Stephanie Grace Foy is an Irish designer whose work I came across quite recently and was instantly captivated by.
I was in Bow in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre last week having a look around. My eye was drawn to several pieces dotted around the shop and when I looked at the label they were all by Irish designer Emma Manley. I emailed Emma to see if I could have her lookbook and she kindly obliged.
Emma launched her own label, Manley, in 2010 after working at one of my favourite labels, VPL, and at Alexander McQueen including McQueen’s final collection. The pieces from the Manley SS2011 collection I saw were sportswear influenced separates with some edgy detailing and in feminine colours such as pale blue and sea green. I particularly loved the studded sweater in the first picture.
Go into Bow and check out Emma’s stuff. It’s really well priced, very well made and the separates would integrate well into most women’s wardrobes.
I have been a huge fan of Una Burke’s work for a long time. The London based Irish born designer has been causing a stir in the fashion community recently with her intricate sculptural leather designs. Una’s work has been featured in Vogue Italia, The Guardian, Above Magazine and Wallpaper. She is also an award winner – London College of Fashion ‘Off-Catwalk Award’ for Best Design 2009 and Crafts Council of Ireland ‘Future Maker Student Award’ 2009 are just two of the recent accolades she has garnered. Her designs can be also seen adorning Daphne Guinness in the Nars AW 2010 campaign.
Una describes her work as “wearable art” which I think articulates her vision perfectly. Below are some images from her SS 2011 collection. Think Joan of Arc meets gothic couture. I love the collection and am particularly obsessed with the pale calfskin bodice in the first picture and the hunchback jacket in the last image.
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.