Irish Accessory Designer of the Year 2017
Over All Innovation award 2017
On March 29th I was lucky enough to attend the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards as a nominated designer in the accessory category, The event is organised by Golden Egg productions and Galway now Magazine and hosted in the Radisson blu Galway city.
To say I was delighted and shocked to be awarded the title of Accessory Designer of the year on the night , is a complete understatement. I was sitting down with my parents trying to take it in, in the a daze, when my name was called again as over all Innovation Award Winner. Complete shock and confusion ensued followed by disbelief and elation.
The awards in 2017 were judged by a panel consisting of Eddie Shanihan, Patricia Mc Crossan, Rebecca Marsden, and Elaine Prenderville.
Its such a thrill to see your work being showcased on such elegant models such as Katie Geoghegan, Thalia Heffernan and January Winters and to be photographed by the wonderful Darach G Photography.
One of those nights that I will remember forever no matter whats happens in the future.
In September 2016 I began working on the idea of upholstery fabric after a conversation with Alanna Gallagher, Angela O Kelly and Emma Mc Grath. I set myself the challenge of designing the fabric using Genuine Irish Wool from Donegal Yarns. I visited the amazing mill up in Kilcar and had a lovely chat with Chris there about the posibilities in using the yarn. In the end I decided on combining a slubb Linen, Cashmere/Lambswool Blend and the Genuine Irish Wool. I wanted the finished fabric to be for a specific purpose, to be designed to fit and complement a piece of furniture.
Working with Alanna Gallagher, together we came up with one of Ciaran Mc Philips of Cooper Handmade Furniture's amazing Benches, Individually lathed by Ciaran at Cooper Handcrafted Furniture, each Original Oak Bench is made from solid oak with softened edges and hand turned legs producing a piece that will be the perfect addition to your home. The bench which is simple yet functional. Once Ciaran agreed to the project we set about realizing the piece.
Now armed with the dimensions and the colour of the piece of furniture, I selected a vibrant yellow and cool Blue cashmere/lambswool blend yarn coupled with a neutral linen slubb yarn and of course three beautifully natural shades of Genuine Irish Wool. I chose a Black, gray and moss colour that would quieten down the cashmere and give incredible strength to the fabric.
The fabric was then hand woven here in Claremorris by me using the Wild Cocoon signature gradient pattern and texture creating a feast for the eyes and hands. The Yellow appears to glow from the inside in parts then is more subdued when combined with the darker shades in the Genuine Irish wool.
The Bench was upholstered by a great bunch of lads here in Claremorris who run company called Monaghan Bros Bar furniture. In order to persevere and reveal the beautiful Oak top on the bench we decided to elevate the upholstery a couple of cm. In order to to do this Ciaran Custom made the bench to allow for the extra height involved in the upholstered seat.
The Bench was selected as Design Ireland Category winner at Showcase Ireland 2016 and has been shortlisted as Collaboration of the year in the Image Interiors Design Awards.
The Upholstered Oak bench will soon be part of the permanent collection located at the Design and Crafts council of Ireland, Kilkenny.
I was selected as a textile producer to take part in TextISLE as part of Showcase Ireland 2017. The brief was to work with a designer to produce a garment using yarns sourced from Donegal Yarns. I choose to work with a bespoke tailor in Dublin by the name of Ilona Berezina.
we started working on the project in October 2016 with very different ideas of what we wanted to achieve, but that's the beauty of a collaboration where you arrive in the middle after numerous conversations is a unique surprise to both of us.
Initially we settled on a silhouette and set to designing the fabric, A feature of my weaving is a gradient colour change through the fabric and I wanted to incorporate this into the coat. with this in mind we had to design the fabric in such a way that each colour change hit the body in the right place and allow for shrinkage after weaving and washing. this was fun but i managed to weave it.
Ilona made several mock up options around the silhouette we had discussed however when the fabric was in the hand it had its own idea of what it wanted to do. So in effect the coat came into existence telling us exactly what to do with it. In the end we were not too far away from where we started little changes are big changes when you making something by hand.
The fabric and the coat are inextricable linked any other fabric would have produced a different coat.
It was hard work but great fun to do this project I would highly recommend a collaboration to open you eye to possibilities you cant see yourself. sometimes you can stand too close to something.
I am Delighted to be Selected for Create 2016 running from July 5th to August 14th 2016 at Brown Thomas Grafton Street. Brown Thomas is an Iconic store in Ireland and I consider this a huge endorsement of what I am doing with Wild Cocoon.
I am Honored be Joined in the event by 18 Irish Designers of highest quality and design.
Pop in to see all the fresh new and inspiring talent available here home grown and competing on an international level from our shores.
Big thanks to Be From Mindful Productivity www.mindfulproductivity.net for all her hard work on planning and taking some lovely shots of my work.
Hi Guys, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who popped by to see Wild Cocoon at Showcase 2016. I had a fantastic few days and I am delighted to say I will be announcing some exciting new stockist both nationally and internationally very soon. Watch this space.
Exciting times ahead