An Interview with Roseanne Mc Namee

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How did you begin your interest in design?
I always had an interest in fashion, my nana would have made clothes for us in the past and I suppose I knew from then I had an interest in Fashion. I started out in Galway Technical Institute for two years studying fashion design and graduated from St Angela’s College in Sligo studying BA in Fashion Design, Textiles with business management.
What’s your practice like? Do you work from a studio or are you based at home?
I am based at home, I work full time in Retail and I do my fashion part time. Hopefully one day my career in fashion will be a full time job.
What artists/designers have inspired you over time?
I absolutely love Ashi Studios the designs are very structured but elegant and this is an interest I have also. Another designer I’m in awe of is Balmain he is amazing I love his beading and his placements on garments and especially the fabrics he uses.
Tell us about the last collection you created and the inspiration behind it? 
My latest collection is based on the Aran Island’s on inish mor. The concept came from the natural habitat and surroundings of the Island. My colour story is very rich deep tones combined with soft colours that reflect the true beauty of the island.
What materials are you most drawn to working with?
I love working with leather and suede although they can be tricky to get used too. I like to work with other materials such as chiffon and organza to have simplicity and flow. Knitwear is also a favourite of mine.
What are your next steps with your brand?
I’m looking to expand my business and open my own store in the future.
What connections do you have to other designers and how do you feel about collaboration?
I think its great to learn new techniques of other designers and it’s a great way of getting to know the designers network. I am working on establishing my own brand at the moment and that’s my main interest and ambition.
If you could only choose one piece of design, what would it be?
If it had to be one piece I think it would have to be the fur top and leather blue skirt.

Roseanne is one of the featured designers in the Galway Designers S/S Fashion Showcase ’18

You can find more of her work on Facebook and  Instagram .

First Show starts @ 5.30pm
Doors open 5pm
Interval @ 6.15pm – TheDirty Circus Performance
Second Show @ 6.45pm

There will be a Pop-Up Prosecco Bar provided for your refreshment

After the show, you are invited to join the ‘Afterparty’ for some cocktails above in the Tribeton Bar.

Tickets are €12 and can be purchased from Tribeton or from the Galway Designers Studio House, located in the Cornstore Mall.

They can also be purchased on the door for €15
Limited standing tickets available on the door for €7

Tickets get you a seat with goodie bag and 20% discount off any Tribeton food purchases

Limited Tickets Available!

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An Interview with Ann Petrov

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Photograph by  Kasia Ratajczak in association with Ros Model Management.

How did you begin your interest in design?

I have always loved designing, when I was young i made clothes for my barbies and other dolls. That was only time I was actually playing with them. When I got older I figured that I didn’t like clothes what were in shops and tried to make my own clothes out of my mum’s or sisters old clothes. So it has been always there. My love to knit and crochet has just well blended into it.

What’s your practice like? Do you work from a studio or are you based at home?

Great thing about knit and crochet is that I can take it EVERYWHERE! But I am yarn hoarder by shame. I have a studio at home full of wool/yarn.

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What artists/designers have inspired you over time?

I love pops of colour, and many high end designers, eg. Vivienne Westwood, have inspired me and I would have followed their work. Lately I find hard to get inspirations from catwalks. I really enjoyed Versace and Chanel’s new AW18/19 collection and it has made me excited for next season. It hasn’t happened for long time.

Tell us about the last collection you created and the inspiration behind it?

I wanted to use pink and grey contrast and be dearing. Also move away from accessories and do more clothing. I love pink roses or any flowers, I use them in my house and against grey background. So Feminine delicate soul with the strong mind would be the idea behind it.

Tell us about your process and how you take an idea and transform it into a finished piece?

I pick colours first then details and then work my way around it. Lot of the times I let wool to take me places, “wondering hook” so called. I try to sketch down if I have idea and have mood boards handy to stay in track.

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What materials are you most drawn to working with?

