Style File: Irish-Italian duo Banshee gives Viking-era clothing a fresh look
London-based Irish designer Aisling Duffy started a three-month residency at Om Diva at the end of January with a studio on its Irish Design Floor. Open to the public, this is where she creates her SS20 collection as well as her signature up cycled and reworked pieces, like this hand-painted faux leather jacket.
People can watch her at work as well as purchase one-off items or place orders for special pieces. A graduate in printed textiles from NCAD with a master’s in mixed textiles from Edinburgh College of Art, she worked as a set and print designer in London before receiving a Creative Careers Award from Cockpit Arts, enabling her to set up on her own.
Her collections focus heavily on surface embellishment, hand-painted prints, patchwork and collage imagery. She uses vegan-friendly fabrics and sustainable methods of production, exploring themes in her collections of identity, heritage, environment and social issues. aislingduffy.co.uk
What a brat
A brat has many meanings – it can refer to a badly-behaved child, or to a piece of Irish clothing worn in the Viking era under what was called a leine – a linen tunic. Now for the first time, the brat has undergone a very stylish reinterpretation by Banshee, the Irish-Italian duo based in Savile Row making pieces for modern women, notably in a dark tartan dress with a flamboyant cloak or brat attached.
It’s just one in their repertoire of made-to-measure women’s clothes that includes skirts, suits, coats, wax jackets and dresses. Ruby and Rocco Tullio, one Savile Row trained, the other an artist, use the highest quality fabrics and the finest construction for pieces that are destined to last a lifetime and more, with many items made from Irish tweed. Prices start at £300 (€360) for trousers up to £1,600 (€1,915) for a bespoke tailcoat or overcoat. bansheeofsavilerow.com
Cashmere supremo Lucy Downes celebrates 21 years in business with her brand Sphere One in May, and with her latest collection called Field Day. A lighthearted summer collection in featherweight knits, with yarns that include cotton this season, it features relaxed sweaters and cardigans with icy pink and sherbet shades complementing a neutral palette. Hand stitching and metallic yarns add zest to the mix. Sweaters have names like Firework, Girlfriend, Big Top or Sister Sparkle in this sophisticated collection, with fun knitted decorations made from leftover yarns. With every hat purchased, a cashmere hat is donated to ARC Cancer Research. sphereone.ie
A fashion design and sewing academy for children based in Swords with venues nationwide called Project Fashion has just received a Business All Star Award accreditation in recognition of its outstanding achievements – and that it means the highest standards of service and trust. The accreditation is overseen by the All Ireland Business Foundation whose adjudication panel is chaired by Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School in the University of Limerick, and Kieran Ring, chief executive of the Global Institute of Logistics. The All Ireland Business Foundation awards will take place on March 24th in Croke Park.