The fact I didn’t go to college meant I drifted to NCAD, taking part in everything except lectures, exams and essays. Through the years, I always had a bunch of friends in the fashion course. It was always really interesting to pop in to their fashion tower in the weeks leading up to a degree show; there was always a great, creative buzz about the place. Obviously, as I get older, numbers of friends that are in college become smaller, so I become ever more distant from NCAD’s red square and parties. I don’t want to end up as that weirdo in his mid-twenties hanging around a college. But writing about the 4th year fashion students means I have an excuse to pay visits, albeit not as many as I used to when I had a fleet of friends in the course.
In the approaching weeks of the show, I love nothing more than a good explore around people’s work. I’m always on the hunt for something to buy. If I see something I fall in love with, I hunt down the designer and barter for it. It’s great fun! I had a wander around the studios last week and was (as usual) blown away by their work.
Andrew Bell has imagined and manifested entire garments that are born from a bag and, when worn, remain a useable bag. His stuff is literally insane. “I was inspired by bag fastenings and mechanisms.” He sources the mechanisms from Asia and his fabric from Ireland. He said he likes to source as much as he can from our island, which is nice to hear. I nearly had a triple bypass when I laid eyes on Naoise Farrell’s menswear. Oversized wool coats with screen-printed, minimal illustrations of a shirt and a silhouette of a man, all on a pallet of pea green and grey. I’ll definitely be pressuring her into selling me one of her coats. Audrey Kennealy has used the Google building in Dublin to shape her collection. Her dresses are made from digital, slightly altered prints of the glass exterior of the HQ. Alice Doherty has created a gorgeous collection of structured under-garments made of black and white crinoline (which I think would be incredible as outfits on their own)
I asked a few of them what’s next. They all gave the expected (and warranted) “London”. Hopefully, Ireland will one day wake up and realise the value of the talent we constantly ship out, and create incentives and reasons for staying. We have the talent to nurture a great little fashion industry.
To attend the NCAD Fashion Show on the 23rd of May, get your ticket here
James Kavanagh @jimarama
Conor Clinch @conorclinch