Natural fibres like cotton, merino, alpaca etc etc. Silk, casmere and viscous has really come now my attention as well, specially when they have been blended in with one of the main wool produce.

What are your next steps with your brand?

AW18/19! Absolutely smitten about it!

What connections do you have to other designers and how do you feel about collaboration?

I love working with other designers and pass on my knowledge or take on theirs when
needed. I don’t see myself as competiton nor do I see them to be mine. Instead I like to consider us as bid strong creative family where we support each other and encourage each other to look and reach bigger.

If you could only choose one piece of design, what would it be?

Probably my gold top what am I going to wear on the event! Its casmere and merino mix,
there is movement and I absolutely love that colour!

Tell us a funny story/highlight from your career?

I think it must be how I met Gayle, My Wifey and business partner. We knew each other for quite a while but never really made effort to meet. One failed market together with kids in tow and next thing we were organising fashion show! We have had rows but she is the rock who gets me up and keeps me going when I want to throw in the towel. I dont think I would have done all of it without her!

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Ann Petrov is one of the featured designers in the Galway Designers S/S Fashion Showcase ’18

First Show starts @ 5.30pm
Doors open 5pm
Interval @ 6.15pm – TheDirty Circus Performance
Second Show @ 6.45pm

There will be a Pop-Up Prosecco Bar provided for your refreshment

After the show, you are invited to join the ‘Afterparty’ for some cocktails above in the Tribeton Bar.

Tickets are €12 and can be purchased from Tribeton or from the Galway Designers Studio House, located in the Cornstore Mall.

They can also be purchased on the door for €15
Limited standing tickets available on the door for €7

Tickets get you a seat with goodie bag and 20% discount off any Tribeton food purchases

Limited Tickets Available!

An Interview with Irene Curran

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How did you begin your interest in design?

My designs are all vintage inspired, my love of vintage goes back to childhood.

What’s your practice like? Do you work from a studio or are you based at home?

I work from home, which is great as I have a three year old toddler who loves ribbons and feathers almost as much as I do

What artists and designers have inspired you over time?

I’m very inspired by historic milliners, such asCaroline Reboux who invented the cloche hat. I also adore the sophistication of vintage coco Chanel.

Tell us about the last collection you created and the inspiration behind it?

My recent work is mostly inspired by the 1930s with lots of turbans and heavy embellishments.

Tell us about your process and how you take an idea and transform it into a finished piece?

I work in a very free flowing and organic way, letting the material shine as much as possible.

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What materials are you most drawn to working with?

I love natural materials like wool felt and silks.

What connections do you have to other designers and how do you feel about collaboration?

 

I love working with other designers, most frequently I work with kinsale based Charlotte and Jane and Limerick based Caroline Mitchell. I love coming up with a hat to finish an outfit

If you could only choose one piece of design, what would it be?

Hans J. Wegner wishbone chair.

 

You can find more of Irene’s work on her website, facebook or instagram.

Irene Curran is one of the featured designers in the Galway Designers S/S Fashion Showcase ’18

First Show starts @ 5.30pm
Doors open 5pm
Interval @ 6.15pm – TheDirty Circus Performance
Second Show @ 6.45pm

There will be a Pop-Up Prosecco Bar provided for your refreshment

After the show, you are invited to join the ‘Afterparty’ for some cocktails above in the Tribeton Bar.

Tickets are €12 and can be purchased from Tribeton or from the Galway Designers Studio House, located in the Cornstore Mall.

They can also be purchased on the door for €15
Limited standing tickets available on the door for €7

Tickets get you a seat with goodie bag and 20% discount off any Tribeton food purchases

Limited Tickets Available!

An Interview with Marie Goggins

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How did you begin your interest in design?

