What drives Irishwomen’s passion for fascinators is anybody’s guess
Fashion Forward: Dominique McMullan and Deirdre McQuillan round up this week’s fashion news and style tips
Cobwebby metal crown (€275) by London-based Irish designer Sorcha O’Raghallaigh, with a leopard print coat (€79,99 from H & M) by Cathy O’Connor
“A wonderful world of millinery where adventure lies in a folded felt brim, excitement in every trembling feather and allure in each shimmering veil.” So comments hatter Stephen Jones on a new book about hats by scholar and Schull resident Clair Hughes. Published to coincide with the wedding and racing season, the book explores hats through history – bowlers, bergères, berets, bonnets and more – and how the most celebrated defined a star’s image, such as Chaplin’s bowler and Dietrich’s beret.
As French philosopher Roland Barthes noted, it is in the detail that fashion’s energy lies, though what he would make of Irishwomen’s passion for fascinators is anybody’s guess. At least the business of “murderous” millinery no longer requires 30 million dead birds as it once used to do. Milliners today are often celebrities, such as Philip Treacy whose art hats make headlines: “abstractions removed from the wearer’s quotidian bearing little relation to fashion”, according to Hughes. Published by Bloomsbury, Hats by Clair Hughes (£25) will be launched in Schull on May 31st with a local milliner tasked with decorating the shop with wacky headgear. – DMcQ
Still on the subject of hats, the above cobwebby metal crown (€275) by the London-based Irish designer Sorcha O’Raghallaigh, styled with a leopard print coat (€79,99 from H & M) by Cathy O’Connor would certainly turn heads. It can be found in Made on the top floor of the Powerscourt Centre which also houses other Irish designers such as Natalie B Coleman, Danielle Romeril and We Are Islanders, and stocks a few fashion publications – such as 032C and Vestoj – not otherwise available in Dublin. – DMcQ
Irish pair wow Chinese fashionistas
The Irish knitwear designer Derek Lawlor has made a stellar debut in China at the recent Guangzhou Fashion Week where he and Irish milliner Margaret O’Connor, representing the UK and Ireland, were presented with the “Global Original Designer Innovation Award” for their joint collaboration on his 25 look AW17 Collection. Lawlor is known for pushing knitwear in innovative directions, and his collection was based on fabric techniques developed through several years of practice, while O’Connor’s statement headpiece shapes used his signature fabric.
These days Lawlor provides a design and textile consultancy service for designers, and produces exclusive pieces for editorial, music videos, printed publication and exhibitions. His clients have included the Royal Ballet, singer-songwriters Leona Lewis, VV Brown and Katy B, and others from the music industry. He now tutors on the textile design course at Central Saint Martins. Visit dereklawlor.com for further information. – DMcQ
Steal vs splurge
Have happy feet in these lace-up sandals for €37.99 from New Look (left), or let your feet do the talking in these Ida sandals (right) for €180 from Mabu by Maria BK.
Cut a dash in this striking print that will see you through to autumn. Kelly and Grace Red Poppy Blouse €31.95 Carraig Donn
“A good sales assistant will prioritise your long-term relationship over easy sales. Find someone you trust in store and who gets your style, and build a fun, fashion, trying-on-loads-of-stuff-like-kids-playing-dress-up partnership with them!” Blanaid Hennessy, owner, folkster fashion stores