When I received my invitation for Om Diva and Atelier 27‘s “Young Designers of the Year” event, it would be quite an understatement to say I was excited about attending. I’m sure that, by now, you all know how enamoured I am of the boutique, in every single aspect – from its unique selection of garments, shoes and accessories & its beautiful, detailed decor to its brilliant ethos; and by merely existing, it fills a large, important gap in Dublin’s Creative Quarter shopping area.
The shop’s window display showcased four individual pieces from the 4 Young Designer’s collections that are to be featured in Atelier 27. What caught my eye in particular was a pale pink and lilac tulle dress with incredible 3D crochet and flower embellishment, and trimmed beautifully at the waist with a purple gingham ribbon – but I had yet to learn the name of the designer who had created it.
While guests sipped champagne and natural water infused with blueberries and mint leaves, I climbed the stairs to Atelier 27, stopping mid-way to take in a stunning burnt umber flower-embellished dress:
It had to be by the same designer as that of the lilac tulle dress, I thought to myself. By now I was very intrigued.
At this stage, Atelier 27 was buzzing with friendly, mingling, fashion-adoring individuals. Some browsed the new designers’ collections; others descended to the less-crowded lower levels to purchase garments. I personally ended up buying a stunning pair of black shorts, piped with lace trim and embellished with crystals & stars at the sides (which I am wearing as I write this very sentence :)).
Without further ado, here is a proper glimpse of the four new designers’ collections:
Soon to be graduating from the Grafton Academy, Edel originally studied Architecture in DIT – and this shines through the clean, well-cut and individualistic lines present in her collection. She attained second place in the DCU Young Designer competition. Her capsule collection for Atelier 27 has a wonderful balance of androgyny and femininity, as shown with her leather shorts and ruffled-collar leather jackets paired with silky, sleeveless cream tops. I’m particularly drawn to her use of combining different fabrics, which is always something I love seeing in collections. For someone who has yet to graduate, her pieces ooze a brilliant, professional vibe that’s usually only felt from designers who have been in the industry for quite a few years. Definitely one to keep your eye on.
Oh dear, I did actually try to not overload on taking photos of this collection – but I’ve found it impossible to resist! I genuinely love all of the four new collections in Atelier 27, but Roisin Murphy’s designs have well and truly captured my heart (I’m sure you’ve guessed that she was the designer of those tulle flower dresses I had seen prior to reaching Atelier 27). The way her collection combines bright colours and textures to create a feast for the eyes just amazes me – every single piece is right up my street. Gingham features heavily, as well as three-dimensional flower embellishment, metallics and multi-coloured glitter. Roisin was another runner-up in the DCU Young Designer competition, and has recently graduated from the Limerick School of Art and Design. Her collection is named “Young Novels” and – as I discovered while chatting to her briefly later on – some of her main inspiration behind the pieces is “growing up”; channelling the fearlessness of mix-and-matching different styles that comes easiest to those who are very early on in their life.
I’m always very intrigued by designers who manage to create eye-catching, covet-able garments using a minimal and somewhat neutral colour palette, as well as those who have unique, beautifully-sounding last names. Suzanne Ferncombe has both of the above. A runner-up in last year’s DCU competition, her collection makes luxurious use of metallics, beiges and golds, with one item sporting amazing 3D embellishment that really brings the piece to a different level. As well as creating “nail” metal peter-pan collars, Suzanne has also combined forces with Irish Handmade Glass Company to create extraordinary glass collars – if you want to stay on top of the ever-reigning collar trend but don’t want to risk buying a mass-produced, non-individualistic version that every second trend-slave is wearing, then make a beeline to Atelier 27! Talk about thinking outside the box, non?
Last but certainly not least, Sinead Dunleavy was the winner of this year’s DCU YD competition. Her collection is seemingly all about contrast, both colour and texture-wise: gold metallic trousers and delicate, snow-white garments are shot with bursts of rich, vibrant colour in the form of printed velvet. I really love the way she has showcased the striking combination of rich scarlet velvet with pure white tulle and lace, and her attention to detail is incredible – even the pieces’ linings are captivating!
Another very important focus which I discovered on the evening was that the lace, emerald-green dress (shown above) worn by the Waterford Rose of Tralee, who happens to be Suzanne Ferncombe’s sister, is going to be auctioned to raise money for the Irish Deaf Kids association. The dress was designed by Suzanne, and is set to be auctioned during October 2012 in Dublin. I’ve always been very touched by those who use their talents – in this case fashion design – to help support important, non-profit, vital associations which genuinely help people cope with individually difficult situations, as it is something I myself would strive to do. To read more about IDK, click “here”.
After fully taking in the collections, we all made our way to watch the Creative Quarter Fashion Show, organized by the Dublin Fashion Festival, which was to be held outside on the steps of the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. We all hoped it wouldn’t rain on our fashion parade, but luckily the weather stayed clear and dry. I took a video of the show which, once it’s been edited etc., should hopefully be published in the next while.
I honestly had a ball at the Om Diva event. I met some lovely, similarly fashion-obsessed people and it introduced me to four incredible emerging designers which, from now on, I shall definitely be watching carefully – and so should you. The four collections will be available at Atelier 27 until September the 14th – so if you like what you’ve seen, don’t hesitate to call into Om Diva and get a closer look!
The evening re-enforced a fact which all of us know very well by now – Om Diva is truly one of a kind. ♥