Fashion Future

FASHION: The future players in the Irish fashion industry set out their stall

FASHION:The future players in the Irish fashion industry set out their stall

‘THEIR GOAL is to get into the right company, get the right experience and become players in the industry,” says National College of Art Design fashion lecturer Linda Byrne, whose 10 student graduates stage their fashion show next Saturday, May 29th, in Trinity College Dublin.

This season’s flock of fledgling designers, whose work is shown here, is, according to Byrne, “very creative and pushing boundaries. They are influenced by artists rather than fashion trends and experimenting with different materials.”

Already this year, members of this stellar cast, Síle Ó Shea and Emmy Slattery, have taken the Nokia and Persil prizes and two others, Amanda Grogan and Charlotte Gallagher, are entrants in the international €10,000 Mittelmoda fashion competition in September.


Their experiments with form and fabric explore ideas of modern femininity in individual ways as all bar one, Julia Doherty, are producing womenswear collections. Doherty’s Disconnected Continuity collection is inventive and minutely detailed in finish. One jacket consists of 45 pattern pieces.

Síle Ó Shea, who won the Persil award, handles print in an exciting way in a collection inspired by the cult 1975 documentary film Grey Gardens. Vraja Lila explores the idea of two identities colliding through fabric. Shelly Voom brings a modern eye to historical dress, drawing ideas of decaying elegance from her own family history and memorabilia, while Alan Taylor's collection is all about alternative constructions and new ways of pattern cutting. His internship with Alexander McQueen was a huge influence. "I learned more in the first two weeks there than in the first two years of college," he says.

The idea of bracing and bandaging, of restriction and flexibility, is the focus of Charlotte Gallagher’s extraordinary collection, made with flesh-coloured plastic and power netting, while Averil Blakely’s smoky latex and leather tonal shapes have details borrowed from menswear. “I wanted it to look dark and romantic with a bit of grit,” she says.

Olivia Ní Mhoildhia decorates mesh and leather blouson jackets with steel brooches fashioned from Meccano pieces, while Emmy Slattery’s intricate macramé techniques, yellow pigskin dress and oversize PVC T-shirt dresses conform to her ideas of taking fabric “and making it my own. I always like to make things difficult for me.”

Tickets, €25 for the 3pm afternoon show and €35 for the 8pm show, can be booked by emailing, or tel: 01-6364251