Brown Thomas has recently launched CREATE, a showcase of the very best in Irish design today, welcoming a host of exciting new talent and the return of some of Ireland’s much loved designers.
Now in its seventh year, CREATE has become established as the launchpad for new and existing Irish designers to gain vital commercial retail experience and to showcase their work amongst the most luxurious brands in the world. This year’s installation is a blend of new and established designers showcasing the exceptional work of 22 designers across ready-to-wear, accessories, scarves, jewellery, millinery and interiors curated by Brown Thomas Fashion Director Shelly Corkery.
Commenting on CREATE 2017, Shelly Corkery says: “The level of talent coming through for CREATE 2017 is exceptional – the bar has certainly been raised. It’s very exciting to deliver new and diverse collections to our customers. I’m also thrilled to welcome renowned and established Irish designers to Brown Thomas.”
This year, CREATE welcomes the legendary Irish designer, Lainey Keogh, with her revolutionary contemporary knitwear pieces. First coming to prominence in 1997 at London’s Fashion Week, Lainey went on to see her work featured in Christian Dior haute couture and modelled by Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. This year sees the highly-anticipated arrival of her bespoke cashmere designs in dusty pastel hues which is a departure from Lainey’s signature colours.
Lainey is joined by a host of renowned ready-to-wear designers such as Helen Cody who has created an exclusive white shirting capsule collection, and Mariad Whisker who presents a range of elegant asymmetrical pieces for layering and creating a deconstructed look in shades of monochrome and pops of colour. Sarah Murphy’s innovative use of Aran jumper panels in tulle dresses makes for a very beautiful collection. 31 Chapel Lane unveil their ethically made collection of understated and minimal statement Irish linen creations, presented in enduring, relaxed silhouettes and classic tailoring styles in a palette of neutrals. Returning designer Éadach by Sara O’Neill introduces a range of luxurious kimonos in her Irish mythical prints evolving from her much-loved scarves while rising new designer Sinead O’Dwyer presents her exceptional and distinct pieces using the female form as her inspiration.
CREATE welcomes handbag designer Ale Walsh, whose collection incorporates a creative use of natural materials and traditional craftsmanship techniques. Her line is a celebration of colour, textures and creativity with an artisan touch. The very talented Úna Burke showcases her timeless, sculptural handbag creations and show-stopping black leather studded shoulder collars.
In jewellery, Bláithín Ennis presents an exclusive collection of beautiful rose gold and blue stone earrings, neckpieces and bracelets with a difference, all inspired by the designer’s natural surroundings on the Wexford coast. Following her successful CREATE 2016 debut, Helena Malone showcases a new collection of her elegant, handmade precious jewellery.
Scarf designers this year include Sarah Swan with her Cuban themed vibrant cotton designs that feature her own personal shots taken of Havana street life, American vintage cars and striking Art Deco architecture. Galway-based The Tweed Project present their handmade trademark shawls. Committed to the west of Ireland for inspiration and production, they work solely with indigenous fabrics, adding texture and subverting tradition. Wild Cocoon showcases colourful scarves and cowls inspired by traditional costume from across the world, having just recently won two awards at the Irish Fashion Innovation Award 2017 for ‘Irish Accessory Designer of the Year’ and ‘Innovation Award Winner’.
The milliner’s this year will include Leonora Ferguson and Michelle Kearns; Leonora specialises in sculptural handmade wire lace headpieces while Michelle’s sculpted pieces feature feathers, lace and touches of beading, satin and netting; with a focus on the fine detailing in each of her designs. Emulating her mother Mariad’s creative flare, the artist, writer and DJ Domino Whisker presents her unique wall art embroideries reflecting Domino’s individual style. Domino Whisker’s collection for CREATE 2017 also includes an accessories collection of beautifully crafted collars and badges. Joining the interiors offering at CREATE is textile designer Aoife Mullane, who creates luxurious contemporary cushions and blankets. Metallic fragments of quartz, aluminium and copper can be seen embellishing the surface of the fabrics.
In continued partnership with NCAD, the Brown Thomas ‘Designer to Watch’ NCAD 2017 bursary winner Laoise Carey and runner up Colin Burke will exhibit their final year collections as chosen by Shelly Corkery at the recent NCAD Graduate Fashion Show. NCAD 2016 bursary winner Aideen Gaynor and NCAD 2015 bursary winner Daniel Roden have been commissioned to create bespoke pieces to exhibit at CREATE 2017. Aideen Gaynor is currently working as a costume designer on American TV series ‘Into the Badlands’ and Daniel Roden works with Marc Jacobs on the Paris design team.
CREATE is underway on Level 1, Brown Thomas Dublin, running until Sunday 13th August.
All photos by Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland, courtesy Brown Thomas/CREATE