Style is often passed down between generations. If we’re lucky, confidence, self-expression and a keen sense of individuality gets passed down along with the fashion tips. To mark Mother’s Day weekend, we talked to five stylish mother-and-daughter duos to discover how the style lessons learnt from each other are as much emotional as practical, and how they ultimately transcend fashion.
Actress Elaine Cassidy and her daughter Kíla Lord Cassidy, actress. They are both nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the IFTAs for their roles in Netflix’s film The Wonder.
“My style is sleek and straightforward, but there’s always time and space for colour and sparkles. I play dress up every day when I’m working, so it’s nice to chill in my downtime unless I haven’t dressed up for a while, and then I’ll make an effort. When it comes to Kíla’s style, it’s conscientious, practical and similar to mine. From high-end, Helen Cody bespoke dress to my scruffy hand-me-downs, she can wear anything. I pass clothes on to Kíla, and it’s warming to see her giving new life to them as we are environmentally conscious. One of my favourite outfits that Kila has worn was a pink heart dress by Irish designer Caoimhe Murphy, it was Kíla’s first red carpet moment, and it was as if she blossomed for the first time. I love seeing her wear clothes she loves. You can tell immediately if she likes an outfit; when she does, she comes to life. The fashion advice I give Kila is just for her to enjoy expressing herself and not grow up too fast, to enjoy the now and to let her fashion reflect that.”
“I don’t have a style yet because my mum buys the clothes, but I wear different things depending on how I feel. Recently though, I have wanted to shop and acquire my own style and I think it would be whimsical, edgy and anything outside the box. I like the way my mum’s style is respectable. At home, she wears anything comfortable but looks so classy and beautiful when she makes an effort. I adored her Helen Cody white floral dress she wore at the London Film Festival. She’s naturally pretty, and the dress doesn’t wear her, but she wears the dress. She can wear absolutely everything she puts on unless it’s my clothes because I don’t like her touching them! My mum has influenced my style so much as she is the one who chooses all the things in my wardrobe for most of my life. But she gives me great style advice, which is to be environmentally conscientious, and she reminds me to only buy from sustainable shops that make the clothes ethically.”
Fashion stylist Ingrid Hoey (@ingridhoey) and her daughter Freya, a student
“Style is wearing pieces you love with conviction and confidence in your choices. Freya has an effortless way of putting an outfit together. She’s not afraid to be her own person, which I love as it can be tricky at 18. She has incredible style; she loves fashion. She’s come into her own style in the past two years. She has quite a clean aesthetic with pops of trend-led pieces and some vintage classic items. She was always the most dressed-up in Montessori and always had to match colourful necklaces and bracelets for her outfits. Let’s say she was very put-together for a three-year-old! When it comes to my style, it’s definitely evolved with age. It’s quite a classic style; I buy less now and buy pieces I genuinely love. Parisian chic is always my inspiration. We don’t give each other advice, but we always ask each other’s opinions. Freya knows what she likes. She does an excellent job herself. She definitely doesn’t need my advice.”
“At the moment, I like to try out different styles, but I mostly wear simple outfits, and I love adding statement pieces like a faux fur coat or a bright bag. My earliest memory of my mum’s style is when she brought me along to a fitting for a photo shoot for a band. I remember watching her work in awe. I thought it was the coolest job. I would say my mum likes to wear pared-back and elegant pieces. She doesn’t tend to wear loads of colour or bright patterns and has a very classical style. I admire how she can integrate trends into her style; it looks timeless and, at the same time, fresh and modern. My mum has taught me the importance of investment pieces and how they can stand the test of time. It has influenced my style in the sense I tend to think more before I buy, which often leads me not to buy very trendy items.”
Broadcaster and businesswoman Lorraine Keane and her daughter Emelia Devlin, an actress and student
“My friend, fashion designer Deborah Veale says I’m ‘forensic’ regarding fashion. I know and appreciate every cut, cloth, stitch and detail. I adore fashion. I don’t have any one particular style. It just depends on my mood or where the day is bringing me. Emelia’s style is effortless. She always looks relaxed, whether dressed up for a night out or heading out to college. She now borrows much of my wardrobe, so we have a similar style. I love it. I love sharing my wardrobe; I always have. It’s nice to buy something knowing it will get lots of wear from many people. She is very cool and sophisticated, which is a unique combination. I love that she is always comfortable in her own skin. She knows instinctively never to follow trends for trend’s sake. She has fun with fashion as I do and knows what suits her. Emelia is only 19, so her style will change and evolve. I have been there, worn that and probably worn it again. I’m at the stage where I regularly tell my daughters, ‘I remember when I had something like that…'. And they automatically say, ‘Ah, why didn’t you keep it?’ I’ve always loved second-hand. Nothing is nicer than finding a designer piece for a bargain, knowing no one else will have the same thing. Emelia is the same. Her generation is much better for being aware of the environment and the damage caused by fast fashion.”
