With fashion lovers across the globe currently consumed by Paris’s awe-striking catwalk shows, it’s interesting to note just how pivotal a role technology has played over the past decade, by further advancing the industry and all its connections. Fashion week is a prime example; not so long ago, these showcases were solely reserved for the elite, and remained top-secret to the general public until related articles were published by prominent newspapers and trend guides appeared on newsstands months later (as I write, Louis Vuitton‘s final garments with Marc Jacobs at the helm are surfacing online straight from this morning’s S/S ’14 show). These last few years have burst that previously untouchable bubble, starting with the infiltration of bloggers and ending with the instantaneous magic of smartphones and Wi-Fi access. Catwalk shots are shared lavishly by Internet-savvy fashion folk, and with the recent immense popularity of Vines & Instagram videos (online live streaming of shows goes without saying), a fashion-hungry schoolgirl can watch Chanel’s spectacular finale unfold 4,000 miles away from Paris, in as much high-definition detail as FROW attendees have the luxury of witnessing.
What globalisation has brought, in turn, is less of a worldwide reliance on making one’s name in the big fashion capitals. While the importance of these four original cities will never deter, the rise of additional fashion weeks – and the age of Internet showcases – are together proving that one can be just as successful in one’s hometown fashion scene with the Internet on their side, than if they made the big (and expensive) move to a foreign city. The point is only truly valid, however, if said hometown really is cultivating support for its emerging talents – a city full of creative youths and barren of platforms for them is far worse than a metropolis overflowing with keen-eyed individuals determined to ‘make it’ (more competition with the latter, yes, but the demand for additional showcase platforms is usually being met).
One up-and-coming fashion week that has showed immense promise over the past few years, however, is that of the Dublin Fashion Festival. Having recently celebrated its fourth anniversary, the annual festival’s content has gone from strength to strength since the three-day showcases were first inaugurated. With Amanda Byram presenting last year’s DFF main events, I was delighted to see yet another prominent figure – Laura Whitmore – as a host for this year’s festivities, and with 2013’s fashion festival marking the debut of some uber-talented labels, I was very much looking forward to feasting my eyes on these new designer previews.
(via The Styyyle Mile)
To kickstart the DFF course of events, I was delighted to have the privilege of attending Colin Horgan’s SS14 show in the heart of Dublin. Having first been introduced to Colin’s designs at Om Diva’s Night of Fashion this April, I was struck by his ability to create structural garments that still held a degree of femininity to them – with his first collection having been built around strong inspiration concepts such as ‘a girl fighting back.. becoming a woman‘ and viewing clothes as armour, the designs were utterly desirable (the monochromatic palette shot with bursts of glossy, red leather): being sexy in the least conventional sense of the word. With his new Spring/Summer offering set to be unlike any previously showcased creations, I made my way to South William Street in immense anticipation:
The venue in question was directly opposite (and sponsored by) reknowned design centre Project 51, a red carpet cascading from the Georgian columned entrance. Names were checked off of guestlists as attendees entered the building, taking in the minimalist interiors and walking through to the main showcase area. The room, and general ambience, was much more intimate than I would have imagined, with a handful of guests seated and chatting with their fellow attendees. I had the pleasure of speaking with highly-acclaimed blogging duo Becky Wallace & Ciana Walsh of Concrete Collar, whose innovative posts feature photoshoots in some of Dublin’s most structurally appealing venues (honing in on the importance of prominent backdrops, all the more relevant for them as architecture students). I was also delighted to meet the fabulous Sinead Burke of Minnie Mélange; her über-chic & articulate fashion blog quickly rose to become of one of my firm Irish favourites since I first discovered it a few months ago (I’m especially fond of her “Spotlight” feature, which showcases the best of emerging Irish fashion talent – a subject matter very near and dear to my heart!). As murmuring grew softer and music began to play, I waited for the first model to appear underneath the archway:
The very first look – a leather bomber jacket and a black skirt slit to the upper-thigh – gave indications to the sports-luxe influence that would become a recurring feature throughout the collection, with black & white leather backpacks and flowing silk trousers playing important roles. Visually, far more transparent forces were at work – silken crop tops were paired with sleeveless biker jackets, and organza-chiffon pieces made very notable appearances. At first glance, the sheer garments are a sharp contrast to the female warrior fortresses produced from his previous work, but the ultimate theme of rising above vulnerability to create an empowered female warrior is whole-heartedly present; crafting a deeply thought-provoking collection that Colin, despite only being in his 2nd season, has weaved together with a natural prowess that many could only strive to achieve. The pieces were constructed with attention-to-detail – something I always resonate with upon viewing collections – his AJ Dress, for example (my favourite garment on the day, the silk organza fabric cascaded beautifully) has embellishments of hand-cut orange rubber and patent leather pieces, which are individually applied with care, giving the dress and in general, the collection, a truly artisanal feel.
Post-showcase, I was able to finally meet the lovely Lily Joyce of Latest Lil, who I’d been tweeting since summer but only then had to opportunity to chat with in person! I also posed with Adam Gaffrey, who was sporting a sleek cut-out black shirt from Colin’s menswear line, and exchanged words with the wonderful Mr. Horgan himself. Leaving the building and immersing myself back into the Creative Quarter streets, I couldn’t have found a more brilliant (and visually pleasing) way to kick-start my DFF festivities, something that would undoubtedly resonate with all the other bloggers, journalists, photographers and fashion-lovers in attendance.
For more info, lookbook imagery and contact details, you can check out Colin Horgan’s website “here”; to keep up-to-date with additional fashion happenings, photoshoots and so forth, you can follow the label on Facebook & Twitter. Colin’s S/S ’14 pieces shall be gracing the catwalk once more at Fashion.ie‘s Fashion Distilled event on October 18th, where the collection will be joined by showcases from some of Ireland’s most promising fashion designers to recently hit the industry. The new-season garments shall be available to purchase from www.colinhorgan.com this coming Spring, and I’m definitely intrigued to browse and even treat myself to a piece; every woman, after all, should embrace their inner warrior goddess, and these awe-inspiring creations provide the perfect platform. ♥