian O’Connor of Male-Mode “and high end menswear is becoming increasingly feminine”.
Aidan O’Neill, photographer
A graduate of IADT in Dun Laoghaire, O Neill taught photography for five years in Dublin before leaving for London four years ago. Since then he has worked as a freelance photographer with, among others, the fashion website netaporter and photographed various fashion collections including those of Merle O’Grady and Danielle Romeril. He regularly shoots for Notion, a bi-monthly music, fashion and culture magazine and founded Argon, an online magazine celebrating Irish talent, with make-up artist Ruth Brophy in November 2011. “We wanted to showcase Irish talent in music, art and fashion not just in London, but abroad,” he says, adding that the next issue will have features on the Irish in Germany, an interview with artist Sean Hillen as well as a new daily blog.
As a photographer whose heroes include William Eggleston and Juergen Teller, he is known for blurring the lines between fashion and portraiture, with an aesthetic approach based on seeing beauty in the mundane, using basic lighting. “I tend not to make plans and as little fuss as possible when I shoot using whatever is around. Fashion and portraiture are where my heart is and ideally I would like to come back to Ireland and make a living in order to continue to support Argon,” he says. This year he was part of a group photography show in the Photographers Gallery where, along with celebrated photographers like Rankin and Martin Parr, his images of people from each of the countries competing in the Olympics that call London home were included in an exhibition called The World in London which was also displayed in Oxford Street.
Kate Betts, milliner
Millinery turns heads in Ireland and Aisling Ahern from Roscommon, who won the “Who Wants to Be A Milliner” competition last year, now has her collection stocked in Arnotts. However, Dublin-based milliner Kate Betts, who trained with Lina Stein in Westport and who featured in this magazine last April, went even further, reaching the finals of an international hat competition judged by one of the most distinguished milliners in France, Marie Claire Barban. Barban makes chapeaux for the big Paris fashion houses such as Hermes, Dior and Louis Vuitton and Betts’s hat was not only highly commended, but earned her a valuable internship at Barban’s workshop, Cheri Bibi in central France. “I learned so much there and working with different materials like lambswool. It was an incredible experience working with a milliner who had made all the hats I had so admired in Vogue,” she says.