“An Enchanted Forest” - Irish Design Showcase with focus on Sustainable Fashion
Midsummer’s Night, Thursday 21st of June
Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, County Kerry
BOOK YOUR TICKETS BELOW AND PAY VIA PAYPAL OR DIRECTLY THROUGH EVENTBRITE
Please note, your ticket will be available for collection from the box office at the door on the night. Please keep your booking ref as proof of payment.
“An Enchanted Forest” - a fashion evening featuring top designers & boutiques showcasing Summer Collections, with a dedicated presentation on sustainable fashion, will be held on Midsummer’s night , Thursday 21st of June, in the spectacular setting of Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, County Kerry. Tickets are priced at €85, and can be purchased from Eventbrite or directly from this website.
The evening will feature collections from Helen Steele, Alison Conneely, Sarah Murphy, Alice Halliday, Carol Kennelly, Tina Griffin, Hazel Comyn, Aoife Hannon, Delphine Grandjouan and House of Kerry. Special guest on the night is international Womenswear Designer Colin Horgan, who is from Ardfert in Kerry and now based in London. Colin Horgan has dressed Lady GaGa and Dua Lipa and is widely considered one of fashion's brightest young talents on the world stage.
Our special guest designer
The pre show salon boutique show will feature summer and sustainable labels from MacBees Killarney, Annburys Tralee, Jasmine Tralee with bespoke headpieces by Cathy Troth and Hannons of Castleisland.
The best dressed lady on the evening will win an overnight stay in an Estate Room in Sheen Falls Lodge including full Irish Breakfast and dinner for 2 in The Falls Restaurant. Thank you to Sheen Falls for sponsoring this wonderful prize.
Multi award winning womenswear designer
We are delighted that multi award winning womenswear designer, Helen Steele, will show her S/S collection on the evening.
In her own words . . .
"This collection was inspired by African tribal art . Each print has been created by Helen's paint flying artwork. Every shape in the collection has been made to fit all shapes and sizes. These are pieces made to have fun in. So eat . Drink. And dance in comfort and colour."
So what exactly is 'Sustainable Fashion' and why does it matter?
Sustainability is now the big conversation in fashion - and everyone can join in ! Essentially it is all about asking where is a product from (ie where is it made and are those who make it fairly paid); what is it made from (natural or man-made materials), how often will you wear it (is it an investment piece - or wear once) and what happens when you discard it (landfills and waste management are becoming an increasing expensive and hazardous issue)? There are many strands to being more sustainable in your own everyday life and purchase decisions - including supporting local designers (thereby reducing the carbon foot print and generating employment), buying sustainable fabrics, re-wearing and sharing your clothing, up-cycling, re-cycling and generally being more aware of the story behind what you are wearing.
Sustainable is now 'sexy' and sustainable collections are also very design led and fashionable. Although it is more pricey, it is about looking at the bigger picture both for your wardrobe and the planet! Many high street stores are now producing sustainable collections, and re-visiting their work practices and supply chains to become more environmentally friendly.
We asked a few of our participating designers to tell us what they feel sustainable fashion means to them, why it is so important and how we can all make a difference.
"Sustainable and ethical fashion matters because our lives aren't the only ones that matter. Our never ending desire to consume fashion shouldn't come at the cost of the lives of the people who make our clothes or the environment. It’s just not enough anymore that something is a beautiful item or a beautiful piece of clothing, if it comes with such a high environmental and human cost attached."
Womenswear / Knitwear designer
Graduating from Griffith College Dublin in 2016, Sarah Murphy left with a multi-award winning Graduate knitwear collection, and the highest Fashion Design degree that has ever awarded by the college. Sarah's debut collection was displayed and sold as part of Brown Thomas' Create 2017. She now sells alongside Simone Rocha and Molly Goddard in Havana, and was named Image Magazines “Ones to watch”. Her S/S 18 collection “Babylon” is inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, using antique fabrics from the middle east and heritage aran stitches in innovative ways to create a modern collection. Each piece is hand knit and hand loomed in her studio in the Wicklow mountains.
(Photo Credit : Justina Brazauskaite)
"Sustainable fashion has become really fashionable. Both brands and consumers are definitely becoming more conscious about how their clothes are made, and making positive changes. It's really inspiring to see these shifts in the industry, but there's still lots of room for improvement. The whole nature of fashion is still based on this desire for more. I think we really need to be reminded to 'buy less, choose well' and that we should move towards made-to-order instead of mass production. There needs to be a focus on prolonging the lifespan of our clothing, learning how we can mend pieces and rework them. Clothes swaps are also a great alternative to shopping sprees. Clare Press has an amazing podcast series on ethical fashion called Wardrobe Crisis, I strongly recommend it to everyone!"