I’ve always had an interest in design, and I had an opportunity a couple of years ago to explore my interest in fashion. I did a few dressmaking  courses in Dublin, hosted by Roisin Cross Silks (RCS) that were taught by some of Ireland’s leading designers for Wedding Dresses. Some of my classmates designed knitwear and handbags. One of the attendees recommended Lina Stein’s international Millinery School located on the doorstep of Westport. I contacted Lina and everything took off  from there.

What’s your practice like? Do you work from a studio or are you based at home?

I am based at home and was fortunate to be turn my hobby room into a more dedicated and focused workspace.

What artists/designers have inspired you over time?

Inspiration comes from the nature around me, catwalk trends, historic fashion plates and classic movies 1930’s-1950’s. Classic designers such as Givenchy, YSL are a great source for generating new ideas. Exploring the RCS fabric showrooms is great firming up ideas on colour and fabric choices. Judith is great on suggesting colour combinations.

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Tell us about your process and how you take an idea and transform it into a finished piece?

I tend to play around a little with an idea, decide how it will be attached, test materials on a shape, prepare base or frame, constantly checking the emerging piece in the mirror until it is fully finished. I am a big fan of having pieces fully hand stitched, it would be extremely rare for me to use glue instead of hand stitching.

What materials are you most drawn to working with?

I work with sinamay, buckram, felt, sisal, tressa braids, esparterie, leather, thermoplastics to develop the foundation shape. I love working with silk, the finish is truly sumptuous. In addition to freeform pieces I enjoy working with blocks. I recently started collaborating with Colman of C G Hat blocks (facebook.com/C-G-Hat-Blocks) in Co. Galway on some bespoke  new and exciting fascinator and hat shapes.

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Marie is one of the featured designers in the Galway Designers S/S Fashion Showcase ’18.

First Show starts @ 5.30pm
Doors open 5pm
Interval @ 6.15pm – TheDirty Circus Performance
Second Show @ 6.45pm

There will be a Pop-Up Prosecco Bar provided for your refreshment

After the show, you are invited to join the ‘Afterparty’ for some cocktails above in the Tribeton Bar.

Tickets are €12 and can be purchased from Tribeton or from the Galway Designers Studio House, located in the Cornstore Mall.

They can also be purchased on the door for €15
Limited standing tickets available on the door for €7

Tickets get you a seat with goodie bag and 20% discount off any Tribeton food purchases

 

Limited Tickets Available!

An Interview with Frances McGonigle

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How did you begin your interest in design?
My interest in design began when I was in craft school. When I finished at the school I started making very elongated feature mirrors inspired by 1920s rectilinear designs. These looked like metal but were actually made from recycled cardboard. I worked on these pieces alongside interior designers, shops and at one stage a set designer, until I packed it in to go to art college to do a degree in painting.
What’s your practice like? Do you work from a studio or are you based at home?
My studio is at my home in the Ox Mountains, County Mayo. These are pre-ice age low mountains, and they are fantastic to get lost in on a painting expedition. Or any kind of an expedition, for that matter. It’s a beautiful place to be.
What artists/designers have inspired you over time?
Designers/Artists? I love love glam and punk looks- I love Pam Hogg’s work for example. One the other end of the scale, Edith Head is a top favourite of mine – the clothes she designed for film are swoon-worthy. I’m drawn to geometric, stepped designs from Art Deco. It all goes in the mix. I won’t go there with painters – I’d be here all day!
Tell us about your process and how you take an idea and transform it into a finished piece?
My process always starts with sketches. I usually then surface pattern various textiles using batik techniques- brush, tjap, tjanting, sgraffito. Mark-making and creating a painterly look is very important to me. I love to layer these patterned textiles, creating textures along the way. Then I refer back to the shapes I’ve drawn and start to construct the pieces, one item at a time. Each jewelry piece is one-of-a-kind.
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What materials are you most drawn to working with?
I love working with any raw material that can be surface patterned. I like everyday/humble material that can be manipulated into something glamorous or luscious – I really have a lot of fun doing this.
If you could only choose one piece of design, what would it be?
My choice of one piece of design? Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair- Yes Please….Thank You! I could live on this chair, and dream, and sketch…!

