After finishing a degree in Fashion and Textile Design in Dublin, I have dedicated the last seventeen years to working as a design assistant in the costume department for various feature films and theatre productions. Movie-making has opened many doors and opportunities for me. Learning new skills, working with great talents and along side celebrities from stage and screen.
The costume department is always an exciting place to be. Especially interesting in the early stages of preparation, researching various costume genres and fashion eras for the script and its characters. I love the initial weeks of " hunt and gathering ", trawling fabric and haberdashery shops for interesting fabrics, braids and trims. Filling notebooks with inspiring colours, textures and ideas. Marvelling at all the wonderfully exquisite antique lace, embroideries, intricate needlework, print and woven textiles that one finds. The variety and diversity is certainly what keeps my work so stimulating.
Film also allows me to combine my two loves, work and travel, giving me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and feed my desire to visit new countries, see new faces, places and experience new cultures and traditions.Travel broadens my mind and I am lucky enough to have seen a huge part of the world at this stage, gathering an enormous body of travel photography, notebooks, sketch books and travel diaries.
Everything I do and everything I am, influences my designs and become an amalgamation of my life’s experiences. My style and perspective on life and the way in which I see things, is totally unique to me. Each one of us is inspired by different things, and for me these inevitably find their way into my work.
Ideas for my designs usually start with a visual image like a photograph that I have taken. I am never without my camera and more often than not, something will catch my eye and eagerness to capture the image. It could be a texture or a colour, an interesting tile flooring in an old house, an age old wooden doorway with studded framework, detailed stone carvings, a weave or a beautiful fabric, an intricate print on a traditional dress or delicate embroidery on a vintage stole.
I see the world as a myriad of patterns and colours and the way light plays such an important part in creating these patterns. The way light shines through the fronds of a fern or branches of a tree, the shadows it casts on the pathway or the reflections it leaves on the water. The way it beams coloured light through a stained glass window. The segmented shell of a tortoise, the husk of a pumkin, the thick skin of the elephant, the peeling paint on an ancient city wall, the tenticles of a starfish, or the uncurling fronds of a fledgling fern.
More often my fascination and source of my inspiration is nature and the natural world. Ever changing and offering a constant flow of intrigue for me. Whether it is the swirling sea life or the intense colours and intricate detail on plants and flowers. Inspiration is all around me providing me with a constant flow of ideas. I often combine two or three elements that I like and see how they work together as a design idea, sometimes isolating parts of a photograph, an object, bird, flower or animal that I will keep to use on a future design concept. So I keep a huge amount of ideas archived in my head and leaving them dormant until I stumble upon the perfect image to compliment them.
As an emerging label, a major part of my brand ethos, is that the collection is not engaged in following seasons. I release a single collection annually or varied collection twice a year, made up of well-designed staples that can appear again and again, with some ‘Hero Classics’ that will always be repeated and release new designs throughout the year, allowing me to keep the collection fresh, interesting and ever-changing. This non-season led way of designing works well for me as I can take the time and care with each individual design and product, to ensure my silks are of the highest standard in every way. It leaves me more time to focus on what is really important - the brand, quality of design and craftsmanship and also means people can choose from the range whatever time of the year it is, whatever colour or outfit they need to match to. There will always be something in the range to suit every individual taste, style, occasion or personality.