FOR SUCH a small island, we really have a plethora of talent in the design industry across the world. In a country that has no fashion week, no internationally recognised fashion magazines and models that adhere to photo-call modelling rather than high fashion and runway, it’s hard to imagine that such amazing talent could be present on the international stag. However, some of the biggest names in the design world are indeed Irish so here we will have a look at the four biggest names in Irish and international design!
Philip Treacy – Hailing from Galway, this designer is a firm favourite with everyone from royalty to A-list celebrities. He has designed hats for various Harry Potter films and Sarah Jessica Parker’s hat for the ‘Sex and the City’ movie premiere. His name was hugely publicised when thirty-six of his designs were worn at the Royal Wedding including Princess Beatrice’s one, which was widely spoken about in the media. He is also a firm favourite of Lady GaGa and designed her space-inspired hat for the Grammy Awards in 2010.
Orla Kiely – Based in London, Kiely began her career in the National College of Art and Design before enrolling at the Royal College of Art (RCA) to do her masters degree. For her exit show at the RCA, she showed her hat collection, which was bought by Harrods but soon changed to handbag design on advice from her father. Described as the ‘Queen of Prints’ by the Guardian, her petal and stem design is instantly recognisable and her designs have been seen on stars such as Kirsten Dunst and Alexa Chung.
Paul Costello – For the last 30 year, Costelloe has been at the forefront of Irish and British fashion. His father, hailing from our own fair Limerick, moved the family up to Dublin where Paul grew up. In the late sixties he went to Paris to study before moving to America. Upon his return to Dublin, he set up his eponymous label in 1979, which expanded to London in the 90s. His shows are now standard at London Fashion Week and he has designed the uniforms for companies like Sainsburys, British Airways and the Irish Olympic Team.
J.W. Anderson – A recent designer on the scene, J.W. Anderson hails from Magherafelt in Northern Ireland. Born in 1984, Anderson graduated from London College of Fashion and is now seen as one of Britain’s most popular fashion designers. He made his debut at London Fashion Week in 2007 and once used real insects in his jewellery during a catwalk show.
These are just four of the numerous amazing designers that Ireland has to boast about, making a splash in both the Irish pond and the international ocean. With talent like this, there is never a need not to buy Irish design again!
Keep styling, Em x