A fashion show is like a swan, the beautiful serene models on the catwalk, while we (the dodgy legs) work frantically backstage. Of course when you’re part of a great team a show is a well-oiled machine, but it’s always gonna be a little nerve wracking making sure everything goes out on time and looking perfect.
I had the total pleasure of showcasing at Derry Fashion Fest again this year with my faves Bohemian Vixen, alongside wonderful Irish designers including Una Rodden, Helen Cody, Edel MacBride, Karishma Kusurka and Chloe Dougan as well as a host of talented fashion graduates. The show was an amazingly slick catwalk production by Style Academy Model Agency in the beautifully atmospheric St Columb’s Hall, a former theatre and cinema.
I’m still getting used to being part of a show as a designer, having styled shows for the last ten years. It’s a different kind of pressure- from putting together and being responsible for 300 outfits and having designers and retailers put their new collections in your care, to creating a handful of outfits from scratch, in my case print and all. At the actual show I think there is less pressure as a designer, but more emotional involvement. Of course the stylist in me means I’ll probably never sit in an audience at a show, I always gravitate backstage to hang out and cast my eye over the collection before it hits the catwalk.
Over the past year I’ve been involved in a few events in Derry, including the debut Fashion Fest, the DCC Arts and Crafts Awards, FSB Small Business Saturday and I occasionally turn up on BBC Radio Foyle’s lunchtime show with Mark Patterson for fashion chats. It’s a very picturesque city with a burgeoning creative scene which pays homage to its textile heritage. There’s a palpable energy to the place, that buzz of somewhere up and coming with the development of the Fashion Hub and Eighty81, part of the fabulous Blick Studios (my happy home on the Malone Road when I was Belfast based).
For me, Derry Fashion Fest Show came at the end of a manic AW15 season, a hectic few months. Coupled with the DFF Creative Workshop with the awesome Eddie Shanahan and an exhibition that same week, pulling together my collection involved a few late nights, a lot of coffee and one unfortunate scissor/silk related incident.
As always tends to happen, everything kind of fell together in time for the show. It still surprises me that I am putting collections together again. I graduated with a BA Hons in Fashion and Textiles, specialising in fashion design eleven years ago and swore I would never get into design, I found it slow and to be honest, a bit tedious. Styling was perfect for me- that immediate gratification of an amazing image- I always dabbled in design when shooting, but usually just something dramatic for the camera, I didn’t worry about working out patterns, careful cutting and stitches. A couple of years ago when I started creating prints I wanted an interesting way to showcase my silks and made them into simple garments. I had no intention of selling them but they kind of took off.
For Fashion Fest I wanted to create a few new pieces, simple designs that really show off the prints, with minimal stitching. I want to find as many different ways as possible of manipulating my oversized scarves into garments so that my Éadach Addicts get the most bang for their buck, I want my customers to invest in a hard working item that will really add to their wardrobe.
Anyway. The show. It was awesome. See below 🙂
Big thanks to Derry City and Strabane District Council for having me!
To enquire about the availability of any of the Éadach garments shown at Fashion Fest please fill out the form below