Brown Thomas is launching its annual CREATE showcase today, unveiling a line-up of the most exciting names in Irish fashion at its flagship store on Grafton Street.
Now in its eighth year, CREATE an exhibition to showcase rising talent in Irish design and provide a platform to new talent. This year’s installation presents the work of twenty-five designers across ready-to-wear; millinery; jewellery; handbags; scarves; accessories and interiors, offering a selling space in Brown Thomas itself. This year’s theme is about reflection, and features a specially constructed mirror backdrop as a “nod to past designers and budding new ones”.
Brown Thomas Fashion Director Shelly Corkery, who spearheads the initiative, said of the project: “The annual CREATE showcase marks a very exciting time for Brown Thomas every year. CREATE celebrates Brown Thomas’ ongoing support and commitment to the importance of Irish design. It gives our customers the opportunity to discover a carefully selected edit of designers at the forefront of Irish design today and those who are fast emerging.”
Meet the designers
Award-winning womenswear designer Richard Quinn will present his collection of standout dramatic silhouettes, abstract florals and unique prints across dresses, skirts and coats at CREATE. Quinn, whose parents are from Ireland, made headlines internationally when he won the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design in February for his Fall 2018 presentation, which was also attended by Vogue Editor Anna Wintour. Most recently, Quinn made headlines again for dressing Amal Clooney at this year’s Met Gala Ball and the outfit is now on display in the Brown Thomas window.
Top Irish model Faye Dinsmore will showcase her bespoke Aran knit sweaters at CREATE.
Knitwear designer Fintan Mulholland uses the latest technology to push boundaries with his new and complex designs, which make for timeless creations that transcends seasons.
Legendary Irish designer Lainey Keogh returns to CREATE following the huge success of her knitwear collection.
Mariad’s elegant relaxed fitting dresses, sweaters and skirts are a CREATE favourite.
Sarah Murphy returns with a collection of modern feminine pieces that combines traditional craftsmanship and couture elements.
Jill & Gill
Illustrator Jill Deering and printmaker Gillian Henderson, the design duo behind Jill & Gill, will launch their latest collection of hand printed apparel. Celebrating aspirational ‘boss’ women across the world through illustration, print and style, the designs will feature famous names such as Grace Coddington and Debbie Harry.
Four Threads by Alanagh Clegg incorporates ethically sourced fabrics including local Irish linen and Indian ‘khadi’ cotton, to create garments to be lived in for a life time.
In outerwear, Amie Egan will showcase her ‘Outsider’ collection; rooted in functional and traditional garments, utility-wear and sportswear. Amie has developed wax cottons and coated textiles inspired by the colours and textures of Irish landscapes enhanced after heavy rain or snowfall.
Contemporary knitwear designer Pearl Reddington bridges the gap between the traditional and the modern, combining Irish wools with modern knit techniques. Each bespoke garment is handcrafted and includes striped and geometric patterned sweaters, wrap scarves and oversized cardigans, all knitted in her signature theme of navy, grey and bursts of neon.
Milliner Michelle Kearns will showcase a collection designed exclusively entitled ‘Flight of Fancy’, full of bird-based headpieces.
Leonora Ferguson, whose work has previously been worn by model Cara Delevingne, will also showcase her millinery designs. Her collection takes inspiration from a fusion of Elizabethan headwear, silhouettes and shapes, with influences from Japanese costume and theatrical hairstyles and headpieces.
The Season Hats
Joining the millinery line-up is The Season Hats; a luxurious, contemporary and directional brand, who present an innovative range of hats that fold like a fan, then unfold into stunning pieces.
Emer Roberts Design
New to CREATE is Emer Roberts Design, who brings a striking collection of fine jewellery, appealing to both the quietly classy and the statement makers. Architectural and art deco in style, her designs are bold and distinctly angular.
Helena Malone returns to CREATE with a collection of simplified pieces based around natural baroque pearls and minimal use of precious metal, which all completely handmade. Her hero pieces include large silver necklaces with many hanging baroque pearls.
Blaithin Ennis presents a new collection of jewellery designs, using mixtures of delicate and robust metals, crystals and soft shell mesh.
Ale Walsh has designed a range of handbags full of colour, creativity and texture and also introduces a new range of jewellery.
Debbie Millington designs luxury printed silk scarves and accessories. The collection is an infusion of exotic colour combinations and dramatic imagery.
Designer Sara O’Neill of Éadach will introduce hand painted vintage leather jackets which are relined in her printed silks to create one-off pieces of wearable art. Sara will also display her printed silk kimonos, capes and dresses.
Deirdre Duffy, the designer behind Wild Cocoon, has created a range of exquisite wool scarves full of strong and vibrant colours.
Úna Burke is a multi-award winning leatherworker, accessories designer and artist. With an avant-garde aesthetic, high profile clients in the past have included Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Cindy Crawford and Nicki Minaj. Her collaborative projects have involved making designs for movie franchises such as The Hunger Games and for Taylor Swift.
Following her successful CREATE debut in 2017, Domino Whisker will showcase a new range of fashion embroidery pieces decorated with quirky slogans on Irish linen.
Interiors designer Katie Larmour will showcase handmade couture cushions using antique and vintage textiles combined with natural Irish linen on the reverse. Larmour’s cushions make for one-of-a-kind artisan pieces.
Mookie & Boo
Mookie & Boo by Suzie Beggan will showcase an exclusive luxury range of candles and diffusers using natural and organic elements, all hand-produced in Wicklow.
The Brown Thomas ‘Designer to Watch’ NCAD 2018 bursary winner Ala Sinkevich will exhibit her final year collection ‘Existential Nomad’, as chosen by Shelly Corkery at the recent NCAD Graduate Fashion Showcase.
Also for this year’s CREATE, NCAD students from 2nd year, 3rd year and the master’s programme from all mediums were invited to create a bespoke limited edition print for the iconic Brown Thomas shopping bag for the duration of CREATE. Groups of students collaborated under a creative brief set by the team at Brown Thomas with a winning print then chosen.
CREATE takes place on Level 1, Brown Thomas Dublin for six weeks from 3rd July.