BLOSS is a new Irish design pop-up shop in Dundrum Town Centre and features more than 30 designers from around the country.
Walking into the bright and airy space at BLOSS - Dundrum's newest Irish design retail experience - you can't help but get a feeling of inherent pride. Established by designers Emma Manley and Jenny Huston, Bloss is a newly-launched luxury showcase and pop-up shop featuring more than thirty established and emerging designers. It is a result of the need to bring Irish design directly to buyers and is an invigoratingly fresh (yet simple) concept. The attention to detail is evident in every nook and cranny of the large space. It's welcoming, accessible and has plenty of breathing space and each designer has his or her own designated slot to fill with their unique products. This new retail space shows Irish design as the grown-up, contemporary entity that it has come to be and really makes you want to play with each piece of beautiful jewellery and bag on display, and try on every coat or jumper or dress in arms reach.
Hand intarsia zig zag sweater, €395 at Callan Design
Of course, Manley and Huston are champions of their own success too, with each designer overseeing her own label (Emma, Manley, Jenny, Edge Only Jewellery) while establishing Bloss on the side. The shop - located beside Harvey Nichols - is home to women's, men's and children's fashion as well as homewares, jewellery, millinery and accessories. Irish design is no-longer isolated to one particular type of buyer: it's for the personal trainer, the working mother, the CEO, the mother of the bride, young teens, husbands, and this is echoed throughout the shop. "We have incredible design talent on our island and myself and Jenny are so proud to be able to bring a portion of that directly to customers where, until now, there has been a gap in the market," says co-founder Emma Manley, dressed head-to-toe in her latest AW18 collection. Her enthusiasm for design is obvious both in her own range and the passion she shows for other creators.
Teal handprinted mulberry silk robe €195 and eye mask €30, both at The Ethical Silk Co.
With designers like Capulet & Montague, Clarkes of Dublin, Jill & Gill, Laura Kinsella, Theo + George, The House Of L.E.A.F, and QBU on the books, there's a beautiful blend of contemporary and classic design on display, echoing Ireland's fashion industry's continued efforts to grow and innovate. Bloss, the phonetic spelling for 'blas', meaning taste in Irish, officially opens tonight and brings together some of the country's finest creative minds in one perfectly curated space. The project has been years in planning and both Emma and Jenny believe that for Irish design to flourish both here and abroad, it needs plenty of people behind it. "There is strength in numbers and what feels near impossible for one growing brand is very achievable for a few great brands together (or in this case, thirty!)", says Jenny. "As designers, Emma and I understand the challenges of a production business. Bloss is built to elevate Irish fashion internationally and bring discerning customers to the brands we love", she continues.
Kate Moss t-shirt, €145 at Jill&Gill
One of the privileges of this job is meeting new and established designers from all corners of the country, north and south. It's given me a deep-rooted affinity for Irish design, from cable knit Aran jumpers to clay pottery. The capital - and indeed the entire country - has positioned itself as a driving force of innovation, and the world is watching. The heavy economic crash pre-2008 hit the creative industry with brute force, with many looking for better opportunities elsewhere, where they could be supported and nurtured to grow. However, their departures abroad do not indicate the demise of the industry at home. In fact, it's growing stronger by the day and initiatives like Bloss are a testament to that.
Visit Bloss at Dundrum Town Centre and at @blossintl on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.