A MODERN ATTITUDE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSHUA GORDON STYLING BY KIERAN KILGALLON FASHION EDITED BY CONSTANCE HARRIS
‘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.