Fashion love story
# lovestory wants you to fall in love with your clothes again, writes Deirdre McQuillan
Next week is Fashion Revolution Week, the global movement with teams in over 100 countries campaigning for greater transparency in fashion and calling on brands to answer the question, Who made my clothes?
This year’s campaign # lovestory calls on people to fall in love again with an item of clothing in their wardrobe that has emotional value for whatever reason instead of buying something new.
We asked six people of varying ages, men and women, to tell us their stories of clothes that mean something special to them. Halle Steele is a third- year schoolgirl at Alexander College. “Mum – the designer Helen Steele – designed this dress for her first collection, a collaboration with Joanne Hynes in London Fashion Week for autumn/ winter 2011. It is digitally printed in cotton/ silk from an artwork piece fea- turing Fallopian tubes. Mum wore it first and then I stole it from her wardrobe. It has been worn by Saoirse Ronan and when my older sister wore it to the Trinity Ball, it came back in ribbons. I wore it to London Fashion Week in 2015 when Mum was showing at the exhibition of Irish fashion called Unfold and I also wore it to the movie premiere of Brooklyn and Kerry Fashion Week. I love the colours and that it fits all sizes because me and my mum and sister are all different shapes and it is kind of timeless. I look at what I wore in 2011 and I cringe, but this never dates and it is so cool. I wore it twice last year to the VIP Awards and to my sister’s 21st.” Steve Reddy, DJ, plays in House in Leeson Street every Saturday, mostly electronic music and also books bands f or t he Castlepalooza Irish music festival in Tullamore. He has a popular Instagram account – @ themustymile – about charity shops and bargain finds and covers the area from Dorset Street, to Capel Street, Georges Street, Camden Street and Rathmines, over 20 shops. His nose for finds includes a stylish black jacket with silk lining bought for ¤ 10 and he paid another ¤ 10 to have it tailored “and I often do that”, he says.
“I played in bands for years and always love finding stuff that others didn’t have. I don’t look at the high street – because by going to charity shops you are giving to charity and that is important for me. I also buy things for other people if I see things they might like. I am wearing an embroidered waistcoat by Strength of London that was originally navy – and I don’t wear navy as I prefer black – which I bought at the Irish Cancer Society in Rathmines for ¤ 5. I then dyed it myself with Dylon and the embroidery came out in green and red. The shirt is by Moschino which I got at Oxfam on St Gt Georges Street for ¤ 4. I will often replace buttons that I don’t like with ones I buy in Trimmings on Capel Street; it’s a way of personalising things. The silver buckle belt I am wearing I bought in the Ilac Centre when I was 15 and I love it. I hang on to things I love.” Jill De Burca is an award- winning fashion designer well known for her hand embroideries and embellished garments. “This was originally a high- necked vintage dress with long sleeves that I made into a skirt so I could wear it more. I fell in love with the print which is really beautiful and I bought it in Manhattan from a vintage store on a college trip in my second year for about $ 150. I don’t wear it much because it is so striking but I do bring it out once or twice a year and I love it. It’s not something you could wear every day and had no label, but it was handmade and the print looks like a Marimekko ( the Finnish brand famous for its prints) print from the 70s. I will never part with it. I wear it with a vest and a leather jacket and at Christmas with a black cashmere polo neck. I actually don’t buy many clothes now and only buy if it is a designer I really want or a vintage piece. I don’t go to Penneys anymore and don’t want to be tempted – on principle.”