 

 

Frances  is one of the featured designers in the Galway Designers S/S Fashion Showcase ’18

You can see more of her work on her website and Instagram


First Show starts @ 5.30pm
Doors open 5pm
Interval @ 6.15pm – TheDirty Circus Performance
Second Show @ 6.45pm

There will be a Pop-Up Prosecco Bar provided for your refreshment

After the show, you are invited to join the ‘Afterparty’ for some cocktails above in the Tribeton Bar.

Tickets are €12 and can be purchased from Tribeton or from the Galway Designers Studio House, located in the Cornstore Mall.

They can also be purchased on the door for €15
Limited standing tickets available on the door for €7

Tickets get you a seat with goodie bag and 20% discount off any Tribeton food purchases

Limited Tickets Available!

An Interview with Rita White

‘I have always loved drawing, making and altering clothes and generally I had a huge interest in fashion.’


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How did you begin your interest in design?

I have always loved drawing, making and altering clothes and generally I had a huge interest in fashion. My background is Nursing and Psychology but my passion is Art and Design. I did the GTI course in Fashion Design in 2007 and then went on to get an Honours Degree in Art and Design, GMIT in 2012.

What’s your practice like? Do you work from a studio or are you based at home?

 I work from home, I draw on white paper in black ink and then add colour. I then begin the design process and digitalise my designs to suit scarves.

What artists/designers have inspired you over time?

 Definitely Alexander McQueen, Prada and artists like Louise Bourgeoise and some illustrators. I like those who have their own unique styles that are unmistakably theirs.

 

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Tell us about the last collection you created and the inspiration behind it?

I draw my inspiration like most designers and artists from the world around me. I love walks on Howth Hill, Dollymount Beach and all the awesome places in Dublin and Galway. I draw from memory and my imagination. I love birds and a lot of my drawings unintentionally become birds and butterflies that then become characters with their own style, such as the birds that wear shoes. Another drawing I have is from people watching in Dublin while I was sitting having a coffee. All the different people from school kids with heavy bags to dog walkers, sensible shoes people, cool people, tired people and the dressed up girls on a day out. Some of the other drawings come about as I draw as a form of relaxation and unconsciously draw what may be on my mind in a sort of abstract way. For instance, when I was moving, I kept drawing lines and a pretty little house right in the middle of a big city.

Tell us about your process and how you take an idea and transform it into a finished piece?

 I am compelled to draw and I find it very relaxing. When I really like a drawing, I then start to add colour. I scan the hand drawing, add colour and then start to design using Illustrator or Photoshop. I then finish the design with the desired colours and juxtaposition. This part takes the longest time as I love colour and design and getting the right placement and colour to create a design I’m satisfied with takes a lot of changing and experimenting. Listening to music such as Lord Huron or Fleet Foxes at the time also helps, sounds idyllic but the focus has to be sharp! Finally the design is sent away to be printed onto silk.

What materials are you most drawn to working with?

I think everyone loves silk, the luxurious feel and the shimmer of color. The fact that its a sustainable natural fibre adds to its appeal. It looks so good as a scarf. I always admired Hermes scarves and clothing and the silk used was an unmistakably huge element to their success. I needed a fabric that could reflect the colors I wanted. I have always admired silk as luxury precious fabric. I have also used other fabrics such as cotton which is great for colour also, it is very soft with natural fiber and lovely to wear. I have also tried wool/modal for rectangular scarves but the appeal always returns to the silk.

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What are your next steps with your brand?

I would love to expand into clothing, dresses etc, I already do some ties and pocket squares. I’d love to be in the larger retail outlets and get more internet and international recognition, especially from America.

I am making lots of textile prints at the moment on different fabrics for use as dresses and tops etc.,

What connections do you have to other designers and how do you feel about collaboration?

