While at the NCAD Graduate Show a couple of weeks ago, I wandered into the room housing the fashion graduate collections, spotted Charlotte Gallagher’s work and fell in love. Although the overall standard of work was really high and the exhibit contained some gorgeous pieces, Charlotte’s collection was by far the standout for me. Plastic panels, Powernet, exaggerated shapes and a nude colour palette equals sartorial nirvana as far as I’m concerned.
Charlotte explains the inspiration behind the collection:
“My collection is based on medical research, old medical equipment, support braces, bandages and body stitches. The bandages help give a figure-hugging silhouette while the back and neck braces give shape and structure. The stitches are decorative with some purpose throughout the collection. I have chosen soft, nude, peachy shades in combination with different tones of warm greys. The different weights of plastic in cappuccino and soft pink provide the silhouette, showing structure and support. Powernet and cotton achieve a bandage effect and allow for hinging and movement.”
I met up with Charlotte last week to find out more about her work. She is originally from Manchester but moved to Sligo with her family about ten years ago. Fashion has always been an interest from a very young age; one of her favourite toys when she was a child was her tiny toy ironing board and iron! As she got older she wanted to be an artist, then an interior designer, before eventually settling on fashion design. Her influences include Giles Deacon, Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo. I also see a little bit of Thierry Mugler in there too, certainly in the shapes Charlotte uses and the way she treats the female form. When asked about her ideal customer, Charlotte cites Kelly Osbourne and Katy Perry as two women she’d love to see wearing her clothes.
I adore the juxtaposition of the edgy and very feminine aspects of Charlotte’s work and am excited to see what she produces in future years. A move to London is on the cards for her in September and I hope it’s the start of great things to come.