Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - FASHION -

‘My work is about look­ing for­ward. I am not in­spired by any par­tic­u­lar decade gone by.” Dublin-born fash­ion de­signer, Danielle Romeril ex­plained when we met to dis­cuss her evoca­tive, mod­ernist col­lec­tion that is fea­tured on our pages to­day.

“I hate de­riv­a­tive de­sign,” she says. “Things should feel fresh and things should feel new. The first time you look at them, maybe it is go­ing to take you a sec­ond or two to get your head around it, but, by the fifth time, you are go­ing to re­ally like it. Whereas with other gar­ments [based on fa­mil­iar ideas], you will look at them and just not care any more.”

New looks feel scary, es­pe­cially when they come from the hand of young, less well-known de­sign­ers. But, right now, as fash­ion reaches near-to­tal stag­na­tion, bereft of new ideas and en­ergy, we need real, au­then­tic de­sign dif­fer­ence.

Danielle Romeril is dif­fer­ent; she de­signs for grown-up women with bold con­fi­dence. “I try to start from a re­search point of in­tegrity,” she says. “I re­ally hate the pre­ten­tious side of fash­ion. I love the side of fash­ion that makes peo­ple happy: it’s fun, it’s an en­joy­able thing to take part in.”

A grad­u­ate of Lim­er­ick School of Art and De­sign, and the Royal Col­lege of Art, Lon­don, this sea­son is Danielle’s third. In less than 18 months, this young woman has won stock­ists world­wide, has had nu­mer­ous pages ded­i­cated to her work in mag­a­zines such as Vogue and Elle. She has just won pres­ti­gious Bri­tish Fash­ion Coun­cil New­Gen spon­sor­ship — join­ing the ranks of Alexan­der McQueen, Mary Ka­trant­zou and Pau­ric Sweeney — to show­case her au­tumn/win­ter 2014/15 col­lec­tion next month.

Her spring/sum­mer 2014 col­lec­tion was in­spired by “bub­ble wrap and tape — the mount­ing pile of it in the stu­dio with all the pack­ag­ing,” she says.

“I came to love the tex­ture. That and cu­bism. I was try­ing to look at dresses the way cu­bist artists, such as Ir­ish artist Mainie Jel­let, looked at can­vases. So you have frills [and ap­plique] that have been ab­stracted and put on dif­fer­ent parts of the body.”

Danielle then went to Italy and, work­ing with the mills there, de­vised her own fab­rics — a key as­pect to all her col­lec­tions. The re­sult: an orig­i­nal col­lec­tion that is en­er­getic, fresh, fem­i­nine, del­i­cate, so­phis­ti­cated, sturdy, mod­ern. Dif­fer­ent.

Danielle col­lab­o­rated with milliner Laura Kin­sella for her head­pieces. Sa­mui of Cork is her ex­clu­sive stock­ist in Ire­land; online, it’s Av­enue 32.

She says: “I don’t want to be com­mer­cial, but I do want to be ac­ces­si­ble. Peo­ple need to be able to wear the clothes and en­joy them.”

A thor­oughly mod­ern at­ti­tude.

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