Liz Quin: a singular style

By Deirdre McQuillan

Liz Quin

Liz Quin

Sat, Mar 15, 2014, 01:00

Sand circle coloured lace dress, e219. Photograph Barry McCallDublin designer Liz Quin is making a comeback to Irish fashion after  several years. One half of Quin & Donnelly, the eponymous Irish fashion label that suspended trading in 2011 owing to a trademark row, Liz Quin’s first own-name collection makes its debut next week in BT2. “Even though Carolyn and I had a lovely partnership, it is good to do my own thing, to be totally true to myself and follow my own heart,” she says.

The new collection consists of 50 pieces and is notable for its textural play, its colour and mix of fabrics. A keen gardener, Quin explains that putting together a collection is rather like gathering a bouquet of flowers “to put pretty pictures together. I love the fun of it, playing with shapes and manipulating them, seeing how they develop”, she says.

She also brings nearly 30 years of practical experience in designing clothes for professional working women, and as one herself she tries on everything. “It not only has to look right but feel right as well.”

The coat, for example, is in an embossed damask cloth, which though rich in texture is also lightweight, and the use of black for the side panels has a deliberate optical slimming effect, giving it an advantage on several fronts. The tailored trouser suit is in a crease-resistant stretch gabardine with a matching pencil skirt.

Orange tailored suit jacket, e259, trousers, e129, Kurt Geiger courts, e245 from BT2. Photograph: Ba

“It’s great to see colour coming back into trouser suits and the stretch in the fabric makes it comfortable.” The dress is in heavy corded lace with a geometric pattern, and also comes in navy with a jacket to match.

In recent years, Quin has been lecturing fashion students on the business end of fashion as well as freelancing for other companies.

“I went into fashion very young – Carolyn and I started in a backstreet shop in Dublin, renovating it with paint and fabric, and I’d like to see today’s crazy rents come down and allow young designers to have a similar route and start to a career. For me, it’s great to be working with young people again.”

She describes her style as “elegant and cheerful” and she tries to design without strict guidelines, but with a “wow” factor in mind. “It brings me back to being a child and adoring dressing up and playing a role, being uplifted by what you are wearing rather than buying something because it is a trend. Clothes have to fit and you have to enjoy wearing them.”

The Liz Quin collection is stocked in BT2, Dublin and Blanchardstown, in Brown Thomas in Limerick and in selected boutiques nationwide. It will be launched in BT2 next Thursday , March 20th

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