Oscars red carpet: Will Irish movie stars put Irish designers in the spotlight?

‘We have the talent in Ireland that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best designers in the world’

Before even setting foot on the red carpet for the 95th Academy Awards this Sunday in LA, the Irish will have made their presence known with a record-breaking 14 nominations. And while Irish film talent is well represented, will domestic design be widely displayed?

Red carpet dressing has become a big business, with large brands often dominating and endorsements made with celebrities or their stylists dictating who wears what. But sharing that spotlight with the big design houses are home-grown designers dressing the cast and crew of nominated films, including An Cailín Ciúin and An Irish Goodbye.

Sara O’Neill of Éadach is accessorising Seamus O’Hara, who plays Turlough in The Irish Goodbye, a dark comedy set on a farm in Northern Ireland which tells the story of two estranged brothers.

O’Neill, from Portrush, Co Antrim, will also dress casting director Mary-Ellen O’Hara, O’Hara’s wife, and his talent agent Shelley Lowry.


Éadach features O’Neills’ hand-drawn illustrations printed on silk, on items such as scarves, dresses, and kimonos.

“Working with these three on pieces for the Oscars and Baftas has been an absolute dream, we’re all very much on the same page so it’s been a very relaxed process and great craic,” O’Neill says.

“They’ll be wearing brand new pieces in the Children of Lir and Róisín Dubh prints for the Oscars, inspired by Irish mythology, history and the landscape.

“The stories of here have travelled the world for generations so it’s class to see Irish stories represented [with] storytelling through film and fashion.”

Meanwhile, designer Caterina Coyne, who is based in LA and known for her feminine and delicate designs, is crafting gowns for young actress Catherine Clinch, star of An Cailín Ciúin, and the film’s producer Cleona Ní Chrualaoí.

“I have always believed that we have the talent in Ireland that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best designers in the world, and this year at the Oscars you will see that. I feel it’s essential for people with a platform to support home-grown talent if they can,” says Coyne.

Speaking about why some talents do not choose Irish designs, Dublin-based designer Deborah Veale says: “It’s not necessarily a deliberate thing, it’s a small pool and they may not be aware of Irish design. It’s unfortunate, but everyone has the right to choose to wear what they want to wear.”

Carrie Crowley, who plays Eibhlín Cinnsealach in An Cailín Ciúin, has selected a dress by Veale to wear to the Oscars, after wearing her dresses to the New York premiere of the film and the Baftas.

“With Carrie and I, it’s been a very personal process, we’ve had a great flow, and I feel very honoured that she has trusted me in this journey. It’s lifted the whole design studio, we’ve challenged ourselves. I’ve such great admiration for my team, it’s a great opportunity,” says Veale.

But what about other Irish nominees who star in The Banshees of Inisherin or Aftersun? Will they pay homage to their homeland with their outfits? For previous Irish nominees, high-end international brands have tended to trump independent designers when it comes to awards nights.

Saoirse Ronan opted for Gucci in 2020 and Calvin Klein in 2016, nodding to her roots with a glistening green gown by the American designer. At the time, Ronan told the entertainment channel E! that she “wanted to wear emerald green to represent Ireland”.

Irish designer Caterina Coyne, who is based in LA and known for her feminine and delicate designs

For 2022′s ceremony, Jessie Buckley wore a pale pink dress by British designer Erdem, and Ruth Negga donned a red lace couture dress by Valentino in 2017.

“Anyone going to an event like the Academy Awards will have designers and design houses from all over the world offering them something to wear so to choose an Irish designer is not only a huge honour, but it’s more than that; it has a knock effect that far exceeds the event itself,” says Coyne.

In the Oscars red carpet run-up, Paul Mescal, star of Aftersun, has represented his home country by sporting modern tailored designs by Simone Rocha at the London Critics Circle and the SAG awards.

It’s a fresh foray into men’s wear for Simone Rocha, having shown her second men’s wear collection at London Fashion Week in February and with Mescal wearing it, it is a massive PR win.

Keeping his looks contemporary but with an off-kilter element, Mescal is defining his signature style, suit by suit. His red carpet looks feature embellishments, cropped silhouettes or exaggerated lapels.

Mescal’s stylist Felicity Kay describes his style as subtly subverted, summarising it further to British Vogue as: “A little rough around the edges, tactile, and contemporary.”

As well as Rocha, Gucci has been a consistent brand in Mescal’s suit roster. Last week, he wore an oversized blue blazer and a wide-leg trouser combo from Gucci for the Independent Spirit Awards. The Italian fashion house is his suit brand of choice for the Oscars.

With a penchant for a statement suit, Barry Keoghan, nominated for his role in The Banshees of Inisherin, has stuck strictly to high-fashion houses for his red carpet looks, alternating between Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton. Embracing colour, playing with neckties and opting for interesting details, Keoghan proves when it comes to men’s red carpet dressing, there’s no need to play it safe.

Monochromatic and tonal suiting has become a Keoghan signature this awards season, with every detail considered, even co-ordinating his timepiece to his tailoring. Keoghan scooped a Bafta in a scarlet suit by Alexander McQueen, complete with a red-strapped watch by Omega. No doubt he will bring an element of risk-taking, stylish swagger with his Oscar look on Sunday.

Throughout awards season, Keoghan’s fellow The Banshees of Inisherin actor Kerry Condon has chosen minimal styles, leaning more classic with her choices, far removed from the colourful, printed costumes of her character Siobhán in the film.

Speaking to Harpers Bazaar about her red carpet style, Condon said she’s an admirer of 90s and early 2000s style, adding: “I prefer a more muted look that feels classic.” Working with stylist Emma Jade Morrison, her dress choices are timeless.

Carving out her go-to red carpet look, Condon has been favouring a simple silhouette with a pared-back palette crafted by a big brand name. For her Baftas win, she wore a sleek column-style blush pink dress subtly encrusted with crystals from Giorgio Armani Privé. At the Screen Actors Guild Awards, it was a black embellished Louis Vuitton custom gown, and for the Golden Globes, she skipped the embellishment, opting for an off-the-shoulder black dress by Brandon Maxwell.

Like Keoghan and Mescal, Condon’s signature style has now been set. Will they all stick to their fashion formulas for the Oscars on Sunday?