Our History in Images
As we have come full circle this season, with the return of our dungarees following several requests, we thought you might like to see our journey so far. A lot of these images are from a pre-digital age, when we warmed polaroids under our arms on photoshoots so our photographer of many seasons, Padraic Deasy could check that the lighting was right.
This was a time when a photographer had to get it right in the camera, without the aid of photoshop! Those were fun days! You can see from these shots, that Padraic is a true master of his craft!
This was the earliest collection that we shot, it was our 3rd season. In the beginning, there was a lot of crochet & lace motifs in the collection. My mum taught me how to crochet, she is the queen of the “yarn bombers” in her town ( but that is another story!). The fabrics were all silks & linens. I used to hitch a lift to a linen factory in Downings in Donegal (oops!!…..my kids are going to see this!!!!), with a friend of mine & spend hours rummaging through rolls of fabric. Unfortunately, that factory like many others has since closed.
Silks & lace are still a big part of the collection, but by now, I had discovered a stock house in London with fabrics to die for, beautiful drapey viscoses & I am in heaven…..It is this look that captured RTE’s imagination for Eimear Quinn’s dress for her winning Eurovision entry “The Voice” in 1996. When I heard the song for the first time, the hair stood on the back of my neck, I knew immediately what the dress should look like.
Some of your will recognise these gorgeous girls, none of whom are professional models. They were such fun on this shoot, look how incredible they are!
The love of drapey fabrics continues & at the fabric show in Paris, I have discovered lots of gorgeous hardware in the form of buckles & bell ends, which I think are really supposed to be accessories for belts & handbags!? These hardware items are now one of the signatures of our collection. Our work inspired pinnies & dungarees were also becoming the pieces that we are best known for.
While linens, viscoses & silks are still our choice fabrics for Summer, following our AW2000 collection of all jerseys, for which we were awarded “The Designer of The Year”, by the Institute of Designers in Ireland, jerseys become a more significant part of our collection.
By now, we have developed quite a layered style. Feedback from our customers is that they love the comfort & the freedom of items that they can layer without bulk. This was to become our signature for many seasons.
Up until now, collections had been mostly in neutral colours, but after a season of experimenting with dying our own fabrics (which destroyed 2 washing machines!), our customers were hooked on colour! Around this time we had lots of fun experimenting with new laces & trims, mixing colours in a way that customers couldn’t get enough of. We even had a shoe distributor who would come to us before ordering to make sure that they were matching our colours. It was a bit crazy really, but our lovely customers happily embraced everything that was different…
If our customer wanted colour, they got colour!! But, there was always neutrals there as well for those who didn’t want to stand out too much from the crowd.
Prints have started sneaking their way into the collection! As always we like to test the waters first but over the coming years, they become a bigger part of the collection.
The first time we did tulle was experimental. There are still tulle pieces in the collection 5 years later. They transform a very basic piece which can be worn during the day, into something that can be worn for the dressiest of occasions. They can also be “cool” depending on how you wear and style them. Everybody should break out & have 1 tulle piece in their wardrobe to be creative with!
Ok, I will admit it!….This was a collection for me…..I just did what I wanted to wear myself….I think you can see the attitude written all over it :+)
There are pieces from this collection that I am still wearing today.
I loved the feel of this collection & this shoot by German Collins, it was romantic & dreamy. Knitwear and tulle were mixed with everyday jerseys, with the drama all in the hair & the jewellery. Sometimes people ask us why we do hair like this for shoots….obviously we wouldn’t suggest people wear their hair like this every day, but we have to give in to the fantasy sometimes !
This was one of the first collections that I shot myself. With a crew of professionals, my nerves were in bits, trying to look like I knew what I was doing….any minute they were going to realise I was a fake!!!! Yikes!!!
And here we are today, we have moved things on again, paring back our layers for those who like a simpler look and going shorter with our lengths. The layering pieces are still there, they are just taking a little backseat in favour of simplicity and creating hard working timeless pieces for our customers’ ever increasingly busy lifestyle. Everything in the collection works with several other pieces, relating back to previous season’s pieces too, to create value in wardrobe building, timeless pieces that you will wear for many years.
We shot this lookbook in our shop in Dublin. We planned to close for the few hours, but with a lot of interested onlookers, we kept the door open and had a bit of a laugh while we were doing it…..You don’t have to be mad to work on our team…..but it sure helps!!!