The role of Personal Stylists, fashion stylists and personal shoppers in showcasing Irish Design
With a creative identity all of our own, Irish fashion design has really taken off in the last number of years. It has been great to see more and more fashion retailers and small boutiques supporting Irish fashion designers. With 2015 the year of Irish design, this year is the year fashion stylists, fashion bloggers and personal shoppers all around the country have an important role to play in highlighting their favourite fashion designers in Ireland and designers in general.
In my personal stylist training it is hugely important to me to teach the importance of sourcing the shops that offer their client that something different, something unique. Irish design does just that. We have come a long way from the days of Aran knits and tartan scarves (through the latter has made a big come back) and the newest generation of Irish designers are remixing their heritage values with something entirely new and contemporary. To that end, fashion stylists, personal stylists and personal shoppers also need to take their roles as Irish style ambassadors very seriously in being able to educate their customer on what’s available and where.
To get you started
There are the designers of course who design at home but showcase all around the world such as John Rocha but sticking to what you, as personal shoppers and stylists have access to on these shores, how about the amazing talent that is EMMA MANLEY, a personal favourite of mine stocked in Arnotts this season. You will also find other stockists around Ireland here.
ARNOTTS an also be commended for their work this season in supporting other emerging and established Irish designers across all disciplines throughout the store. The Love Irish Design initiative at Arnotts has been hosting a celebration of contemporary Irish designers with dedicated window displays and exclusive meet the designer trunk show events. Three new Dublin based fashion talents have been added to the Arnotts ladies wear floor. Aswell as EMMA MANLEY (mentioned above), CAROLINE KILKENNY and UMIT KUTLUK (see image below) have also been added. Other designers also on the ladieswear floor include LENNON COURTNEY, ROISIN LINANNE, HELEN MCALINDEN and ORLA KIELY. Love Irish Design trunk shows have taken place throughout March with the last one happening next Saturday the 28th March for Caroline Kilkenny, Helen McAlinden & Umit Kutluk. Each designer will provide an insight into their personal inspirations and style.
CHUPI JEWELLERY should definitely be in every personal stylists little black book. Once known only for pretty frocks this girl has a branched out into beautiful statement and intricate jewels with a host of stockists in Ireland, the UK and online.
The Kilkenny Shop
On the high street THE KILKENNY SHOP is one of my favourite champions of great Irish design showcased in a big way this Spring with great collections from the likes of FEE G, AIDEEN BODKIN, NIAMH O’NEILL AND LENNON COURTNEY (see image below). Niamh O’Neill, having just launched instore in 2014 has gone from strength to strength and her Spring 2015 collection sees the return of her classic ‘Emma’ dress and ‘Christine’ coat albeit with a seasonal twist and spring palette.
Another gem to look out for is Irish jewellery designer RACHEL SWAN. Rachel has won two future maker awards at the Design and Craft Council of Ireland. Influenced by sleek aesthetics, architecture and sculpture, her work is handcrafted in Dublin, using traditional techniques, such as doming, filing and soldering. Taking inspiration from modern architecture, she uses repeated geometric shapes to create wearable structures and forms. Beautiful.
Sami Boutique, Cork
Personal Stylists and Fashion Stylists with their fingers on the pulse should also research and know all the lesser known but great boutiques around the country doing their hard work to support Irish fashion designers. One such boutique is one of my personal favourites, SAMUI in Cork stocking acclaimed Irish designer DANIELLE ROMERIL.
My top 5 tips for Personal Stylists, Fashion Stylists and Personal Shoppers
1. Be genuine. Find designers that you love and will take about with passion. You don’t have to talk about everyone but find the ones that you love to wear.
2. Create a style file with categories. As you hear about accessory designers, fashion designers etc, file the details so that can share with your clients.
3. Do your research. Buy magazines like Image Magazine or Irish Tatler who usually have their finger on the pulse of and also take their role seriously in uncovering the latest Irish talent.
4. Use your social media platforms to showcase your favourites. The power of social media in influencing women is huge and as a personal stylist or fashion blogger women value your opinion.
5. Connect with PR companies who represent Irish brands. They will keep you updated on events, collections and more so you can in turn share with your followers and clients.