Chinese threads


This cracker of a red gown, a modern interpretation of a traditional Chinese wedding dress, was designed and worn by Anna Lin, now Lady Oxmantown, on the occasion of her marriage in China in 2004 to Patrick Lord Oxmantown, eldest son of the Earl and Countess of Rosse of Birr Castle.

Made of flaming red silk with a huge flying phoenix embroidered in coloured threads, it is one of the highlights of a fashion exhibition celebrating the links between Ireland and China, part of Dublin City Council’s Chinese New Year festival. The exhibition will offer a rare opportunity to see fashion from the early 20th century drawn from Birr Castle’s family collection (mostly those belonging to the ultra-stylish Anne Countess of Rosse), alongside star items from John Rocha’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, particularly his innovative takes on traditional Irish crochet. Items from Birr include a scarlet taffeta ballgown by Irene Gilbert from 1948, a Snow White print dress by Charles James from 1938, as well as the lovely “Irish blessing gown” in white silk with seed pearls, also worn by Anna Lin as part of her wedding trousseau.

Sino Celtic Love: A Century of Fashion, runs from February 8th-19th, at Treasury Holdings Artspace, Burlington Road, Dublin 2. Full details at