An Aran sweater wedding dress? If the very thought conjures memories of that beautiful but rather itchy woolen sweater your mother made you wear for family photos, think again!
Don O’Neill, the Kerry born and raised designer behind the label Theia (favored by everyone from Taylor Swift to Oprah Winfrey to Amy Poehler), draws inspiration from his Irish roots for practically every collection.
However, he outdid himself with Theia’s Fall 2015 Bridal Collection, which offered something stunning for every taste. The standout gown, though, has to be the Erin – a glamorous take on the fishermen’s sweaters of the Aran Islands in cashmere knit, with a turtleneck and sexy scooped back. A visit to the Theia design room confirmed that the dress is indeed both gorgeous and wonderfully soft.
As O’Neill told IrishCentral, the sweaters stem from a long tradition, with various knitting and cable patterns holding different meanings. For his cozy Aran wedding gown, O’Neill used a braiding pattern found in the Book of Kells – a favorite of his also found in the beading on the Tara dress.
O’Neill knew the material would have to be cashmere. The question was how to source it – one that quickly resolved itself when O’Neill reached out to a friend knowledgeable in knitwear.
“Serendipity played a huge hand in the realization of my gown when a dear friend, a knitwear expert, began working as creative director at Naadam, the socially responsible cashmere company and purveyor of the worlds finest cashmere sourced in Mongolia!” he explained.
In addition to his Irish heritage, the collection was inspired by the nomads of Mongolia, which should be reassuring to any winter brides hoping to avoid sacrificing style for comfort on their wedding days. It’s full of cashmere touches, flowing skirts, classic looks for the more traditional, and fun crop tops and gowns in icy blue for the more adventurous.
@dononeilldesign and his winter goddesses #THEIAWHITE #bridalmarket #NYBM #winterwonderland
Check out the full collection, which has won the praises of Glamour, Women’s Wear Daily and The Knot to name just a few.
Would you wear the “Erin” dress? Let us know in the comment section!* Originally published in October 2014.