PHOTOS - Ten Irish designers to watch in 2014
1. Emma Kate Manley
Making the number one spot on our list is, Dubliner Emma Kate Manley. Manley studied fashion design in Dublin and then moved to New York, where she interned at sportswear label VBL. An expert in embellishment and design she launched her own design label in 2010. “Manley” is a play on words, which includes contemporary separates and alternative evening wear.
Quality of fabric and production is at the absolute core of all Manley products. Materials are sourced from the world's finest luxury houses and innovative manufacturing methods of laser cutting are fused with time-honored, hand-sewn and embellished detailing.
Immensely proud of her Irish heritage and ethical values, Emma produces 50 percent of Manley in her home country ensuring affordable, beautiful, crafted luxury in every garment.
Twenty-seven year-old Niamh O’ Neill was “voted” the top fashion designer of the year in 2013 at the Irish fashion innovation awards.
We here at IrishCentral feel 2014 is going to be another big year for the young designer.
The Dunleer, County Louth native honed her design skills in New York, London, and Paris, where she worked alongside some of the biggest names in fashion including Diane Von, John Galliano, Philip Treacy, and Martin Grant.
The Louth woman returned to Ireland in 2012 to launch her own label. O’Neill’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection was a huge hit with its strong tailoring and soft draping accentuated by soft shades of pink and bright fuchsia. Her famous leather pencil skirt put in another appearance on the runways last season.
She has big plans for the expansion of her label in 2014 with international buyers also taking note of the young Irish woman. She has appeared in fashion shows in London and New York. Buyers are keen to buy elegant clean looks.
3. Jonathan (JW) Anderson
[[quote:"His breakout moment came in 2011 when he showed a mod paisley silk pajama suit, topped with a white rubber clerical collar", pos:right]]
Donatella Versace has called him a great talent and LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) have recently announced that it is backing his signature brand and banking on him to refresh the iconic brand, Loewe.
JW, as he is known in the fashion world, hails from County Derry. The young designer is set to become the new Tom Forde, as 2014 sees him head up the creative design for the Loewe.
His breakout moment came in 2011 when he showed a mod paisley silk pajama suit, topped with a white rubber clerical collar as the centrepiece of his second women’s collection. After joining London fashion week in Feb 2012 Vogue highlighted his new accessible collaboration, JW Anderson for Topshop.
4. Margaret O’Connor
O’Connor is from the tiny village of Tubber in the middle of the Burren in County Clare. She opened her millinery business in London a little under a year ago and she is already the talk of the town after Lady Gaga discovered her work.
She studied sculpture and paint at G.M.I.T Galway before specializing in textiles, focusing on three dimensional textile pieces.
She spent a year interning for Noel Stewart and then moved on to work with Philip Treacy. O’Connor went on to study millinery in Kensington and Chelsea college. During the course one of her hats was selected to be sold in Fenwick and her career has continued to jump since then.
5. Sorcha O’Raghallaigh
Sorcha O’Raghallaigh (26), originally from Birr in County Offaly, says that she never intended to pursue a career in fashion design as her first love was Art.
[[quote:"Lady Gaga is the perfect customer for me because there is no creative boundaries and it’s exposed my work to a much greater audience than I ever imagined.”, pos:left]]
When she reached her teens she realized that her true passion was fashion so she picked up a needle and thread. She attended the Limerick School of Art and Design and then pursued fashion at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.
“I had a mini-heart attack when lady Gaga contacted me” she admits. Lady Gaga is the perfect customer for me because there is no creative boundaries and it’s exposed my work to a much greater audience than I ever imagined,” said O’Raghallaigh.
6. Tim Ryan
Ryan is a native of Tipperary, but the fashion designer is now based out of London. Like many of the other shining stars on our list, he is a success story from the Limerick fashion scene.
The designer says, “I had been knitting since I was a child; my mother used to knit quite a lot so there was always yarn in the house. Knitwear is where my technique lay, and what I always found easy to do."
The designer says he could do it without resources and would simply walk into a thrift store, pick up some some wool and create something. Ryan moved to London in 2005 and decided to structure his work differently and show it as seasonal, ready-to-wear collections. He appears to be putting the sexy back into knitting, saying there’s a huge variety of fibers and wools available which lend themselves to lighter and sexier fabrics.
His Facebook here.
7. Natalie B Coleman
Another fashionista to emerge from the Limerick School of Art and Design and Central Saint Martins of London, she has since worked under “Three As Four” in New York. She recently established her own fashion business and label.
Mary J Blige has one of her butter soft leather jackets, but the Monaghan native claims her client's celebrity status does not faze her.
“I don’t get too excited about it; I mean it’s great to see them wearing my clothes but I don’t get starstruck.” The IrishCentral team think 2014 is going to be an exciting year for this designer.
8. Colin Horgan
His ‘FC13’ (first collection 2013) created an interesting take on femininity tapping into a new sense of what is sexy. Sheer fabrics give a sense of sensuality and coupled with indelible leather provide strong shape and alluring strength.
Horgan is currently in college, studying for a BA in Fashion Design, but has already designed and shown two collections, FC2013 (first collection 2013) and his SS14 collection. Colin Horgan has worked extensively with Scandinavian fashion designers including Johanna Phil and David Andersen
9. Sinéad Doyle
Doyle has studied at both Limerick College of Art and Design and the London College of Fashion, specializing in digital print, pattern-cutting, and tailoring. She has focused on both menswear and womenswear, but currently designs for the fairer sex at her studio in Dublin.
Having studied corsetry and couture finishing in Italy, she uses that knowledge to create structured and contemporary womenswear.
Doyle’s first collection was launched at Dublin Fashion Week August 2008. More recently she won the Irish Newcomer of the Year 2011 award at Kerry Fashion Week.
Autumn/ Winter 2013 marks a turning point for the label with Ryan returning to Italy for manufacturing to achieve the perfect finish and quality demanded by the luxurious fabrics in her collection. We expect big things from this designer in 2014.
10. Sean Byrne
Another star on the fashion scene in Ireland is Sean Byrne and we here at IrishCentral expect the designer to make waves this side of the Atlantic in 2014. Sean Byrne Couture is the award winning label created by Sean Byrne in 2009.
This label features deluxe tailoring, high quality couture made in Dublin. These fine pieces are created with a focus on exquisite fabrics, beautiful design and an uncompromising devotion to quality. Named Irish Designer of the Year in 2009, Byrne has dressed many well known celebrities for red carpet functions, including Irish actress Sarah Greene. His designs have also appeared on Hollywood's red carpet – he dressed nominated Irish make-up artist Lynn Johnston for the 2012 Oscars.
Sean byrne is available privately from his salon at 27 Drury st, Dublin 2.
Here is some of the designers work www.seanbyrnecouture.com