Irish designers have made quite a name for themselves in the fashion world. From having their pieces worn in the Royal Wedding, to dressing some of Hollywood’s major A-Listers, Irish designers are becoming some of the most sought out and respected designers in the business. Celebrities like Lady Gaga have called upon these designers for their talents and now the world is taking notice.
Here are the Top Ten Irish fashion designers to look out for on the red carpet:
Philip Treacy was born in 1967 in Ahascragh, in County Galway in the West of Ireland. He has designed hats for various movies including “Harry Potter” films, and designed Sarah Jessica Parker's hat for the premiere of the “Sex and the City” movie. Thirty-six of Treacy's hats were worn at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, including the hat worn by Princess Beatrice of York, which was widely discussed in the media. Treacy has also worked with celebrities like Lady Gaga producing her space inspired hat for the 2010 Grammy Awards and he is broadly known for his unorthodox sense of style.
Don O’Neill is a County Kerry-born, New York based fashion designer whose clothes are being snapped up by young and hot musicians so they can look great at award shows, album launches and trendy parties. He was recently featured in the New York Times as the creative director of Theia, a bridal house in Manhattan, as they waited to create a replica of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress as soon as it was unveiled. Future brides to be are flocking to O’Neill in hopes that he can make them feel like a princess for a day.
Lainey Keogh is one of the most eccentric fashion designers to come out of Ireland. She was born in 1957 in Old Town and spent her childhood living on a farm. She studied microbiology in Dublin and since 1984 she has been perfecting her unique method of textural intervention. She was discovered while she was knitting in the corner of a coffee house and was then persuaded to present a show of her knitwear. It was unveiled to great approval in 1987 and she has been in the business since. Elizabeth Taylor, Demi Moore, Jodi Foster and Kevin Costner are some of the stars known to wear her designs.
The 26-year-old Irish designer grew up and went to school in Birr. She studied fashion design at Central St. Martins in London. Sorcha recently designed a dress which was worn by international fashion icon, Lady Gaga. Sorcha Ó Raghallaigh reported that she 'didn't sleep for a week' and nearly had a 'mini-heart attack' after learning that Lady Gaga was going to wear one of her creations on the Graham Norton Show on BBC television. Despite her recent accomplishments Sorcha is realistic to the competiveness of the fashion world. She currently operates out of a tiny room in her East End flat, and makes ends meet by working part-time for another Irish designer, established jeweller Merle O'Grady.
Orla Kiely is an Irish fashion designer based in London. Although she started off as hat designer, she has moved into handbags and her designs have been featured on a variety of other items including kitchenware and cars. She received a Master's degree from the Royal College of Art where Harrods department store purchased her exit collection. Through her unique use of color and patterns she has been able to achieve a freshness that was unseen prior to her work.
Jonathan William Anderson was born in Northern Ireland in 1984, in Magherafelt and graduated from the London College of Fashion. He is now known as one of Britain’s most prominent male fashion designers. He made his debut in London in 2007 and created quite a buzz when he used real insects in his jewelry during a runway show.
Merle O'Grady is originally from Dublin, Ireland. Her design background started when she began to study Fashion Design (womenswear) at Limerick School of Art & Design, in Ireland. She then went on to study Accessory Design at Cordwainers, at the London College of Fashion. She creates “Statement jewelry that is industrial and futuristic yet luxurious and feminine.”
The Irish designer and artist has been a leader in British and Irish fashion for the last 30 years. His father was successful in the Irish rainwear market. In 1999 he moved from his hometown of Dublin to London where his designer label is based. He is known for his fresh take on style and is now one of the most established womenswear designers in Britain.
Aideen Bodkin is an Irish designer based in Dublin and established her brand in 1999. Her clothes are designed for women who love color, texture and want an individual look without being slaves to passing trends. Aideen’s collectable garments have become modern classics in many women’s wardrobes. Aideen is now the secretary of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers.
Eilis Boyle was born in the Caribbean from an Irish-Spanish family. She spent much of her life travelling the world and has a diverse education from places like Bolivia and Japan. Eilis studied at the design college Instituto Europeo di Design in Madrid and from there she worked with some of Spain’s top fashion designers such as Isabel Berz. In 2001 she moved to Ireland and worked with Lainey Keogh for two years before starting her own label. She brought together her many experiences and converted them into luxury, wearable women’s wear. She has been showcased several seasons at Dublin Fashion Week, six seasons at Paris Fashion Week and is quickly achieving International success.