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

Victory for the hardworking Greene team

Local salon in national spotlight at Fantastic Hairdresser Awards

Killaloe’s The Greene Room won first prize of ‘Fantastic Marketing Award’ and director Shaun Moriarty won second for ‘Fantastic Stylist Award’ at the Alfaparf Milano Fantastic Hairdresser Awards 2018 at the RDS. The event is hosted by Brendan Courtney with 1200 from the industry in attendance and ten awards given for creativity and commercial acumen.

Speaking after the Awards, stylist Shaun said he was “absolutely thrilled to have been recognised by his peers and the judging panel. We are looking forward to showcasing our work as we open our second salon in Nenagh in the coming weeks.” Continue reading

Winning green bang on trend for autumn

It’s not just Limerick fans opting for green in the new fashion season!

With most of Limerick donning our county colours in one form or another this week, I took a look at some of the international collections for the new season to see who else is flying the green flag for Autumn/Winter 2018-2019. 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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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

Nursing moms’ wardrobe dilemmas

With a few adjustments, it is possible to have a stylish wardrobe while breastfeeding…

While pregnancy can be a challenging time for your wardrobe, at least there are lots of options out there to choose from. From loose fitting and flowing garments to stretchy pieces showing off your baby bump, there is a world of stylish choices for all budgets. Breastfeeding, on the other hand, is a different matter. Access is the main focus here, and there are lots of cleverly designed tops available in nursing ranges allowing discreet access without too much fuss. While these ranges get top marks for function, they can often be lacking however, when it comes to feeling some bit stylish on a day to day basis.

breastfeeding-clothes

Baby will need access on demand so the last thing you need is high closed necklines, long items to lift right up, or too many layers to get through. Casual wear like T-shirt style tops, hoodies and button-down-shoulder knit sweaters are generally what’s available and this could be your prescribed wardrobe for at least baby’s first six months unless you get creative and come up with a few other options. 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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Mitchell’s extraordinary knits – Caroline Mitchell knitwear designer

Caroline Mitchell knitwear designer is one of the finalists in the 2016 Irish Fashion Innovation Awards.

caroline mitchell knitwear

“I’m from Limerick and a fashion graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design. I fell into a job designing mens’ knitwear after college and got hooked. I started my own knitwear label in 1996 and, after several years of wholesaling to shops like Carraig Donn/Kilkenny Shop and independant boutiques, I decided to change it all and go more upmarket. Continue reading

The wrap skirt for Spring 2016

It might not feel like Spring (thanks to Storm Imogen) but we’re ready to welcome the new fashion season regardless. We’ll just have to add a few extra layers…

examples of the new wrap skirt for Spring 2016

If the weather wasn’t as brutal at the moment, we might be able to enjoy some of the new Spring season skirt styles a bit more – but we’ll improvise and get on with it. We’re used to it!
The new comfy looking wrap skirt coming off the catwalks is great for a more casual skirt (looser than a traditional pencil style) but still very feminine with a leg revealing front slit as high or low as you prefer. Continue reading