Design from the west of Ireland to the world

College pals return to Ireland to set up new ethical label ‘Murala’

Alan Kelly will be a familiar name to some from when he was a student of Limerick Senior College (now LCFE) and won the prestigious Irish Smirnoff Fashion Awards 1996. The Limerick designer is one half of new ethical label Murala, along with Sandra Murphy.

The Irish designers met in college, found success in global fashion capitals London and New York respectively, and returned home to form a unique design partnership. Their combined careers saw them design for brands like ASOS, Topshop, Gap and Victoria’s Secret. Continue reading

Classic or contemporary, which are you?

Irish designers redefining what it means to be an Irish woman in 2018

Since Dunnes Stores introduced their Paul Costelloe collaboration in the early 2000s and then appointed Carolyn Donnelly as creative director, I’ve been fascinated by what their designers – all Irish – are producing for the Irish woman. And the Irish man too of course; Costelloe has a men’s range which is quite classic, along with Paul Galvin’s edgier offering and Padraig Harrington’s golf look.

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Wearing your beliefs for social justice

Referendum inspiring designers to become fashion activists for this generation

Fashion activism is nothing new; the mini skirt was a defiant statement of its time, and the slogan t-shirt has been a political tool since its inception. Repeal sweatshirts are one of the most controversial items of the moment but they are not the only items popping up ahead of the upcoming referendum.

Stacey Grant-Canham, originally from Ballinacurra Gardens, completed a degree in fashion at LSAD before doing a MA at Kingston University in London. She now works as a lecturer teaching fashion design in Cardiff and in her spare time runs her design led lifestyle brand, Black & Beech.

Stacey explained, “During my maternity leave period in 2017, I started Black & Beech from my kitchen table selling teething jewellery that mums can wear and babies can fiddle and play with, whilst breastfeeding, being worn in a sling, or whenever baby needs a distraction. Following Brexit I became a bit more political with the brand and this was cemented with the re-election of the Torys and Donald Trump in the US. Continue reading

Ireland’s first international fashion design star

Hunt Museum presents innovative career of renowned Irish fashion designer

The Hunt Museum has curated a new exhibition from its collection of Sybil Connolly clothing, sketchbooks, swatches, glass and ceramics to explore her trailblazing design career in a new presentation entitled ‘Sybil’.

Connolly is regarded as Ireland’s first international fashion design icon. She used tweed, crochet and lace in vibrant colours and interesting silhouettes in her work with pleated linen her trademark. In 1953, her full-length red cape and white crochet dress was on the cover of Life Magazine, accompanied by the caption ‘Irish Invade Fashion World’.

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New Director announced for The Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum has issued the press release below announcing the appointment of their new Director. It’s a very exciting time for the Museum and Dr Cousins sounds like a fantastic addition to the cultural sector in our region. I look forward to seeing the further development of the Museum under her directorship.

The Board of the Hunt Museum is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Jill Cousins as Director and CEO of the Museum.

Dr Jill Cousins joins the Hunt with over 10 years of involvement in the European cultural heritage sector as the Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation, which she created from a project idea with 4 people to an operational service with 62 persons across 4 European offices. Funded, by the European Commission and the Ministries of Culture across Europe, Jill has worked with cultural heritage organisations across Europe to increase the use and visibility of their collections in education, research, creative industry and towards the general public. She has extensive business development experience and has previously worked in the publishing, event, marketing and information industries. Continue reading

De-stress and take a moment…

Christmas is a stressful time, learning to manage daily stress is a priceless life skill

Mindfulness is something we hear a lot about it seems these days, but do many of us actually know what it means? Do we take mindful moments? Well, one Limerick lady has created a set of ‘flash cards for grown-ups’ to encourage us to do just that. MoMe cards are all about moments for me. They are created by Niamh McMahon, a well-known graphic designer based in Limerick.

“One invaluable lesson I have learned is that life is moving quickly and sometimes we all need to slow down. Recognizing the need to slow down is crucial. Learning how to is the hard part.” Niamh explains. Continue reading

The Hunt Museum Gala Fundraising Dinner with Private Preview of The Hunt’s Summer Exhibition

I’m involved behind the scenes for The Hunt Museum Gala Black Tie Dinner on Thursday June 1st 2017 in association with The Savoy Hotel. If you would like to join us at the event please get in touch! Below are more details and photos from the launch…

On the evening of June 1st, a Private Preview of ‘Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry: Contrasting Visions of Ireland’ exhibition with drinks reception will take place at The Hunt Museum from 6pm, followed by The Hunt Museum Gala Dinner at The Savoy Hotel from 7.30pm.

The hotel will present a sumptuous six-course menu of seasonal and local delights, and the evening includes an auction and other surprises. Tickets per person cost €150 for the Gala Dinner, and €250 for Gala Dinner plus Private Preview of the exhibition. Proceeds raised will go to The Hunt Museum Education and Community Engagement Programmes. Continue reading

Summer at The Hunt Museum – Contrasting Visions of Ireland: Jack B. Yeats & Paul Henry

I’m thrilled to be working with The Hunt Museum on their summer exhibition which we launched today. Here’s the press release with images from the launch and a short video which tells you all about it (you may spot my little Ollie in there!)

Dom Mark Patrick Hederman of Glenstal Abbey, was guest speaker at The Hunt Museum to announce details of an exciting exhibition taking place over the summer months: Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry: Contrasting Visions of Ireland.

This unique exhibition features two of Ireland’s most important 20th century artists side by side. Featuring rarely seen paintings borrowed from mostly private collections, this unique event will encourage visitors to see Ireland through the eyes of two very different artists working before, during and after the establishment of the Irish Free State.

Billed to be a show of both national and international significance, the exhibition will feature 50 works, many of which are normally unavailable for public viewing, and brings together a collection drawn from private and public collections including works from the European Investment Bank Collection in Luxembourg.

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Exhibition celebrating designer John McNamara

Limerick’s John McNamara to be remembered in an exhibition and student design award

john mc namara designs from the mid 90s

An exhibition to celebrate some of the outstanding fashion creations of the late Limerick fashion designer John Mc Namara will take place at the Hunt Museum for three weeks commencing Thursday, April 6 running until Sunday, April 30.

From South Circular Road in Limerick, John graduated in fashion from the Grafton Academy Dublin and Kingston University London and was regarded as one of Ireland’s most talented designers with an eye for glamour and tailoring. John worked with fashion supremo Ib Jorgenson in Dublin for many years, and then returned to his native Limerick where he set up his own workshop. His many clients included President Mary Robinson who commissioned John to design one of her inauguration outfits. John passed away in 2015 after a short illness while only in his late fifties. Continue reading

Elizabeth Emery’s ‘Sugar Rush’ graduate collection

Having returned to college in her 30s, Limerick designer Elizabeth Emery from Lord Edward Street last month exhibited as part of the Limerick School of Art & Design Graduate Fashion Show.

Last year she interned with label Vivalelisa in Berlin with the college’s renowned internship programme as part of the fashion degree’s third year. Elizabeth, now ready for the next chapter in her fashion journey, told me about her graduate collection…

Elizabeth Emery graduate fashion collection

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