Don O’Neill and Roisin Fitzpatrick - art and fashion take center stage at NYC’s Irish consulate
Intimate setting plays host to top Irish designers and artists
Concluding her presentation, Fitzpatrick explained that she and O’Neill had discovered the similarity in their work only months prior to the exhibition.
“We are both inspired by the light,” Fitzpatrick said.
O’Neill’s collection, Theia, is named after the Greek goddess of light in Greek mythology. O’Neill, who trained as a chef, is now based in New York’s Fashion District. He told the assembled crowd about his love for his home in Kerry.
“I was born in a tiny seaside town called Ballyheigue, in Co. Kerry. Ballyheigue is a magical little town. I grew up in the shadow of a haunted castle,” he said.
“Every day there was this blinding trail of sun that would make its way around the bay. As a little boy, I imagined that it would be amazing to be able to make a dress out of the water’s reflection,” he recalled.
The fashion which followed showcased O’Neill’s Theia collection, with some pieces taking inspiration from the Book of Kells. A rare and insightful opportunity, as the designer talked the audience through the different dresses and the tireless detail and effort that is afforded to each creation.
O’Neill says it’s important to make dresses for every woman, and the different styles he offers means there is something for everyone.
“For me it’s about every woman and not that specific celebrity,” he told the Irish Voice.
“I have learned to make beautiful special evening dresses women can wear and can afford to wear.”
The New York-based designer was delighted to have his parents over from Ireland for the special occasion.
“Having Mom and Dad here was huge; they don’t get much of a chance to see what I do, because I am not at home in Ireland,” he said.
On his trips home to Ireland, the designer says he is constantly inspired by his surroundings.
“I come back with sketches and books, with drawings, photographs, there is so much to see and I am supposed to be on holidays!” he laughed.
For more information on Roisin Fitzpatrick, check out the Artist of the Light here.
For more information on Don O'Neill, check out the Theia line here.
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