“Style is whatever you feel comfortable and confident in wearing. Whatever makes you feel good. Like Mum, my style is always changing and adapting to the current trends, but I still like to put my own spin on it. My mum’s style is so versatile. She’s always so effortlessly classy but cool too. Her wide range of styles is also convenient, as I’ve started borrowing lots of her clothes. I think our style is becoming more and more similar as I get older, but she trumps me on the shoes and accessories. I usually stick to neutrals when it comes to bags and shoes; Mum, on the other hand, would be in velvet hot pink stiletto boots on your average Tuesday. Mum has recently passed down what she calls her ‘Xposé wardrobe’, which you can only imagine is full of the most incredible glitz and glamour. I still can’t believe my luck; I’m so glad she didn’t give them all to Fashion Relief. Mum has always stressed the importance of a capsule wardrobe. It’s so important to have good quality basics; that way, you’ll never be stuck when you think you have ‘nothing to wear’.”
Finance Administer Temi Animashaun and her daughter Zeda, a fashion editor and creative director
“I always try to make my style choices contemporary and elegant. I like to combine colours, and I like exciting colours, but not too shouty. My style choices reflect my personality and values. My mum used to say, ‘It is the way that one is dressed that one is addressed.’ Zeda’s style is cool, elevated, and always unique. Honestly, I consider my daughter a fashion icon. She makes bold statements in her style. She has always had this unique way of spotting ideas that will start to trend. However, like most young people that grew up in Ireland, she has no qualms about dressing up in an all-black outfit. I always have a problem with that. I grew up in Nigeria, and probably because of the sunny environment, I’ve always believed that one should always add a bit of colour to your outfit. However, in the last few years, Zeda has gradually added colours to her outfit, which makes me so glad. I remember when she was around eight when I returned from a party, and I left my shoes, headwear and glasses in a corner. When I woke up, she dressed up in my accessories. I stood in a corner, watching her instructing her brothers to take pictures of her while in different poses. I thought to myself; this one will be a fashionista.”
“My idea of style is being able to show some of all of your essence through your expression of fashion. It’s being able to say who you are without saying a word. My style is eccentric, maximalist, off-kilter and most importantly, all mine. At the same time, my mum’s style is classic with a twist of tradition. She can put together such beautiful combinations, all while staying true to herself and her Nigerian heritage. Our style differs as I enjoy looking ridiculous sometimes, while she prefers the more put-together classic vibe, but we both share a love of colour. I admire that she’s willing to funk it up always, she doesn’t follow any rule book of age, and she’ll try some trainers with a dress or a leather jacket, and I love it. Whenever my mum goes to a traditional or cultural party, all her dresses or outfits are custom-made, and I’m just so excited to see what combinations she has come up with. It’s always so cool and unique. I’d say my mum’s style has influenced me in the sense that I love trying more cultural and traditional Nigerian outfits on certain occasions plus, I love how she makes custom pieces. I think my mum would like me to wear more normal clothes, I’m a huge risk taker. My mum encouraged me to wear more colour, I stopped wearing colour for a few years while I went through some personal things, and since returning to colour, the dopamine hit has been great”
Former buyer and owner of Macbees Mary McBride and her daughter Aoife McBride, the current Macbees buyer
“Both personally and for work, I thoroughly admire the exceptional attention to detail, thought and individuality Aoife puts into every piece. She has an eye for fashion that is often ahead of its time and is now cleverly incorporating that into her buying choice for Macbees. She has come on buying trips with me since she was 10-years-old and has always been able to look at a range and instinctively judge its quality. She also, from a very early age, always knew exactly how she wanted to dress. She loved raiding my accessories collection. We have a photograph of her glamorously wearing a silver sequin, Studio 54-inspired skull cap of mine, and she still has the matching silver metallic belt, which her little daughter now uses for dressing up. Her style, now, is dramatically classical, with a fabulous sense of colour, an original and imaginative combination of tailored and knitted pieces with unusual jewellery and standout shoes. I would have had a similar style to Aoife when I was in my 20s and 30s, but the years have calmed my choices. It’s more understated classical: comfort, quality, fit, unstructured, natural fabrics, and mainly neutral colours. It’s changed from being trend-inspired to being more about my lifestyle.”
“Mum’s style is chic, timeless and elegant. She always pays particular attention to the cut, quality of fabric and authenticity of the design. I admire her poise, elegance and calm, and I inherited none of these. I would describe my style as ‘psychedelic granny’. I usually mash together vibrant colours and print and maximise on accessories. Our styles differ massively, but we value quality, craftsmanship and design above all else. I’ve learned an appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into creating beautiful clothes from my mum. We are fifth-generation drapers and I count myself very lucky to have grown up surrounded by people who understand and appreciate quality and design. When out buying, I am always so proud to hear how massively respected my mother is within the industry, and I am so lucky to have inherited this association.”