Summer style: the latest news in Irish fashion
August miscellany: a monthly round-up of news, views, people and topics in fashion
From Aoife’s sustainable collection made with Econyl fabric.
Aoife is the name of a newly-launched Irish luxury, slow, sustainable fashion brand founded by an environmental architectural designer qualified in textiles and print. Aoife Maria Rooney started her brand in the Leinster Print Studio in Dublin and at her kitchen sink creating her palette colours derived from organic matter and vegetable juices. Her unisex collection makes use of Econyl regenerated nylon from waste fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring and industrial plastic from landfills and oceans all over the world. This yarn is used to produce fabrics in an artisan mill in Milan which in turn is sent to another Italian company which turns her technical drawings and designs into clothing. Rooney has also partnered with a much-lauded North American company to produce the first cactus leather vegan bags. Visit aoifelifestyle.com
SUITS YOU SIR
Is this the new work suit for men, tieless, collarless with an unstructured, casual look in stretch jersey – featuring a comfortable elasticated waist trousers and a slim-fit jacket? Not quite sportswear, not quite the buttoned-up business uniform look but a refined suit nonetheless for the modern metropolitan working at home or in an office elsewhere. It’s from the new collection of Hugo Boss and doesn’t come cheap at €399 for the blazer (which is partially lined and cut to a close fit) and €169.95 for trousers. There is also an alternative bomber jacket for an even more laid-back vibe. Hugo Boss calls this workwear “the broken suit” as it consists of a range of separates, each one a 100 per cent colour match to the other. Find them in the Boss store, 67-68 Grafton Street, Dublin or hugoboss.com
IT’S SEW GOOD
For those who love fabrics, Texture in Monkstown in Dublin has a carefully chosen selection of wools, silks, linens and cottons mostly sourced from Italy and Spain, along with ribbons, trimmings and zips and ornamental snap closings. There is little that owner Ann Flavin, who started the business five years ago, doesn’t know about materials, being not only a Grafton Academy graduate but also the daughter of a dressmaker. Apart from her regular customer base, Flavin has also noted a small but growing interest in sewing in the 10-14 age group in a Project Fashion effort for kids that encourages them to make their own clothes. For others who may have a favourite item at home that has seen better days, she suggests that they rip it up and make a new version in a new fabric knowing that it will fit – she can advise on Zoom and, though she doesn’t sell online, will post samples anywhere in the country. She can also provide a list of recommended dressmakers. Visit texture.ie
“I am totally obsessed with vintage fashion, it’s a genuine passion,” says self-confessed thrifter Grace Collier, who on a shoestring opened her shop Spice Vintage in Limerick in 2018 after a trial pop-up proved successful. The Laois native chose the city because of its student population and furnished her little emporium with treasures scoped from her travels in Spain and elsewhere. Before long she established a strong following but in March she had to shut shop because of the pandemic and the shop has now closed permanently. Not one to let that faze her, her only option was to sell online, so she set up her own website herself using the Squarespace template – her first experience of IT – and within half an hour of its launch on May 15th, all 120 items sold out. Some of her best sellers are Harley Davidson T-shirts and high-waisted pants, denim jeans and sportwear. Top sellers are grungy 1990s floral midis and bright, vibrant prints. Now her customer base has extended to Malta, Germany, France and Scotland as well as all over Ireland.
“What really makes clothes sell is how they are styled and you need to do that to translate them into outfits,” she says. So she dresses for the site and for her Instagram feed. “It feels so fake and I do miss the chat with customers, but I do my best and my personality is there. I never told myself I couldn’t do it – I like to keep on top of everything.” If visiting the site spicevintageonline.com bear in mind that every Friday she uploads 140 items and within six minutes 50 per cent will sell out, such is the measure of her online success.
For the past eight months, Laura Egan, a Dublin fashion designer, has deliberately avoided buying anything new, hoping to convert others to do the same through a workshop she is offering on her website Minti. A graduate of NCAD in 2016, she worked in Paris (with the Isabel Marant atelier) and later in London but having lost her job in March, decided to set up Minti after a period of re-evaluation of the industry and its destructive practices. “My goal is to make people rethink buying new clothes by offering a curated selection of preloved clothing and an upcycling service.”
She gathers a range of affordable items in a range of sizes on her website – 20 every Wednesday and Sunday. The wooden bag pictured, for instance, sold for €25. She also demonstrates how one item can be transformed into other wearable pieces and will be offering three classes, starting next month – sewing for beginners, how to do alterations and upcycling. For more details visit minti.ie