It's the last day of London Fashion Week, and the final day of the International Fashion Showcase, where eight emerging Irish designers have had their work exhibited as part of In The Fold, curated by Gemma A Williams. The response to the work of these young designers has been overwhelming in its positivity and praise and we're sure that they are all future fashion stars. Our final profile is on London-based menswear designer Naoise Farrell, who incorporates a love of illustration and her experience of being Irish into her work.
Working through illustration, characters and detailed illustrative drawings, for Naoise Farrell each design is justified and brought back to the concept that nothing is designed for the sake of it. It is this engagement with the conceptual which marks her out as an inquisitive mind, looking outside of the fashion world for inspiration. Her methodology is grounded in research, typified by studying older menswear patterns and referencing the base shapes. Farrell applies subtle and considered alterations to the form to create her signature aesthetic: menswear rendered in squared, sharp and hard silhouettes. While studying in Dublin’s National College of Art & Design, she notes that the restrictions imposed through the lack of fabric availability presented a challenge to overcome, one which she used to her advantage. The experience of being Irish as evidenced through the make-do-and-mend attitude also holds great sway for Farrell‘s enterprising work ethic. This is also visible in her clear emphasis on durability and her interpretation of fashion illustrates a desire to create garments which will be kept and worn over the years.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in fashion?
When I was sixteen I visited the skin and bones exhibition, architecture meets fashion in Somerset house. My passion was in contemporary art at the time. When I saw how designers such as Hussein Chalayan and Issey Miyake communicated their diverse concepts through fashion it overwhelmed me. Since then I have always held onto this notion.
What advice would you have for someone interested in getting into fashion design?
Just go for it!
What drives you, as a designer?
I like to keep quite busy and active so I find that I’m most inspired when I’m doing something unrelated to fashion. I do contemporary dance and ballet, (try to) read books, and visit parks and galleries. Doing this opens my mind and allows influences to come from a broad range of subjects.
Who or what is your greatest inspiration?
Aitor Throup, a conceptual menswear designer, is my greatest inspiration. I really admire how he works, not adhering to the norms of the fashion industry but creating his own system.
Follow Naoise on Instagram at @naoisef1.
In the Fold is on view as part of IFS 2015 from 20th to 24th February: 10am to 6pm at the 3rd Floor Gallery, Brewer Street Car Park, 32 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0LA and is presented by ID2015 in collaboration with fashion exhibition partner Kildare Village, Ireland’s luxury shopping outlet destination.
For more see the IFS 2015 guide.
Words by Alex Calder.