Worn this way: Lady Gaga dons Birr designer's creations on Graham Norton's TV show


A YOUNG Co Offaly fashion designer says she nearly had a “mini-heart attack” after learning that pop diva Lady Gaga was to wear one of her creations on the Graham Norton Showon BBC television.

The US pop-star name-checked Birr-born designer Sorcha Ó Raghallaigh when she appeared on the show last week, telling its Irish host she had worn the flamboyant dress especially for him.

“It’s a young Irish designer named Sorcha Ó Raghallaigh,” she told Norton, to enthusiastic whoops from the live audience.

Lady Gaga has already worn a design of Ó Raghallaigh (26), who graduated from London’s first school for fashion Central St Martins last June. Her veiled vehicle, one of three outfits Lady Gaga wore on the show, was not her first encounter with fashion’s favourite pop star.

She also designed a black PVC dress that appeared in the opening sequence of the video of Born This Way.

Ó Raghallaigh’s relationship with pop’s first lady was sealed when Anna Trevelyan, assistant to Nicola Formichetti, her stylist and the man responsible for her most extreme outfits – including that meat dress – scouted the Irish designer at her graduate show.

Trevelyan now acts as a mentor to Ó Raghallaigh, offering advice and guidance and a route to high fashion editorial work. Her garments have already graced the glossy pages of Italian Vogue, Vogue Nipponand Dazed & Confused.

When she first got the call she thought she was going to have a mini-heart attack”.

“But then I didn’t have time to do that. Once I’d been given the brief I only had a few hours to get the sketches to her.

“What I do isn’t commercial,” she adds. “I’m into the avant garde, the one-off, and Gaga is the ideal customer.”

Ó Raghallaigh laughs at the idea that what she does is considered extremely glamorous. Operating out of a tiny room in her East End flat, she also makes ends meet by working part-time for another Irish designer, established jeweller Merle O’Grady. She too offers her support and advice.

Lady Gaga has previously worn the work of Roscommon-born Una Burke, who designed some of the hyper-fetishistic leather pieces that the US singer commissioned for her worldwide Monster Ball tour.

News and opinion site Hollywood News recently announced Lady Gaga’s latest digital partnership – a two-day flash sale through luxury members-only online shopping site Gilt Group, where labels can be bought at up to 60 per cent off.

Formichetti, who is also creative director of French fashion label Thierry Mugler, is curating the sale, said to include items from some of her videos. Concert tickets and an album download will also be sold.

However, Gilt Group is a members-only site that requires you to register to join the group but it doesn’t deliver to Ireland – if you have friends Stateside, keep your digital ears peeled.