A new take on Irish crochet and lace at Róisín Pierce Paris fashion show

The 29-year-old Dubliner and winner of Chanel Métiers d’Art continues to innovate and wow with traditional Irish craft

In a first for an independent Irish designer, Roisin Pierce made her debut on the official Paris Fashion Week calendar today, her location the theatre of the American Church on the Quai D’Orsay. Her poetic, all white collection called Beware Beware brought new meanings to traditional Irish crochet and lace and was notable for its dreamy beauty and outstanding craftsmanship.

Each of the 25 ethereal creations wrought in satin, organza, lace, Tencel and cotton presented in the auditorium displayed complex and painstaking technical dexterity. In Pierce’s hands a dizzying variety of textures and surfaces were combined together in every piece, smocked and pintucked with scalloped edges, swirls and layers.

Crochet took on a completely new look when manipulated into tubular and spherical shapes over undulating layers of organza while botanical motifs of Irish wildflowers and snowberries in lace were scattered throughout. Sometimes, the intricate dresses were composed of sheer and opaque panels, sometimes ornate and densely wrought. Veils were particularly beautiful and unusual.

These delicate sculptural shapes and 3D constructions – boxy blouses, ruffled necked gowns, full body shrouds and bloomers – may have looked frothy and fairy-tale, but drew from the strong feminine perspective that powered this collection. Working in white, traditionally associated with purity and innocence, makes its own statement and like her award-winning first collection Mná I Bhláth (Women in Bloom) that referenced the Magdalene laundries is visually symbolic of a deeper message. “A hyper-feminine expression of women’s liberation” according to her show notes. Deadstock bows, bridal veils, ruffles and flowers drove that point home.


Winner of the inaugural Chanel Métiers d’Art prize in 2019, the 29-year-old Dublin textile design graduate. who is committed to zero waste, was a LVMH finalist last year and was also cited by Forbes as one of the 30 under 30 to watch in 2022. Her Chanel prize brought her a partnership with renowned milliner Maison Michel in Paris who said that they had never encountered a designer with so many ideas.

With each tuck, stitch and motif, Beware Beware is a further continuation of Pierce’s original and contemporary expression of Irish craft, while also being a material response to Ireland’s relationship with femininity and sexuality. She will be showing her collection at the Centre Culturel Irlandais on the Rue des Irlandais on Friday before returning home. Her mother Angie, who accompanied her to Paris and who, along with three generations of lacemakers, worked closely with her on the collection, said after the show that “it has been so exciting to be here. Paris has opened its arms to us”.