NCAD graduate show garbs itself in striking and confident experimental concepts you can wear


NCAD’s graduate fashion show, held this year in Newman House in three salon-style presentations, was a low-key, pared-down affair.

No second-year work was shown and only a small selection of the third-year work, though already displaying considerable talent, was presented without even naming the students concerned.

In another disappointing departure, the student brochure, an important and invaluable record of the degree students, was not produced.

Despite all that, this year’s graduates, 10 in fashion and two from textiles, judging from their very confident and promising final-year collections, are a stellar group.

“They are pushing the boundaries and really experimenting with cut and construction,” said Linda Byrne, course tutor.

Many drew their inspiration from architecture or borrowed from other design fields.

Jennifer Belton’s interest in product design and packaging led her to create clothing with innovative closures free of zips or buttons.

Another student, Mary Fitzpatrick, haunted the Four Courts to study legal attire as the starting point for her pin-striped collection of offbeat elegance and grandeur.

Novel, blown-out shapes featured in the collections of Jocelyn Murray Boyne, Olwyn Kelly and Sinead Kennedy, while Claire Lynam’s curvaceous pleated white dress showed her mastery of complex shaping and silhouette.

Commercial punch
In terms of commercial power, Leanne Keogh’s sporty, long, grey parkas and graceful skirts could go straight into production.

Elsewhere, Laura May Hegarty’s “tandem jumper” twinned male and female together in one knit while Ailis Mara explored notions of conceal and reveal with her laser-cut, black lace dresses and shower-curtain overcoats inspired by Hitchcock’s Psycho .

Polina Yacobsen fashioned skirts from geometric-cut holograms and coats with thickets of leather roses; she is a finalist in an international competition to be held in Trieste in July.

“This group is very diverse and more conceptual than market-driven” observed Dr Helen McAllister, NCAD’s head of fashion, at the show. Many will now go to London to do MA degrees or apply for graduate placement schemes at home or abroad.