There is something which seems to be just inherent in us Irish and that is; loving anything which has a hint of Irishness in it. However we can often be heard slagging off those fellow Irish who have ‘made-it’ in Hollywood or across the pond in the UK or Europe. We also seem to have a tendency to refuse to go up to said people & ask for a photo or an autograph because heaven forbid we may give them a big head because of course their heads must be huge at this stage & they obviously love themselves. But then we are the first to point out to anyone who is not Irish or aware that a certain famous person is Irish. Sure their da’s, brothers, ex-wife lived two doors down from your mother. There’s always a story like that. You see deep down we are proud of our exports & proud of the Irish out there making a name for themselves & who inadvertently through their fame put our little isle on the map.
It’s fashion week season & so the curtains have opened to give us a little sneak peak at what we’ll be wearing next winter. For such a small country, us Irish have produced many creative types over the decades and so it’s no wonder that we are being well represented just across the Irish Sea at London Fashion Week. For years Paul Costelloe opened LFW, nowadays he’s taking a back seat to let others enjoy the grand entrance. Costelloe is still a firm favourite on the show schedules. His presentation at Somerset House was a sleek array of knee length sixties style pea coats in gum ball machine colours of pale pinks and creams set against military style coats in roaring reds. As always with Costelloe he delivered an accessible and wearable collection.
Another LFW veteran John Rocha showcased a desirable collection. Rocha is known for his quirkiness mixed with accessibility and this season is no different. His oversized cape-shape coat with out of proportioned collar in a stunning green was a real winner. Rocha has passed his talent to his daughter Simone Rocha. I saw Simone win the Nokia Young Designer Award five years ago here in Dublin and it was more than apparent then that this little Rocha was definitely one to watch. This season saw Rocha pay tribute to her two Grandmothers. Despite the name ‘Respect Your Elders’ the collection was fun and flirty covered in candyfloss colours of pink tones. Although a newbie Rocha is already famous for mixing fabrics which is again seen in this collection. With her designs being worn on the front row of other shows it could be safe to say she’s made it.
Another young and extremely exciting Irish designer is JW Anderson. We all fell in love with his Topshop collection, which part deux is out on Saturday & will be available at all BT2 stores; get it quick before it sells out! As you can tell I am a really big fan. Anderson like Rocha is quirky. His designs are always interesting. My favourites from the Topshop collection was the calf length kilt and the just below the knee pleated cream leather skirt which was seen on model & presenter Alexa Chung at fashion week & is currently sold out.
Anderson is well known for his deconstructed designs and they don’t always jump out at you as being easy to wear and may seem to just be suitable for the catwalk. This season is no different with exaggerated cuts, jackets & skirt hem lines cut at angles. Get past this & there is a very wearable collection. His wrap-around print shirts matched with printed trousers are a must have & follow the Spring/Summer trend of print. My favourite of the collection is his printed 1930’s style drop waist wrap-dress. It’s fun and easy to wear. The other interesting part of the JW Anderson show was the people watching with my fav trend setters Alexa Chung & Daisy Lowe firmly seated in the front row Anderson has made it with those who matter in fashion.