Five of the biggest names in Irish fashion share their AW17 mood boards – Irish Examiner

Each fashion assortment begins with a mood board, a collage of photos that encourage a designer. Five of Eire’s biggest names in fashion share theirs with Carolyn Moore.

AS the autumn winter ’17 collections proceed to drop, transitional items are starting to provide approach to some of the season’s strongest pattern tales. However the place do these tales start?

These not acquainted with the interior workings of a fashion label could also be shocked to be taught that, even in this technologically superior age, each fashion assortment begins with a easy mood board; a range of photos which make visible the visceral influences at play when designers embark on their artistic journey.

Like Pinterest for artistic professionals, a mood board is a street map; guiding designers alongside the path from intangible idea to wearable garment, however they’re not only for fashion.

The whole lot out of your automobile to your toaster to your new winter coat started to take form by way of the same assemblage of evocative imagery exploring textures, colors and type.

We requested 5 Irish designers, with differing outlooks, processes and concerns, to revisit their AW17 mood boards, and take us on that fascinating artistic journey with them, from inspiration to completed garment.

A mannequin carrying Caroline Kilkenny.

I'll all the time be guided by cloth when designing, it’s what conjures up every new assortment. This season I labored up 4 storyboards, every reflecting a time of opulence and gown-up. I used tweeds with laminated finishes to provide drama, and embellished it with leather-based lace so as to add a bit of edge, or ostrich feathers to melt.

I really like working with cloth that’s wealthy in texture and has an opulent deal with. On the mood board for this story you'll be able to see very conventional tweed material with a laminated patent end, which supplies it a extra industrial really feel whereas sustaining its basic roots. Discovering this sort of innovation with textiles is what conjures up me to design. Inspiration is a changeable factor; it by no means comes from one aspect, and it might pop its head up in all method of locations, whether or not it’s a favorite film, a avenue type picture, journey… the checklist goes on, however for me this season it was undoubtedly all about feathers! In reality, the first picture I pinned on the board was the peacock feather; it impressed the retro really feel that runs via the assortment referencing designers from the ‘40s, notably Dior.

The mood board Caroline makes use of for inspiration to match textures and materials.

You possibly can see components of that inspiration additionally in the quantity of the quilted skirt.

The Puffa-impact cloth was a private favourite; I beloved the appear and feel for winter however I made a decision to alter its use from outerwear to daywear by working it right into a swing type skirt, and I really like the consequence.

A mannequin carrying Caroline Kilkenny.
  • Black quilted Sabi skirt, €243, and knit Dolly prime, €189, by Caroline Kilkenny at Aisling Maher, Adare. For full assortment see
Fiona Heaney.

I attempt to method the design course of in fairly an instinctive manner, however we’re all the time towards the clock. You could possibly be designing a set eternally, however our European brokers have launch deadlines we have now to satisfy.

At the starting of the course of, there are all the time new shapes I’d wish to develop, however I discover it extra thrilling to easily begin with the inspirations I wish to see mirrored in the assortment. I work on 5 tales every season, and because it progresses some materials and colors will grow to be stronger, or communicate louder. These are the concepts I select to develop.

The mood board that impressed Fiona Heaney’s assortment.

For AW17, I spent a day in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Their assortment consists of works from the 1800s, an period I discover vastly inspiring, housed in an previous railway station with fabulous structure. It impressed me to analysis French structure, which lead me to the French Baroque interval; the ornate grandeur and luxurious of which simply interprets to fashion.

The primary picture on the board was the ceiling cornice. I beloved the tonal prospers and the elegant, luxurious craftsmanship. These luxurious particulars started to take form in the textures of the materials, and baroque-impressed pearls, appliqués and embroidery grew to become key to the story, and to this gown, which embodies the mood of the assortment. Cream-based mostly, tonal, with heaps of texture and an opulent end, it’s female however industrial, and it incorporates charge G’s signature handwriting. I find it irresistible, and so did our clients - it’s been one of our greatest promoting types.

A mannequin carrying charge G.
  • Costume by charge G, €319, at Macbees, Killarney. For full assortment see
Natalie B Coleman.

Every assortment is sort of a web page from my diary; they arrive from a really private place to begin, normally a bit of writing, or a movie — one thing that’s resonating with my very own life at that second.

I known as this assortment Cease Sickening my Happiness, a Monaghan expression which Charlene McKenna — my muse and fellow Monaghan girl — advised.