At the moment I am still in the process of defining my own brand and I want to create a strong definite image that is unmistakably ‘ritawhite’. When I feel happy with that I would love to collaborate. I am currently working with a few other designers on projects but its early days and we will see how it goes.

If you could only choose one piece of design, what would it be?

A favourite piece? I think it would be Orange birds, because I clearly remember the day I saw the large bird basking in the stormy sea. It was a very stormy day with high wind and waves and it just kept was totally unfazed by the storm and appeared to lay back and enjoy going with water. The abstract drawing that I did later from memory was to me the perfect reflection of that moment.

Tell us a highlight from your career?

My highlight at this stage is the nomination for the award. I also love when someone gives me feedback about how much they love my scarves and that they are very recognisable as being different and being unique.

I love when I am asked to collaborate or do a unique piece for someone.  I was also delighted to see my scarf being worn by Margaret Molloy who established ‘wearingirish’ .

 

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You can find more of Rita’s work on her website, facebook or instagram.

Rita White is one of the featured designers in the Galway Designers S/S Fashion Showcase ’18

First Show starts @ 5.30pm
Doors open 5pm
Interval @ 6.15pm – TheDirty Circus Performance
Second Show @ 6.45pm

There will be a Pop-Up Prosecco Bar provided for your refreshment

After the show, you are invited to join the ‘Afterparty’ for some cocktails above in the Tribeton Bar.

Tickets are €12 and can be purchased from Tribeton or from the Galway Designers Studio House, located in the Cornstore Mall.

They can also be purchased on the door for €15
Limited standing tickets available on the door for €7

Tickets get you a seat with goodie bag and 20% discount off any Tribeton food purchases

Limited Tickets Available!

Designer Profiles: Quaverly Men’s Ties | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the final installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Ailish Green – Quaverly Men’s Ties

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Aay Kay Photography

Who are you & what kind of designer are you?  

I am Ailish Green, I make men’s ties and accessories, fully committed to sustainability in fashion and design.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What sparked your interest with fashion & accessories?

It is an area where men can put their own identity and flair on.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?  

I have a B A in Art and Design Textiles.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?   

The demand from friends and acquaintances!

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What is your aesthetic?

High quality produce and unique design.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

Inspiration is constant and always changing!

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?  

The power of self belief.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

Do I believe in what I am doing?

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

I assign time correctly to achieve a healthy balance.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What advice would you give to young designers?

Try to get experience in the business end of fashion.  

***

 Model Imagery|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|

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Ailish will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Designer Profiles: Marie Goggins Millinery | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the twelfth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Marie Goggings – Marie Goggins Millinery

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Aay Kay Photography

Who are you & what kind of designer are you?

Based in Ballyglunin, Tuam, Co Galway, I design and made bespoke headwear in using a variety of techniques and textiles.

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Mick Russell Photography

What sparked your interest with millinery?

Always had an interest in fashion and design, and in particular millinery since  I saw Philip Tracy’s black ship headpiece a number of years ago.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

Studied in Lina Stein’s International School of Millinery in Westport over the past few years, and also did a number of classes with internationally renowned milliners.

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Mick Russell Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

Friends and family gave me the confidence to make a career out of it.

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Aay Kay Photography

What is your aesthetic?

Primarily contemporary but this is evolving, and of course when working with a client, I aim to help them meet their style objectives.

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Mick Russell Photography

What inspired this collection?

This is my first collection and prices shown represent a number of styles and techniques. Dashes of colour fascinate me and are reflected in a number if my pieces.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

Expanded range of styles and techniques, and exploring my creative side.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

Allowing time for the business side as well as the design side.

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Aay Kay Photography

Describe your creative process.

When working with a client, I like to understand them and to ensure that the final headpiece really reflects them and their style.

