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CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF CREATE & IRISH DESIGN
From the most talented Irish designers of the last 10 years from: Richard Quinn, Richard Malone, Mariad Whisker, and Natalie B Coleman to name but a few, to exhibitions that offered nostalgia for some of our greatest designers of the 20th century, from Sybil Connolly to Richard Lewis, and to the movers and shakers on the global stage from JW Anderson to Sharon Wauchob here we celebrate 10 incredible years of Irish Designers...
THE HIGHLIGHTS: It all began in 2011, with our ‘Irish Designers Create’ event which pioneered and mentored the most exciting, emerging and established Irish design talent to provide a platform to showcase their work in our four Brown Thomas stores. The event ran for six weeks throughout the summer months and featured over 50 designers and 3 recent NCAD graduates across accessories, graphic print, jewellery, textile design, millinery and ready-to-wear. We showcased a special in-store boutique dedicated to contemporary Irish fashion, jewellery and accessory designers. Key designers were Lucy Downes, Úna Burke, Eilis Boyle and Heidi Higgins, along with newcomers Emma Kate Manley, Sean Byrne and Natalie B Coleman.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: We were delighted to welcome JW Anderson who unveiled CREATE 2012 and the work of 10 Irish designers, the spotlight that year was on Mark T Burke, Lorna Burton, Natalie B Coleman, Rebecca Marsden, Sorcha O'Raghallaigh, Lisa Ryder, Lisa Shawgi, Riona Treacy and Amy Winters.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: In 2013 both modern and past designers were celebrated with an exhibition of eight exquisite pieces by the late Sybil Connolly, Ireland’s greatest couture designer and Irish-born Paris based designer, Sharon Wauchob, and one of the few Irish designers ever to show at Paris Fashion Week. A line-up of amazing new designers also showcased their collections including, Honor Fitzsimons, Emma Kate Manley, Willow by Chloe Townsend, Derek Lawlor, Lisa Ryder, Lisa Shawgi, Rebecca Marsden, Maria Dorai Raj, Martha Lynn, KDK by Keira and Dairine Kennedy, Lucy Nagle and Sean Byrne. Lucy Nagle continued to be a key brand in the following CREATE exhibitions and in store.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: The 2014 installation included a 40-piece archival exhibition from Ireland’s renowned designer Richard Lewis. The Dublin-born designer was celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first collection with a retrospective of his work and his complete new collection for AW14. Other designers who showcased were Derek Lawlor, Rebecca Marsden, Honor Fitzsimons and Helen Cody.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: In 2015 the renknowned Irish designer Mariad Whisker made a return to the fashion fold with a special collection in heavy silk made in her signature angular and asymmetrical shapes. She was joined by talented newcomers such as Richard Malone and Jill de Búrca , along with student work from the National College of Art and Design.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: Mary Gregory was the headliner for CREATE 2016 who exhibited for the first time in 13 years alongside designers Jill de Búrca and Úna Burke, Fintan Mullholland, Aideen Gaynor, Teatum Jones, Kinsale Leather, Tory Long, Mia Parsons Design, Helena Malone, Elaine Madigan and Mariad Whisker, Sandra Plantos, Giovanna Borza, Davina Lynch, Margaret O’Connor and Richard Malone, Sarah O’Neill and Wild Cocoon.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: In 2017 the theme was all about growing and nurturing talent. Helen Cody and Colin Burke wowed with their intricate pieces and the Brown Thomas ‘Designer To Watch’ bursary prize was offered to Laoise Carey.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: In 2018 the theme for the event was all about reflection, and featured a specially constructed mirror backdrop in store as a "nod to past designers and budding new ones". Award-winning womenswear designer Richard Quinn made his highly-anticipated debut presenting his visual feast of standout dramatic silhouettes, abstract florals and unique prints across dresses, skirts and coats. Quinn, whose parents hail from Ireland, made headlines internationally when he won the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design in February of 2018 for his presentation that year, which was also attended by Vogue Editor Anna Wintour. And also made headlines again for dressing Amal Clooney at this Met Gala Ball which appeared in our CREATE Brown Thomas store window that September.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: The 2019 showcase was the biggest so far and focused on sustainability. Shelly Corkery explained that, “These designers are the future of Irish fashion and as such, they are tasked with ensuring it is kind to our planet.” Processes of making, ensuring the makers are fairly treated, keeping production local, circular production, and making pieces to last rather than be consumed and then quickly tossed aside are all central concepts to the brands in the exhibition such as Four Threads, Jill & Gill, Faye Dinsmore, The Dualist, Moon & Mellow, Sara O’Neill, The Tweed Project, Emer Roberts, and Helena Malone.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: Our fashion director Shelly Corkery says: “This year is a very special year for CREATE as we mark our 10th anniversary. We’re so proud to have been able to support emerging Irish talent over the past decade and to watch them flourish in their industries. Now more than ever, it’s vital we continue to support the future of Irish fashion and we’re delighted once again to offer a platform to showcase their incredible talents.” Highlights to look out for this year are, the return of Sorcha O'Raghallaigh, Sarah Murphy, Richard Quinn and Katie Ann McGuigan and many more. Here's to another 10 years.
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You have seen the highlights of the last 10 years, now see the future of Irish fashion in CREATE 2020 here.