Making heads turn: Clare milliner Margaret O’Connor

Stylefile: Irish go to London Fashion Week with big export ambitions

One of milliner Margaret O’Connor’s creations

One of milliner Margaret O’Connor’s creations

 

With a personality as flamboyant and colourful as her hats, Margaret O’Connor knows how to make heads turn.

Her shop in Ennis is a testament to her wild ideas grounded in first-class craftsmanship creating millinery for all occasions, be they special or everyday.

Not only does she create award-winning collections – she and designer Derek Lawlor wowed the Chinese in Shanghai last year taking the top prize in the Global Innovation Awards – but she also rents out hats as a way of encouraging the more reluctant to try the more fashion-forward items.

This one called Tiger Lee from her new collection Mind in Motion ticks the boxes for the races like Ascot and Cheltenham or spring weddings.

“Great with black or yellow and a wow piece for the mother of the bride,” she says.

It’s a coolie style mounted on a beret in printed Chinese silk with quill details €420. Being O’Connor, there are of course, many more alluring options.

Visit her shop at Summerhill, Market Place, Ennis, Co Clare.

New takes on the Aran sweater for men and women from McConnells, a new brand based in Clonlara, Co Clare. www.mcconnellwoollenmills.ie
New takes on the Aran sweater for men and women from McConnells, a new brand based in Clonlara, Co Clare. www.mcconnellwoollenmills.ie

Irish designers at London Fashion Week

Irish designers taking part at London Fashion Week this weekend include three with big export ambitions who will be fortunate enough – and judged suitable enough both creatively and commercially – to be taken to the British Designer Showrooms in Paris next month.

They are Natalie B Coleman, Electronic Sheep and a new Irish knitwear brand called McConnells based in Clonlara, Co Clare.

Their support is SKMMP, an ambitious new enterprise founded by Aileen Carville with 18 years’ luxury fashion experience who has perfected an innovative digital sales platform and showroom in partnership with the British Fashion Council. It aims to transform the normal process of fashion selling. Visit www.skmmp.com

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