‘A natural extension’: We need Selma Blair’s positivity when talking about mobility
‘A natural extension’: We need Selma Blair’s positivity when talking about mobility

Jennifer McShane

This Rathgar home with an enormous conservatory is on the market for €2.65 million
This Rathgar home with an enormous conservatory is on the market for €2.65 million

Megan Burns

Bidding for the 2021 Incognito postcard paintings kicks off tomorrow
Bidding for the 2021 Incognito postcard paintings kicks off tomorrow

Lauren Heskin

The future is fluid: Are we heading for a gender-neutral society?
The future is fluid: Are we heading for a gender-neutral society?

Rose Mary Roche

Oscars 2021: the 8 incredible films nominated for Best Picture you should watch next
Oscars 2021: the 8 incredible films nominated for Best Picture you should watch next

Jennifer McShane

This rug company is highlighting the crisis facing the Irish wool industry
This rug company is highlighting the crisis facing the Irish wool industry

Megan Burns

10 breathtaking places you shouldn’t miss along the Wild Atlantic Way
10 breathtaking places you shouldn’t miss along the Wild Atlantic Way

Sarah Finnan

Image / Fashion

Real Women: Fashion editor Deirdre McQuillan on finding consistency in chaos


by Marie Kelly
07th Sep 2018
blank

Once, fashion became less of a concern to women the older they grew. Not anymore. Every month, IMAGE Magazine chooses a selection of real, fabulous women who demonstrate how relevant, rewarding and fun clothes can be whatever your age. This month we had the privilege of meeting fashion editor – and style icon in her own right – Deirdre McQuillan


I find it utterly impossible to imagine the petite, effortlessly stylish Deirdre McQuillan, fashion editor of The Irish Times, as an “overweight teenager”. But apparently, this was the rather unceremonious beginning of her relationship with fashion. Today, she’s nothing less than a doyenne of the industry. “When I started writing about fashion, I knew nothing of it,” she explains. “I decided that if I was going to do this job, I had to learn everything about fashion, so that’s what I did.”

She describes her personal style as “consistent in its chaos”. Again, nothing about the chic separates she arrives wearing on the morning of our shoot, or the gently curated outfit she chooses to be photographed in suggest anything close to chaos. Deirdre knows exactly how to dress her small frame, and understands that clothes are intrinsically linked to mood. “I like wearing white shirts; they cheer me up,” she reveals, and indeed she chooses a chic high-neck white Prada shirt for our shoot. “I believe in a good jacket, and in good tailoring,” she adds. “And I like tweed. I have a Magee 1866 tweed coat that I like very much, which I wear with a Stable scarf.”

Photography by Barry McCall

Deirdre believes in dressing for the life you lead. She’s an avid cyclist, so trousers and jeans are a big part of her wardrobe. Like every woman of every age and size, she admits that finding the right colour and fit of denim is difficult. “But I’ve always thought denim was a wonderful thing to wear, whatever your age. I remember getting into a bath when I was younger wearing my Levi’s in order to shrink them,” she recalls with a smile. She admires women who put together unlikely pieces successfully, like co-founder of Tropical Popical, Andrea Horan, whose over-the-top style Deirdre loves. “Some women are afraid of their real selves,” she says. “Kate Middleton, for instance, plays it so safe,” she adds.

She attributes her own inherent sense of style to her grandmother and mother, both of whom she says were incredibly stylish, and well groomed. “Being well groomed was important to my mother. She didn’t spend a lot on clothes, but she always looked wonderful.” That’s a lesson women of every age can take away.

This article originally appeared in the September issue of IMAGE Magazine. Words by Marie Kelly, videography by Niamh O’Donoghue.

Also Read

blank
FASHION
Queens of Archive is the sustainable fashion brand with great dresses you need to know

Queens of Archive is a new fashion brand with gorgeous...

By Edaein OConnell

slippers
FASHION
The cozy, chic slippers to buy now

If there were ever a time to splash out on comfy, chic slippers, it's now.

By Holly O'Neill

Fashion Week
FASHION, OFF THE CUFF
What does the future of Fashion Week look like?

New York Fashion has just ended. Did you even know it was happening this year? NYC-based fashion editor Freya Drohan reports on the state of runway in 2021.

By Freya Drohan

blank
FASHION, BEAUTY, SHOPPING
The weekend shopping fix: hair heroes, happy t-shirts and luxe candles

By Holly O'Neill

comfortable clothing
FASHION
4 comfy yet chic outfit ideas to get you ready for a post-lockdown world

Are you really going to be squeezing into high-waisted jeans...

By Edaein OConnell

blank
FASHION, SHOPPING
5 works of art trainers to breathe some colour (and comfort) into your wardrobe

With our 2021 plans at home for the foreseeable future, why not go maximalist on the most basic of footwear: trainers.

By Edaein OConnell

Gender fluidity, is not merely a passing trend or a lifestyle choice, but an evolving phenomenon.
premium FASHION, BEAUTY
The future is fluid: Are we heading for a gender-neutral society?

Will the future see us unifying elements of our humanity rather than the distinctions of gender?

By Rose Mary Roche