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Mick Russell Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

Go outside for a quick walk or do some cooking.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

What style suits the person, how will they wear it, hair up or down, outfit colour,  shoes and bag, preference for headband or elastic etc.

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Mick Russell Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

Try to fix my working hours.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

There is a lot of fast fashion; I love the idea of people using local designers to get the outfit they want, properly fitted garments made to make everyone look fabulous.

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Mick Russell Photography

Where do you see your brand expanding to?

Expanding into different accessories and international markets.

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What advice would you give to young designers?

Don’t give up your dreams!

***

Model Imagery|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

All other imagery via Marie Goggins Millinery

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Mick Russell

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Marie will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Designer Profiles: Ailish McElroy Millinery | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the tenth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Ailish McElroy – Ailish McElroy Millinery

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Aay Kay Photograhy

Who are you & what kind of designer are you?

I am Ailish McElroy and I am a Milliner based in Bodyke, Co. Clare.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What sparked your interest with millinery?

I was a Graphic Designer for many years so I always had an appreciation for colour, texture, shape and pattern in the composition of an image. I think what attracted me to Millinery was the chance to create away from the computer but to apply the same key elements in the creation of a finished headpiece using traditional hands on skills.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I have a Masters in Digital Media & Communications. At the beginning I was self taught until I reached a point where I wanted to progress my skills further. I then interned with Award Winning Milliner Margaret O’Connor in London. There is always so much to learn in Millinery and that fascinates me and challenges me in equal measure.

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Mick Russell Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

It wasn’t really a conscious decision, I was just constantly lost in the creative process. It seemed to evolve into a career as people began to inquire if they could commission headpieces from me. Suddenly I had deadlines to keep. I started prioritizing my work load and before I knew it I had to make a choice between my job as a Graphic Designer or to change careers and become a Milliner. I decided to take the leap and go for it.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is your aesthetic?

My pieces are feminine and beautifully embellished with a nod to vintage influences using luxurious materials, trims, feathers and beading.

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What inspired this collection?

A skirt I bought in a shop in Lithuania inspired this collection. Something about the bold primary colours and pattern in the skirt sparked so many images in my mind every time I looked at it. I wanted to reflect that celebration of colour in this collection. I am also drawn to religious iconography and Gothic imagery in particular is a source of fascination for me. It represents romance, mystery and dark femininity.

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Paul Cooley Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

My skills have evolved through experience, practice and constant learning. However, my designs evolve to accentuate the best attributes of my wearer and their outfit. Experience in working with clients has enabled me to create a process that streamlines my work from initial design concept to the completion of a finished headpiece while trying to create a harmony between new emerging trends and the traditional styles.

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Paul Cooley Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

You need to believe in yourself and aim to be pro-active and professional not only in the skill of Millinery but with your Brand. Prioritising my workload clarifies my mind and allows the creative process to flow. It is also a constant challenge!

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Paul Cooley Photography

Describe your creative process.

It begins with the outfit that makes its way into my workshop. I also take into account my client and what I think would suit them best. Then I begin to source my materials. Sometimes the nature of the materials will influence the design as they won’t always obey my demands! Then I begin to get lost in the process of creation, experimenting, accepting and rejecting ideas as I go along until I get the perfect symmetry.

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Paul Cooley Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

The first port of call is a cup of coffee just for a breather. I might also try to work on something else for a while, maybe just do some basic tasks or tidy my workshop. If that doesn’t work I try to get out of my workshop and go for a long walk or a run. Enjoying the nature around me calms my mind and I love taking photographs of what I see. It helps me to start thinking and working creatively again. I also enjoy looking at paintings and photography which can really spark my imagination. Also, sometimes things occur to me just be studying the materials that I am using for a particular headpiece and this might dictate the direction I take with a design.

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Paul Cooley Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

What will suit my client? What is the time frame? Do I have the materials required and if not, do I have time to order the materials?