Alice Halliday is a couturier based in Skibbereen, specialising in made-to-measure bridal & event wear, headpieces and accessories. She lovingly creates each piece using the finest vintage and sustainably sourced materials. Worn by the likes of Florence + the Machine and featured on Vogue.com, Alice's award winning designs are ethereal and elegant, with a bohemian feel.
(Photo Credit : Kate Bean Photography)
Alice's collection is available from Liberty & Jasmine boutique in Skibbereen, Om Diva boutique in Dublin & online via alicehalliday.etsy.com
Talking about her collection . . .
"Many of the fabrics are hand dyed locally on the Ardbear Peninsula, from rock moss, gorse, and seasonal heather blooms. A selection of our headwear is woven from organic wool on our family farm. The flora and fauna of Connemara’s botanical wonderland inspire the template of our unique tailoring methods"
Alison Conneely is a designer, creative director and stylist from the Ardbear Peninsula on Ireland’s Atlantic coastline.
In 2016 Alison was chosen as Irish design representative by the National of Museum of Ireland for the 1916 centenary commemorations. Her show 'The Shuttle Hive: A Century of Rising Threads', a commemorative design collection, explored through the lens of the modernist movement, the agency of revolt and myth, as identity paradigm for Irish women.
Alison is an award winning designer and recipient of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland Future Makers Award. Living in Ireland with her partner Emmet she divides her time, between her Dublin studio and Connemara Farm.
Alison Conneely returns to her Connemara roots to inspire and inform a mythical apparel vision. Future lines, sculpted from the lifelines of the ancient past.
(Photo credit : Eilish McCormack)
French born fashion designer Delphine Grandjouan, fell in love with the romantic west of Ireland in her twenties and has been settled there ever since… rooting her inspiration in the haunting dance between mountains and sea that she can gaze at daily from her design studio. She moved seamlessly from her philosophy studies to fabric design ( signing off the Riverdance velvet devore used by Joan Bergin for the lead dancer’s outfit, that has graced the Show’s posters for the last 20 years), then evening wear (selling her fashions to the U.S. and Middle East markets from the Paris Fashion Week shows) to finally settle at home with the increasing demands of her award winning couture bridal wear business.
Bridal & womenswear designer
The Italian double wool crepes and silks, the French laces and modern textured fabrics in shades of deep or bright reds, charcoals and blacks have been specially selected and worked on intensively to give these made in Ireland limited edition investment pieces a truly unique qualitative appeal. Delphine will be exclusively creating new gowns for An Enchanted Forest, and also showcasing her new ready to wear cocktail and womenswear collection.
"My personal attitude to fashion purchases has definitely changed over the years. To me, fast fashion feels so frantic, trend driven and disposable. I prefer to slow down the whole process, take the time to contemplate on my purchases. I buy less, but invest in pieces that are of quality timeless design, sometimes vintage, often custom made locally, wardrobe heirlooms, that I will be proud to wear and reinvent for years to come. This ethos affects my own approach to how I design my collection of hats and headpieces."
Award winning milliner
"As a bespoke fashion designer, I use high quality materials and processes to create Luxury garments, giving customers a “timeless” Piece with a long lifespan, reducing the waste commonly associated with “Disposable” Fashion.
These customers are making a deliberate choice to buy better quality items, less often and with my garments being Locally Produced, it greatly reduces the “Fashion miles” this clothing must travel before reaching their wardrobes".
Tina Griffin is a multi award winning womenswear designer based in Kerry.
(Photo Credit : Leon Farrell, styled by Cathy O'Connor for the Arthur Cox showcase)
"It's important to me to keep my designs Made in Ireland and Made to Order so it reduces the amount of fabric wasted. Far too much fabric is wasted through fast fashion. I find ways to use my scraps of fabrics to incorporate them into my designs. I don’t believe in bringing out collections twice a year now instead I choose to design individual pieces that are timeless."
