Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

 I've just got back from a blissful week in Ireland where I did virtually nothing fashion related- my days were filled with swimming in the freezing Irish sea, scrambling up a mountain or two in County Wicklow and fulfilling a long-held ambition to see the super dapper Oscar Wilde sculpture in Merrion Square, Dublin which wears a rather fabulous smoking jacket crafted from jade green and ruby red stone which I'm sure would get the seal of approval from the aesthete himself. On my travels, I did manage to pop into Brown Thomas, the department store which is to Ireland what Harvey Nichols is to Britain and most lately famous as the location Harper Beckham chose to take her first steps in public. I thought it was brilliant and could have spent far longer in there than my fidgety boyfriend allowed.

Irish designers on show at Brown Thomas until 9th September (image from

Today is time to get to get back to reality but my "Back to School" feeling was interrupted by tweets from J.W Anderson who is in Dublin to launch this year's Irish Designers Create project which sees a mix of Eire's finest emerging and established fashion designers taking over an area in Brown Thomas in a bid to promote Irish design talent. Mr J- Dubz (originally from Derry) is the biggest Irish name buzzing in fashion right now, but back in the day he worked on the Brown Thomas shop floor to earn his pennies while he was studying. He obviously still has a special place in his heart for Brown Thomas as he tweeted "Obsessed with @brownthomas the store is on another level so modern so sharp.❤❤❤".

J.W Anderson at Brown Thomas this morning (via @LauraJDwyer)
J.W Anderson jumpers in Brown Thomas today(from
Shelley Corkery is Brown Thomas' Fashion Director and came up with the initiative to promote Irish design in this way last year, when the first Create project took place. She describes the "incredible synergy" of exciting talent and one of Ireland's best loved retailers. From now until 9th September, the first floor of the Dublin store (there are also branches in Cork, Limerick and Galway) will become a hub for discovering the likes of Sorcha O'Raghallaigh, who has created numerous outfits for Lady Gaga including that madcap wedding dress which she wore on the Graham Norton show, and Riona Treacy, whose embroidery work featured in Alexander McQueen's final collection. There is also gorgeous looking knitwear from Lisa Shawgi and witty digital printed silks from Natalie B Coleman.

So if you're a week behind me and anywhere close to Dublin over the next week or so then get yourself  to Brown Thomas to discover the great and good of Irish design.

Sorcha O' Raghallaigh with looks from her collection "The world forgetting by the world" which was inspired by the film The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Day of the Dead festival (image courtesy of Brown Thomas)
Lady Gaga wearing a Miss Havisham-esque wedding dress created for her by Sorcha O'Raghallaigh (
Riona Treacy's form flattering prints are also part of the Irish Designers Create initiative (image from
See here for the full list of designers and more info


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