Irish design cuts a dash at London Fashion Week — here are some of our favourite moments
From Robyn Lynch’s infinite shades of green to the Poolbeg Chimneys appearing front and centre at Paul Costello’s AW23 collection launch, Irish talent was present in abundance throughout London Fashion Week.
Over the course of the past week, we’ve been glued to all things LFW. From the exciting street style to the grand unveiling of innovative AW23 collections on the catwalk, this year’s schedule was filled with exceptional emerging brands and established classics that did not disappoint.
Beginning on Friday 17 February with a dedication to the late Vivienne Westwood — who passed away last December and was widely considered the high priestess of punk — by the British Fashion Council.
Throughout the course of the week, there were debuts aplenty, performances and installations that left minds boggling, but of course, at the heart of it all, Irish talent and creative spirit was present and accounted for.
The launch on Paul Costello’s AW23 collection The Town I Loved So Well drew inspiration from James Joyce’s Ulysses, and is very much a modern rendering of the period using the most beautiful fabrics of Ireland and Italy. Silver woven cloth by William Clarke of Derry is presented in narrative prints festooned with scenes from Ulysses, and long tailored coats, skirts and highly structured fitted jackets from Magees in Donegal, and Emblem Weavers in Wexford. Twisted yarn knitwear mixed in with rich velvets and lush brocades bring an opulence and vitality to this exceptional collection. A true celebration of Irish creativity and craftsmanship, the Poolbeg Chimneys set the backdrop for the catwalk
Tullamore designer Sinéad O’Dwyer’s’s latest collection is named ‘Dúil’, the Irish for ‘desire’ that contains layers of nuance that include notions of fondness, appetite, longing, craving and lust. A consistent champion of diversity and equality in fashion, O’Dwyer’s catwalk show had one of the most diverse casts of models on the entire LFW schedule, and featured the heavily pregnant Tessa Kuragi on one of the first runways of the season. The collection includes her signature latticed knitwear, and the vibrant colours really packed quite the punch.
A collection that feels like something akin to a haunted dollhouse, Simone Rocha AW23 was showcased in London’s Methodist Central Hall accompanied by music from contemporary Irish folk group Lankum. Drawing inspiration from the harvest festival of Lughnasadh, this evocative show highlighted the eccentricities of womanhood, and each minute embellishment added an edge to her signature delicate ruffles. Juxtaposing the softer side of masculinity with the more audacious side of femininity, the end result was nothing if not a powerful display of true Irish talent.
Forty shades of green were on display through Robyn Lynch’s new collection, which is something of a masterclass in Irish pride. From shamrocks and etchings of Éire, to the emblematic harp and abstract Aran knit, all bases were covered and elevated to new heights. A brand based in Irish culture and tradition, Lynch manages to make these elements that verge on clichéd cool again. For the catwalk show, ??young Mayo harpist Roisin Berkeley created a custom track just for the collection.
Imagery via Catwalkpix.