Inaugurated on 26 June 2013 in London, the exhibition ‘RIAN: New Directions in Irish Fashion Design’ was conceived with the intention to showcase the work produced by contemporary Irish designers. Although small in scale and limited in the number of pieces on display, the exhibition was carefully curated to demonstrate how a new generation of Irish designers, makers and practitioners respond to questions about national cultural identity through their creative output.
The accessories, garments and design pieces exhibited were selected to illustrate how emerging Irish designers incorporate innovation into their work while engaging with traditional craftsmanship and materials closely identified with Ireland such as linen, wool leather, horsehair and lace. Participating designers and labels include Úna Burke, Alan Taylor and Teatum Jones (whose work is explored under the theme of construction); Derek Lawlor, Demelza Buckley and Danielle Romerill (renowned for their inventive use of techniques); Sorcha O’Raghallaigh, Lisa Hawthorn and Angela Beaumont (who frequently investigate the role of tradition in their creations); and Electronic Sheep, Joanne Hynes, Sinéad Lawlor, Liam Fahy, Natalie B. Coleman and Daniela Cardillo (for their original use of print, colour and pattern). In addition, a selection of fashion films by Kathryn Fergusson, Niall O’Brien and Aoife Mcardle can also be viewed.
Following an opening event at the Irish Embassy, the pieces that comprise ‘RIAN: New Directions in Irish Fashion Design’ can now be seen at the Canary Wharf Mall and at The Marylebone Hotel in London.