Talented Colin Burke, one of Ireland’s most innovative knitters, made this showstopper top for a customer in New York who lives opposite the Met. One of his many fans in the US, she is a board member of the famous Museum and wanted the piece for a special event there.
In white silk ribbon yarn, hand crocheted with white merino wool and silk tulle sleeves decorated with ostrich feathers it is more elaborate than his familiar hand knits with their puff sleeves and intricate stitching that he makes to order – some sweaters can be bought online from havanaboutique.ie.
Burke is currently working on a summer collection, his first in cotton and cashmere, for Havana to be launched shortly, while many of his international sales sales comes from his Instagram account, @Colinburke_.
Feathers also feature in this dramatic hat with its large ivory disc €500 by milliner Aoife Harrison who is bringing out a bridal collection later this year. “I am optimistic we will get back to weddings and special events soon – Royal Ascot may go ahead in June with limited capacity which is exciting” she says.
It is styled with an embroidered bridal jumpsuit by fellow CIFD (Council of Irish Fashion Designers) member Charlotte Lucas €500. See more hats and headpieces at aoifeharrisondesign.ie Photograph Kathy Silke, model Grace O Mahony.
Ardara native Dominic Sweeney first discovered an interest in fashion on work experience with Amanda Pratt in Avoca during his school transition year. The son of Donegal GP Mireille Sweeney, he became the first Irish student to study fashion in Paris at the acclaimed Studio Bercot whose alumni over the years have included designers Isabel Marant, Roland Mouret and Nicole Farhi. With his design partner Maeva Picart also a Bercot graduate, Sweeney has launched a new clothing label called Aphrodisiac & Greed that features a 100 per cent linen jersey printed t-shirt alongside a range of branded pin, stickers and limited-edition prints.
Created in lockdown and financed by a successful crowdfunding campaign, the pair working from home have worked with spinners and manufacturers in northern France and an independent screen printer in Paris "so we really feel connected to the craft of fashion" says Sweeney who interned with Simone Rocha and MIH Jeans in London and Haider Ackerman in Antwerp during his studies. Working from home, the pair transformed their apartment into a photo set to model their t-shirts. "We are craft and artisan focused and we want to remain creative and bold". Visit ulule.com/aphrodisiac-and-greed.
Silks By Silke
The classic wrap scarf (tied under the chin and then knotted at the back) from the 50s notably worn by Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly was revived by Dior at its latest autumn winter 21 collection in Paris. This one by Ciara Silke in scarlet, cream and navy is from her spring line up called Spotted Jewelweed is ideal for the flattering classic wrap treatment – wear it with collar turned up on a trench and shades. See ciarasilke.com.
Knits for Kids
Zara Nugent’s new children’s knitwear brand called Roe was inspired by her memories of the Connemara landscape and her childhood home in Oughterard near Lough Corrib in a house built by her grandfather who worked as a fisherman on the lake. A maker with a strong vision she has a degree in Textile Design from Edinburgh College of Art where she trained for four years before embarking on a career as a children’s wear designer in the UK.
Today, she works from a studio on the Atlantic coast making handknits in Donegal merino wool to order with an ethos rooted in the slow fashion movement. The name Roe is derived from Roeillaun "Red Island" one of Lough Corrib's 365 islands and the name of her childhood home. The collection can be found online from roeillaun.com with items for sale in sizes newborn to 2-3 years. Prices start at mittens for €45 and cardigans (like this one called gorse) from €125.
New York based Irish embroidery queen Laura Weber who did the floral decorative work for Jill Biden’s inauguration white coat and dress ensemble by Carolina Hearst (with matching masks) is now producing two face masks in cotton, both embroidered, one black, one in khaki which can be found on etsy.com for €42.13.