Words: Emily Maree,
editor and co founder of intrigue.ie.
September 5-8 saw the hugely popular Dublin Fashion Festival return to our fair capital for its fourth consecutive year. The DFF, this year hosted by the stunning Laura Whitmore, is a celebration of innovative and home-grown fashion and style, awarding and showcasing some of the best talent Ireland has to offer. One such talent is Colin Horgan, a designer in his final year at Limerick School of Art and Design. Only showing his second ever collection, Colin Horgan was the jewel in the crown of DFF 2013 and had bloggers and journalists alike fawning over his collection. I took some time out with Colin Horgan to ask about his inspirations, new collection and plans for the future…
EM:What started your interest in fashion design?
CH:For me, it is the ability to translate something from 2D to 3D and be able to wear it. It is just amazing how abstract you can be and translate it onto the body into a merchandisable piece.
EM:How did the ‘Colin Horgan’ brand first come about?
CH: It literally only started a couple of months ago when I was in my third year at college. I thought it was a bit mad but I wanted to do it to create contacts before I graduate. I then thought it was good to stay in touch with these connections while creating new ones, which led me to have a SS14 runway during Dublin Fashion Festival this year before returning to my final year at Limerick School of Art and Design.
EM:Tell me a little about the SS14 collection,showcased at Dublin Fashion Festival, and where the inspiration for it came from?
CH:The inspiration came from a movie – ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’. It was an abstract and more conceptual approach so I began drawing and illustrating geometric shapes onto the body and began slicing and separating them which represented the characters, Romina and Luke’s relationship. I used mainly a lot of leathers so there is a lot of raw edges and applications onto softer, more feminine fabrics. Most of the collection was in black and white but injected some cobalt blue and almost fluorescent orange that gave an almost uncomfortable surprise.
EM: In its fourth year, Dublin Fashion Festival is a huge celebration of Irish design talent, how did it feel to have your SS14 collection showcased?
CH:I think it went well! To be honest the day went so fast that I didn’t feel it happened until a day after. The first show that you attended – I’m not going to lie I was extremely nervous. But I had such an amazing team that day. From the modelling agency all the ways down to the stylist to the photographer and film crew it really was a team effort that showed that day. Friends and family were helping out and it was such a positive energy backstage, which always helps.
EM:Your designs in the past have given women the ability to wear the androgynous look, while your new collection has a more feminine touch. Do you think your designs will appeal to a wider audience as ready-to-wear clothing?
CH: Yes I would hope so! Hopefully I can ease women back into wearing androgynous silhouettes with this collection!
EM:Who is the new collection aimed at? Who is the ‘Colin Horgan’ customer?
I think anyone that can feel a strong connection with my work should be a potential customer.
EM:A lot of your designs embody strong, warrior-like women with monochrome and sharp lines and shapes. Where did the idea of these pieces first come about?
CH:I love creating characters, especially these strong women type. Women are quite powerful and should be embraced as such. I think I just have a particular way of seeing women and try to communicate through sharp lines and silhouettes.
EM:What do you think it is that sets your designs apart from other designers?CH: I guess I believe in my work. I love to look at other designers and I would imagine that they all believe in their own work also.
EM:With the popularity of your designs, are you going to be expanding sales or do you like the exclusive availability?
CH:I am not sure. It is difficult as even though Ireland is amazing at appreciating craft, fashion and contemporary design – I am not sure if the market for young and upcoming design is there yet. But I could be wrong; this is only my personal experience.
EM: You’ve interned with designers such as David Andersen and Johanna Pihl, what experiences and tips did you learn from your time with such talented designers?
CH:Be open to learning, listen and absorb every aspect of the experience. Even when you think you’re not learning, you are.
EM:Ireland has a plethora of high profile and fantastic designers, including you. Have you any advice for the young new designers starting their careers?
CH:Thank you! I do think I have a bit to go. Technically I haven’t been in the business very long as I am in my 2nd season. But I think if I were to advise in any way I think having a plan is so important. Fashion is one of those things that time can go so fast and all of sudden its a week until your deadline. For me having a plan really works.
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