Natalie B Coleman’s mood board with blackberries and biker jacket.

It captures the mood completely! There’s a spirit of rebel and solidarity between girls in Eire proper now, so I wished to proceed the constructive woman gang imaging I explored with my ‘Assist Your Native Woman Gang’ T-shirts, juxtaposed with extra nostalgic, conventional concepts.

The primary picture on the board was Holly Hunter in The Piano, sinking into the mud in her monumental hoop skirt. It’s so evocative and haunting, and it fed into the outsized, rounded shapes I used to be going for with the blackberries. I’d been previous photographs of me blackberry-selecting with my mom; listening to so much of Kate Bush; feeling a Wuthering Heights vibe and desirous to run away a bit!

A mannequin carrying Natalie B Coleman’s design.

The biker jacket was one other key inspiration. We collaborated with Molloy and Sons in Donegal to recreate the padding element with a beautiful ridged impact wool woven particularly for us, with beautiful darkish purple hues coming via.

This was made right into a berry formed coat with laser lower Carrickmacross lace motifs in lambskin at the neck and shoulders. Carrickmacross is my native city and I’m keen about preserving these conventional strategies alive in my work.

  • Silk organza housecoat €600, and frilled trousers, €600, by Natalie B Coleman at Atrium Dublin. For full assortment see
Alison Conneely.

For me, designing a set is really visceral. At all times and ever it begins with textiles, and for this, my first bridal assortment, I scoured each mill in Europe to search out the cream of the crop. Italian kidskins, French silks, Scottish wools - when I've them in my palms, I simply know.

The material all the time informs the silhouettes. Delicate kidskin swaddles you, whereas 800gm wool holds a robust, assured lower. The gathering begins to take type after I start sample chopping, however I enable it to form-shift. If I discover myself in a really totally different place to the place I started, then that’s the place I’ll go.

Alison Conneely’s mood board.

For that reason, my boards actually are ‘mood’ boards. In case you use very particular imagery it’s tough to maneuver away from that, and I wish to work organically, with the freedom to develop concepts as I am going. That is particularly necessary working with brides – you go on a journey collectively.

For this assortment, the mood is one of calm and power; it’s bought unimaginable textures and highly effective silhouettes, but it’s nonetheless romantic and smooth.

Alison Conneely’s design begins with textiles and sample.

My first picture was the Yugoslavian conflict memorial by Miodrag Živkovic. I may lose myself in Brutalist structure; fantastically minimal, it’s an ideal begin level for a recent bridal assortment that’s serene, architectural, and permits you house.

In some ways, this assortment started merely as a revolt towards the lack of selection on the market for brides. I wished to design chic, timeless items to be coveted and worn once more. The garments wont put on you – you put on them.

  • Draped light-weight wool gown (additionally out there in silk) €2,300, to order at For full assortment see
Jill de Burca.

Whether or not I’m engaged on a fee for a design home or embarking on a brand new assortment, beginning a mission is a really instinctive course of.

It’s an concept that begins to develop and develop as I analysis, experiment and pattern.

Jill de Burca’s mood board.

I exploit the similar primary course of every time, however getting there turns into a really totally different journey.

I normally have a obscure thought, then I begin gathering materials and threads, combining them with drawings and images to construct a narrative or mood.

Experimenting with these photos and textures sparks extra concepts, and I’ll discover these via sampling — working up embroideries and elaborations and constructing a pattern assortment of totally different colors, textures, and even sew instructions.

A design from Jill de Burca’s assortment.

Then it’s a course of of elimination, deciding what’s working and what’s not.

My AW17 inspiration started with a visit to the Pure Historical past Museum, the place I took photographs and labored them into drawings. A photograph of the backyard tiger moth was the first picture on this board.

I beloved his title and I used to be so drawn to the animal print camouflage sample adorning his wings. I began exploring the sample and texture, embroidering samples onto velvet.

I used to be drawn to moths as a result of I’d been envisioning an evening backyard stuffed with nocturnal creatures; that’s what developed on the board.

I really like the collar we developed with the Tiger moth’s sample and texture, and we hand beaded the stars. I’d like to do extra equipment.

  • Costume, €825, and velvet collar with stars, €295, by Jill de Búrca at Atrium, Dublin.

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Five of the biggest names in Irish fashion share their AW17 mood boards - Irish Examiner