Joanne Hynes new collection for Dunnes Stores: Inspired by youthfulness

My First Love, the spring/summer collection from Hynes, includes stylish clothing for all weathers

Joanne Hynes’s collections always spring from a very personal place and take a very individual, lively approach. Her latest collection for Dunnes Stores which launched on Thursday, March 7th is no exception. Models included Lily Lyons, teenage daughter of entrepreneur Sonia Reynolds, and Sandra Wilson, mother of TV personality Vogue Williams. Hynes’s familiar trademarks – the drawings, the prints, the embellishment – are all there, but the title of this shiny collection called “My First Love” in three parts or stories, gives the game away.

Prompted by memories of her youth, the collection focused on “the idea of that key dress for your first debs or party – a young, cool girl of 17 or 18 in her bedroom like I was, listening to music or dressing up with friends” says Hynes. She remembers collecting horse memorabilia like carousels and funfairs as a teenager – a silver motif of a horse’s head and bridle is boldly appliquéed on lurex brocade for what you might call a giddyup dress. The effect is zany and offbeat rather than nostalgic.

The “All Weather Girl” started with cloud prints and the idea of a wardrobe for summer being all-weather – hence the trouser suits with cloud and sun prints. “This is a little more formal taking those standard wardrobe pieces – the trouser suit, the raincoat and a great blouse,” she says. A stylish cover up for the Irish climate, the raincoat is transparent “and feels like organza, so it is quite light and papery with a pink binding,” she explains. Dare we add spot on for summer? The shirts with abstracted print motifs were terrific, worn under a denim pinafore or with patterned trousers.

The third part is what she calls Pow Wow Pink! a nod to Lichtenstein pop art comic strip typography and a hyper-feminine world of print with embroidery and appliqué. Pow! on hair slides, earrings in PU and leather, drives home this point in threadwork and beading. The white dress in the collection based on her MA collection for St Martins in 2001 was originally prompted by a photograph of hurlers that appeared in The Irish Times.  “I chopped out the photo,” she recalls, “and worked with a lady who made Irish dancing costumes. I drew out the two hurlers (with velvet shorts) and we appliquéed them onto the dress. It was fresh and fun and a big part of the collection.”


Each bit of the collection deals with different women, she says. “Pow! references my love of Irish dancing dress, those motifs and appliqués and the Tiger Lady in this hyper-femininity has a tough-love feel.” Clashing textiles are very much part of the Hynes DNA and her formalisation of different women helps her to design and harness her energy and ideas. “It all comes back to dressing women and how you put that into the story” says Hynes. Prints are key; her leopard prints made with markers and then digitally printed onto neoprene provided the backdrop for the show.

These collections for Dunnes Stores (on sale in Grafton Street and online) have brought her work to a whole new audience. Customers range from teenagers like Lily Lyons to the celebrated 83-year-old former racing driver Rosemary Smith and fragrance expert Marija Aslimoska of Parfumarija in the Westbury Centre both of whom attended the launch in Dunnes Stores HQ. All buy from her collections which is a huge testimony to Hynes’s diverse appeal and to her fearless creativity and disruptive sense of fun. Prices start at €25 for earrings up to €150 for sequinned dresses.

Photographer: Tiberio Ventura
Direction: Joanne Hynes and David Poole
Assisted by Caoilfhionn Walsh
Models include Katrin @notanotheragency