Five fashionating designers to check out in Dublin
We share a sneak peek into the Emerald Isle’s rich and diverse design story. See who’s making thread way.
1 Mad hatter of Temple Bar
Hats off to John Shevlin, a second-generation milliner renowned for his Panama hats worn by state delegations on trips to the tropics. Shevlin’s hats – including felt trilbies, porkpies, and cloches (think Downton Abbey) – are handmade a few miles outside town and sold at a quaint design shop on Pudding Row in the Temple Bar cultural quarter. And guess who designed the new air hostess hat for the Aer Lingus uniform?
2 Clover rules
Talented and versatile Orla Kiely emblazons handbags, dresses, and furnishings with her whimsical colours and clover patterns. Kiely credits her grandmother for inspiring these earthy retro styles, which have become fashion staples in and beyond Dublin. One of her striking green shoulder bags was recently added to the range at the Kilkenny Store, that ultimate emporium of “Irishness.”
3 Stained glass inspiration
After carving out a career working with New York’s fashion bulwarks, Jennifer Rothwell wrote her Dublin chapter inspired by the colourful stained glass of the formerly underappreciated Irish artist Harry Clarke (1889–1931). Rothwell’s locally tailored red and cobalt fabrics have graced the red carpet at the Oscars and can be seen adding splashes of colour to Dublin’s creative quarter.
4 Walk this way
“Le Cool Dublin” walking tours begin with a sensory extravaganza at ‘Perfumarija’, which offers an intoxicating mix of citrus, rose, and other flirty – though pricey – fragrances. Next stop on the tour is Industry, an independent furnishing store on Drury Street stocking vintage and carefully handpicked wares. Completing the tour is Indigo & Cloth, a fusion café-apparel shop that may be, with only six seats, the smallest café in Dublin.
5 Wrapped around your finger
Award-winning Finnish goldsmith Hanna Tommola came to Ireland for three weeks but has stayed for 14 years. Her serpentine rings, earrings, brooches, and necklaces are imbued with child-like innocence and the shimmering clarity of Finnish lakes. Tommola’s distinctive Nordic style – acquired during long summers spent with her resourceful grandfather – speaks beyond fast fashion to future generations.
Text and photos Alexander Farnsworth and Kirsti Kajanne