Fashion and art: young creatives in the West of Ireland

A west of Ireland collaboration brings vibrant street art and fashion into sharp focus

Two-piece navy suit, €239, Scott; tweed waistcoat, €69.95, Gibson; white LS T-shirt, €19.95, JackJones; navy tie, €20, Lloyd Attree Smith; tan brogues Gucinari. Glasses, stylist’s own

Two-piece navy suit, €239, Scott; tweed waistcoat, €69.95, Gibson; white LS T-shirt, €19.95, JackJones; navy tie, €20, Lloyd Attree Smith; tan brogues Gucinari. Glasses, stylist’s own

 

UNNAMED-J97_WEBWhat do a graphic designer, a photographer, an artist, a surfer, an ex-Hollister model and a former menswear buyer all have in common? The answer is that they are all part of a growing community in west Clare on the Atlantic coast, a resourceful crowd determined to live and forge a sustainable way of life in a part of Ireland that is their own, rather than emigrate. Home to professional surfers, videographers, food producers and designers, the west of Ireland is attracting young creatives who see opportunities in their communities overlooked by others.

For this shoot a group of them, all locals, came together to highlight street art with men’s fashion on an abandoned construction site – just bare concrete walls – outside Lahinch. Stylist Mairead Skerritt with photographer and designer Myriam Riand chose this bleak symbol of the recession as a blank canvas, “the perfect playground for a shoot”, she says. To unify the theme, location and collection, she added pieces such as her father’s patchwork trousers from the 1970s and her mother’s silk scarves.

The street artist known as Eoin, a former surfer, recognised for his imaginative transformations of bleak, rundown interiors and landscapes, gave the space a new perspective with a magnified painted weather eye, a recurring surrealist motif in his work. One of his more recent commercial commissions was for Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Dundrum.

Edwin Fitzgibbon, another Clare native who worked for Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch in the US, modelled for the shoot, while Skerritt honed her menswear buying skills after a degree in DIT, working for Arnotts in Dublin and Mulberry and TopMan in London. Irish/French photographer and graphic designer Myriam Riand is a visual communication graduate of Limerick School of Art & Design and moved with her family as a child to live in Ennistymon.

The clothes have been selected from popular brands such as Penguin, Farah Vintage, Oakley, Guess and Garcia, a mix of the casual with the contemporary use of tweed waistcoats and jackets. All are from Mannix in Ennis, whose proprietor Padraig Haugh attributes his store’s 25-year survival to its ability to cater for a broad spectrum of ages and “bring something new and dynamic to the high street each season”.

He believes it is “essential to show that our environment can still provide economic opportunity” and the Wild Atlantic Way with its successful promotional campaign can also inspire offbeat fashion locations, as this shoot illustrates.

Photography and design: Myriam Riand myriamraind.com. Art: artbyeoin.com.

Styling and co-ordination: Mairead Skerritt.

Model: Edwin Fitzgibbon

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