NCAD Graduate Fashion Show 2015
The NCAD graduate fashion show is one of the most anticipated design events on the Irish calendar. Having honed their design skills at one of Ireland’s most regarded art colleges, the fledgling designers never fail to produce a show that brims with promise, innovation and a distinct dose of fearlessness.
Words: Sophie Donaldson
They thrust out an aesthetic that has for the past six months, been dissected and inspected, pared back to the resulting collection that charges down the runway. This week sees the latest crop of fashion talent present their work and before the curtain drops, this is everything you need to know about the Class of 2015.
Deconstructed menswear tailoring, mourning lace and laser cutting form a harmonious union in Adam Henderson’s collection ‘Made in the Irish Free State’. Inspired by the women of the 1916 Easter Rising the garments are designed for contemporary women influenced by their past. The cropped waistlines, vertical collars and angular shoulders are a thoroughly modern reference to a particular moment in time; that of regimented dressing, frugal silhouettes and in particular, the handmade uniforms of the ‘Cumann na Mba’, his female Rising muses.
Ailbhe Doyle utilises the technique of draping to represent a floating exploration of cyber space. The voluminous garments sit away from the body in purposeful disconnect, just as we become increasingly detached form our real lives as we become ever absorbed in the screens in front of us. The drape is used as a ‘suspension mechanism’ and is the main component in constructing her garments of neoprene, latex and elastic.
Exploring the physical concept of craft, Alice Langton has created textural garments that run the gamut of traditional craftsmanship techniques. Basketry and weaving are apparent influences in her boxy, woven creations. Her use of traditional materials and fabrics are tempered by the bold silhouettes and a refreshing colour palette of white, straw and apricot results in an effortlessly cool approach to crafting.
Taking inspiration from a pre war article titled ‘How a Wife Should Undress’ Audrey Noonan’s angular, asymmetrical clothing mimics the mid movement shapes of garments being shed form the body. Envisaging women undressing and the intimate, sometimes awkward act of becoming unclothed the garments are imbued with an unaffected yet sultry air, emphasised by the slinky silk and organdy in shades of ebony and nude.
Moving fluidly between mens and womenswear, Restless Image by Claire Winterson is a ‘juxtaposition of tradition, silhouette and fabric creating a mood defined as menswear romanticism’. The layered garments drape over each other, the pleated silk pooling dreamily as it falls down the body. Silk slips and mens briefs were a starting point for the romantic, sensual clothing that cuts a dreamy, dishevelled silhouette when worn on the body.
Inspired by man’s first space mission, Conall Murray’s collection ’Temperance’ is an exploration of control and personal restraint and suitably hums with a retro athleticism. The metallic two piece with contrast binding and exposed zipper is reminiscent of pursuits from the track and field, the gleaming fabric beaming it forward into the unknown future.
The superstitions of green in haute couture and the Disney illustrations by Marc Davis were the starting points for Daniel Roden’s exploration of exaggerated silhouettes. The relationship between architecture and nature manifests in larger than life coats constructed from plumes of inky hand applied feathers, the natural material coerced into a designed and planned form.
Fionn Ó Dubhghail revisits nostalgia and age in a collection inspired by the work of conceptual photographer Luigi Ghirri. Sand blasted denim has been crafted into separates that reference a gentle form of tailoring. Lines remain clean, with elements of tailoring such as double breasted fronts and flap pockets executed in an instructed, easy fashion.
Georgie Twamley’s clothing puts the wearer in control. The colour blocked separates work with the body, rather than against and imbue the wearer with confidence. Exploring the concept of ‘one size fits all’ these garments are designed to empower, not restrict. They are ambidextrous in their ability to be reimagined, rearranged and transformed in line with whomever is wearing them.
The hulk-like figures of body builders and their masses of flesh and muscle are behind the voluminous, sporty separates of Isibeal Fergus. Her textile print draws on the tissue regeneration that is in action as the body exercises, this microscopic anatomical process in juxtaposition with the larger than life silhouettes of the bodybuilders.
A former intern of London designer du jour Richard Nicoll, Jessica Bagnall dissects the very concept of creativity in her collection ‘Point and Line to Plane’, named after the work of Kandinsky. The bulbous silhouettes mimic the curves of the female form, the exaggerated hourglass shapes reinforced by directional stitching. The moody, potently feminine garments simmer in a palette of ink and scarlet
Jodie McArdle presents cooler-than-thou deconstructed tailoring with a sportswear edge in a monochromatic palette punctuated with citrus bright accents.
With the hand at the helm of her collection, Lorraine Ho explores their ability to identify, protect, expose and reveal. The sculptures and hand paintings of artist Louise Bourgeois have informed the commanding, block like silhouettes of the collection that conceal the figure and alter the perception of the human form beneath them.
Maeve Brennan’s ‘Singing the Chaos’ is ‘about the paradox and contradiction between nature and the auditory human experience’.
Shannon Bolger creates a literal translation of shadow play in her exploration of childhood memories. Monochromatic creatures peer out from the dark or cling from the shoulders in the form of backpacks. Having interned in the costume department at The Royal Opera House in London there is an apparent dose of quirk within her creations.