Hazel Comyn is a multi-Award Winning Irish Designer specialising in Bridal and Lace. Originally from Cork, but now based in Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry she takes inspiration from the beauty of the Kerry landscape. Through her exploration she discovered a love of Irish crafts especially handmade Limerick lace and Irish Crochet lace which she now incorporates into her designs. Some of her lace is handmade using traditional techniques with original designs and can be designed to include the personalities and stories of the girl who wears it. The lace can later be transformed to allow it to pass from generation to generation allowing stories to travel through time. Handmade pieces of Lace can contain over 10,000 individual stitches each one carefully placed to complete a story through needle and thread. Hazel also carefully sources beautiful laces from all over the world that have a classic elegance as she believes her designs should be simple with a sprinkle of enchantment.
(Photo Credit : Ciara O Donnell)
"As a designer sustainable fashion is really important to me. As a mother I feel we need to leave a great world for future generations to enjoy. To me this means using as many natural fibres as possible, as much locally sourced materials as I can and making products of a high quality that will last for years and pass through the generations".
Aoife Hannon is an award winning milliner based in Listowel, County Kerry.
What to expect ?
An Enchanted Forest promises to be an unforgettable evening and the perfect place to celebrate both Irish design talents and mid summer. The evening will commence with a fine wines & canapés reception outdoors in the beautiful surroundings overlooking the picturesque Sheen Falls accompanied by a salon styled fashion show featuring Kerry boutiques. Guests will then move for the main show into the William Petty Suite within Sheen Falls, which will be transformed by creative director, Ann Marie O Leary, into a magical enchanted forest. This show will exclusively feature collections from selected Irish and Kerry designers and a dedicated presentation on sustainable fashion. Each guest will also receive a complimentary gift bag.
Midsummer’s night, Summer Solstice, has been celebrated throughout time as a magical and enchanting evening. The height of the Summer in the Northern hemisphere and the longest day of the year, it is a fitting occasion to focus on new Summer trends and fashion’s sustainable future. Many of the designers on the evening will create special pieces for the event, making it unmissable for fashion lovers. It also promises to be a most enjoyable and fun evening with surprise guests.
If you are an emerging designer or fashion design student working on a sustainable collection, we dedicated space on the evening to showcase your collection. Please get in touch. Email me
Sustainable fashion, also called eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility.*
* Definition Wikipedia
This article in the Huffington Post is a good overview on sustainable fashion
(Excepts below. Link to full article at end)
More sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects.
Made Locally : Plain and simple, items made in your country. Every fashion piece has a "made in" tag, pay attention to those. If you don't see it, don't be afraid to ask if it is made locally.
Green & Clean : All major processes. From how the garment is made to what materials are used to make the garment. A company has full control on the materials they use and they have the decision to use recycled, organic or to change the dying processes of a garment to have less of an impact. Have a look at the materials used on the tag, read the descriptions when buying online.
High Quality : These are garments that are hand crafted and can include items that are customised. The reason high quality is sustainable is that it extends the life of a garment since its made to last.
Fair & Ethical : Being people friendly ensures the workers have fair compensation and are treated ethically.
Remake, Reuse & Up-cycle : Reusing what's already made. For a company, it is using recycled textiles. For an individual, it is giving new life to an old garment; a simple example is turning jeans into shorts.
Rent, Loan, Swap : Why buy items if you are only going to wear them once? The rental, loan, swap movement has pushed people to buy long lasting essentials and rent the trends.
Second Hand : Your local thrift shop or the tons of second hand marketplaces online. Remember that you are able to buy trends & essentials; they are not only for vintage finds or super high-end brands.
For more read :
THE YEAR SUSTAINABLE FASHION GOT SEXY (Vogue)
SUSTAINABLE FASHION - SOME KEY IRISH PLAYERS (Irish Times)
(This article was written in 2016, and there are many more sustainable labels now on the Irish market)
"An Enchanted Forest" is a collaboration of talents working in the fashion industry and will feature designers, labels and new collections from Irish boutiques. It will be produced by fashion PR & events professional, Orla Diffily who is also a fashion contributor on Ireland’s top afternoon show RTE Today and has co-produced KFW fashion week and the Ireland Fashion Showcase New York. Creative Director, Ann Marie O’Leary, will create an Enchanted Forest using locally foraged foliage and florals and style the opening presentation. Models are from Upfront Model Management and staging is by Ray Stack Productions. Hair is by Cathriona Rohan.
Launch Image Credit: Barry Murphy Photography 087 2352200,
on location in Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare
SHEEN FALLS LODGE - SPECIAL PACKAGE
Sheen Falls Lodge have a special package for the event -
€499 in a Classic Room for 2 people sharing – overnight accommodation with breakfast, 2 course meal in The Falls and tickets to "An Enchanted Forest". To book please contact Sheen Falls Lodge directly