November notes: The latest news in fashion and design in Ireland
Beautiful jumpsuits, unique floral fashion, luxury handbags and more
Pink and blue jumpsuits in silk and cotton with scrunchies by Violet Ogden. Photograph: Perry Ogden
Jump right in
When it comes to jumpsuits, one woman who has nailed the trend in Ireland is Violet Ogden, daughter of photographer Perry Ogden who already counts among her fans singer Loah and one of Ireland’s cultural ambassadors in Berlin, Candice Gordon. A big childhood impression was seeing Grace Jones arriving to stay with her mother Marina Guinness dressed in an Issey Miyake boiler suit in dark denim with jump cables around her waist “and it was the most glamorous sight I had ever seen and left its mark – I don’t think I have ever recovered from it,” she laughs.
A lover of bright colour (and obsessed with pink since childhood), her jumpsuits, particularly the pony prints which she first made for Loah’s birthday and party favourites in pink silk are all made with snap fasteners, elasticated waists, pockets and ankle cuffs. Find them in Om Diva from December 1st or online at youreonlygorgeous.com from €265 along with a great selection of cotton and silk scrunchies for €20.
Captivating wild flowers
Floral fashion takes on a whole new meaning in the work of the super talented Róisín Pierce, an Irish designer dedicated to craftmanship of a high order. Her award-winning collection Bláthanna Fiáin (Wild Flowers), supported by the Chanel Metiers d’Art accolade, was recently presented in France at the Hyéres International Festival of Fashion to universal acclaim. The surface textures of her all-white collection in its multiple embroideries and fabric manipulations not only testify to her groundbreaking skills, but their labyrinthine designs have historical references to Catholic rituals in Ireland. Last year she was also awarded the Overall Emerging Winner from the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s Future Makers fund. A designer to watch.
Faye's new bags
Sligo-based designer Ana Vahey in Strandhill has just debuted 10 new styles in her latest collection of handbags on her Ana Faye website. Their geometric designs, subtle colours and signature flourishes elevate cross-body, totes, casual or mini bags – even backpacks. During lockdown the designer produced more than 700 masks, many going to local health workers, but now “we are back doing what we know best: producing beautiful luxury handbags”.
Find them all on anafaye.com from €139. The one featured here is a vintage-inspired cross-body bag with adjustable and removable shoulder straps in Italian leather (limited edition), priced €289.
Lockdown has affected designers in different ways. For Louise Stokes of Loulerie (whose shopfront on Chatham Street, Dublin, is always alluring), the year has enabled her to concentrate on her own fine jewellery, adding enamel for the first time. A standout item is a navy enamel and white sapphire “wave” ring with handset diamond which draws on her love for the sea, “something that gave me great comfort and escape during these turbulent times”. Find the ring €1,899 on loulerie.com
How does a small, independent retailer fare under lockdown not knowing what to expect? Juliet Ledwidge was looking forward to celebrating 15 years in business in September when she, like others, had to close her JuJu boutique in Greystones, Co Wicklow.
“We had to become more proficient in browsing, selling and showcasing online,” she says. “Gone are party dresses and now what’s needed are knits, jeans, trousers and a coat.” This season she has introduced five new labels and “we had a run on tops and shirts with blazers for zooms which also worked later in the day over jeans and a hoodie”. Now she posts images of customers wearing items and opens for click and collect Monday to Friday between 11am-2pm. She is also offering a Christmas gift service with smaller items and gift vouchers “all wrapped, couriered and ready to gift”. Visit juju.ie
London-based Irish designer Andrew Bell, who is known for combining traditional tailoring with technology, has just won two major design awards in Italy, beating off more than 600 entrants globally.
He not only won the OTB Award sponsored by Only the Brave, parent company of luxury fashion brands Marni, Margiela and others which included a cash prize of €10,000 and an opportunity to gain experience with any one of the group’s houses in Paris or Milan, but he also carried off the Pitti Immagine Award which gives him an unparalleled opportunity to present his work at the trade show in Florence in February. Another Irish talent to watch next year.