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How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

It’s hard to find the right balance as I work from home and I have young children. My work is very unpredictable and my deadlines change constantly. My phone could ring at any moment with a customer looking for an appointment. I keep a detailed diary where I schedule appointments. I would be lost without my Big Black Book!

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How do you feel about the current state of the fashion industry?

We need to sit up and pay attention to the massively untapped potential of the Irish Fashion Industry and how lucrative it could be to our economy. I would like to see something akin to the British Fashion Council being set up here which would solely serve the industry by seeking out new emerging talent and supporting them.  There is so much more we could be doing in this country to celebrate and support our Irish Designers and helping to pave the way to a strong Irish fashion industry. Why is it our best designers have to go abroad to develop their careers? Ireland has lost out on laying claim to the rise of some great talents and we continue to lose many of our best design graduates to emigration.

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Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I will continue to expand on the foundation I have built over the last 3 years so that I can offer my customers more options and continue to provide excellent customer service. My dream would be to open a centre for designers in East Clare where we could work and sell our designs, however I think it’s important to build your brand one step at a time and to set realistic goals as expansion takes time, research and money.

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What advice would you give to young designers?

Turning your passion into a career requires motivation. Be pro-active and take a step every day that gets you nearer your goal. There will be tough days where you may not be able to design. Instead use those days wisely to do some marketing, photograph your work or do some networking. Value your work and learn to recognise an opportunity when it arises.

***

Images 2-5|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

All other imagery via Ailish McElroy

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Paul Cooley|Mick Russell

 

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Ailish will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Designer Profiles: Dandydoll Fashion | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the ninth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Esther Chidi Ikegwuruka – Dandydoll Fashion

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Aay Kay Photography

What sparked your interest with fashion & millinery?

My fashion interest was sparked by my mum who was a fashion designer. I had the privilege of working and running errands for her as a young girl, from passing her the threads to taking down of her client’s measurements. I would make dresses with papers and head wraps to match. I became more interested after I came to Ireland years ago and couldn’t get anyone to make my outfits, so I decided to get myself a sewing machine to make most of my outfits till date. 

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Mick Russell Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design? 

Being around my mum as a young girl really helped me learn the basics skills I need for today in fashion and designing. I never really studied fashion designing as a course. 

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Mick Russell Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

I’ve always been a fashion lover. I like to stand out in my designs. I get a lot of compliments on daily basis. I have a huge passion for fashion and I am really looking forward to carving a niche for myself in the fashion industry.

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What is your aesthetic?

I love elegance. I love print fabrics, feathers, trimmings and unusual laces. I source and wear a lot of them for weddings and classy events. The end result of mixing both fabrics make me want to do more.

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What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

My collections are created with my local materials and flowers. My hats are made out of different fabrics from my country and it can be worn in so many ways. I am fascinated at the moments with different designs especially from the just concluded Races in Galway and abroad. The designs are mind blowing and really inspiring.

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How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

As a young fashion designer, I practice on daily basis to develop myself. I push myself to try out new and different things, and I am looking forward to creating more classy pieces.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

To believe in myself and trust my intuition. Learn from others who are good in the field and never lose focus.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

Describe your creative process.

I create my pieces from what I have in mind and with a twist as I start to create. I love that my pieces that can be styled in different ways and worn several times.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

I rarely do but I find I switch off, I go shopping and watch some movies, chat with my kids or with that one friend who cracks me up.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

I take a very good look at the fabric and design. What can I come up with? Will it compliment the body? Do I need to add any accessories to enhance the style? 

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

One is never organised when creating anything, especially with kids around; doing the laundry and running down to the shops for quick groceries. There has to be a balance.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

Just do your best to be the best you can. The industry is big enough for everyone.

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Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I am currently working from home. I hope to see my brand go globally.

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Aay Kay Photography

What advice would you give to young designers?

Believe you can and you will. Set a standard and be passionate.

***

Imagery|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography| Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Mick Russell

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Esther will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.