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During these times of not going outdoors very much or at all I started thinking of fashion. My fashion sense and style since I don’t have any at the moment. I hear about people wearing their finest clothes to take out the garbage, I am not in that camp. There are days I do dress up in an effort to cheer myself up but most days, let’s face it none of us are probably putting much effort into our attire. My mind is on the health of my loved ones, my bills & if I will have a job in the fall. I put my worry in God’s hands though and I try to continue my days with a smile for what I do have at the moment.

So, this Summer I want to write about fashion. What is fashion? Who are your fashion icons? Jacqueline Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Nicki Minaj maybe.

Fashion is: “A popular trend especially in styles of dress, ornament or manners of behaviors.” Its art applied to clothing & accessories. A few American designers include: Tom Ford, Donna Karan, & Marc Jacobs.

I will give a brief introduction of a few Irish designers which include Philip Treacy, Jacqueline Quinn, Orla Kiely, Paul Costelloe, & Simone Rocha. Designers must spend time researching trends and interpret them for their audience. They attempt to design clothes that are functional as well as pleasing. Some clothes are made specifically for an individual, haute couture or tailored. However, most clothing is designed for mass market for everyday ready wear. Designers may work full-time for one fashion house which owns the designs, or they work alone. Freelance designers work for themselves selling their designs to fashion houses, directly to stores or the clothing manufacturer. Some designers are self employed and design for individual clients. Most designers work for apparel manufactures creating designs of men and women’s fashion for mass market. Large designer brands which have a ‘name’ as their brand such as Justice or Juicy are designed by a team under a director.

Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19 century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn in the garments he created. Fashion is a huge industry that’s only getting bigger. The global apparel market is worth over a trillion dollars. It’s a serious industry, apparel. Whether we put much thought into our clothes, where they were produced or the type of fabric they are, clothes matter. Because they tell the world who we are and how we want to be treated.
When we think of fashion, countries like France & Italy probably come to mind first but Ireland has been working behind the scenes and is producing a lot of fashion designers. Eddie Shanahan is chairman of the council on Irish fashion Designers has said, “Many young talented Irish designers go abroad to Italy and Poland due to the lack of purposeful manufacture structures. His ideas and input might produce some changes, maybe make state agencies capitalize more on Ireland’s potential of becoming a fashion capital. Fashion today is a global industry and most major countries have a fashion industry.

Philip Treacy is an award-winning Irish hat designer from Co. Galway. He was described by Vogue as “perhaps the greatest living milliner”. He had interest in sewing at 5 years old & he was obsessed with the weddings in the church across the road from his house. Treacy was invited by the Chamber Syndiclae de la Haute Couture to participate in Paris fashion show the first hat designer to be invited in 80 years. Treacy was awarded an honorary OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to the British fashion industry.
Jacqueline Quinn is a fashion designer & consultant she was born in Dublin. She currently lives in New York. She developed a big following among women in the Jewish community. “They’re finding high-end black designer clothing appropriate for synagogue from an Irish Catholic girl” said Quinn. She has helped raise money for breast cancer awareness. She has made dresses from entirely of shoe material, parts of sunglasses. She launched a handbag collection, twelve embellished bags, a tribute to ‘old Hollywood”. Quinn is a passionate philanthropist she partnered with stay-at-home mom’s living in India to create the handbag collection. Go raibh mile maith agat Jacqueline! I am a huge fan of women helping women! I believe when people do these acts to help women around the world, they are making a difference and it can spark a thousand acts of goodwill.
Orla Kiely is a fashion designer from Dublin. She started her career in hats, handbags and moved onto design work in kitchenware and cars. She credits her grandmother for being the creative influence in her life.

Paul Costelloe is from Dublin. He was the personal designer for Princess Diana. He designed the British airways uniform for the airline. He also designed the Irish Olympic team uniform for the 2004 Summer games in Athens, Greece. He is very outspoken but also extremely talented.

Lastly, Simone Rocha is a designer from Dublin who followed in her father John Rocha’s footsteps. Her designs have been worn by former first Lady Michelle Obama. She is married to Irish photographer Eoin McLoughlin. Rocha is passionate about her Irish roots & incorporates it in her designs.

I don’t have any fashion icons that I look up to, maybe I need one. I just like simple and neutral colors, clothes that fit right and I don’t overexpose, modesty is key.
I think the singer/rapper, Trinidadian Nicki Minaj is very creative in coming up with interesting looks for the red carpet. She said once that her dream is to meet Enya (Donegal) I thought that was intriguing as Rap music and Celtic music can not be more opposite. However, I’m sure if the singers were to meet, they would have a lot to chat about.

Gaelic for the month
Fashion-faisan, Clothes-eadai, Design-dearadh, Hat-hata, Style-stil

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” —Gianni Versace
“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” Prada
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