Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Sorcha O'Raghallaigh's 'forget me not'

I have a fondness for Gaelic, the native language of Ireland,
as well as for those who work to keep it alive and whenever
I hear a distinctly sounding Irish name my mind suddenly goes
back to the two consecutive summers I spent in An Spidéal
(the hospital), a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) village in county
Galway where you can try to learn it while listening to folk
music or discovering Gaelic football and hurling.

Luckily, Gaelic is still a spoken language over a number of
areas and that's why names never lose their significance:
when I cast my eyes on the name of Offaly native young
designer Sorcha O'Raghallaigh I felt straightaway intrigued,
the more after a closer look at her unique couture collections
that make use of Catholic Church iconography subtly 
evoking a religious aesthetic.

After studying art in Limerick, Sorcha moved to London
where she graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2010
soon establishing her eponymous label in East London
signing small avant-garde collections mostly focused on
handmade bespoke pieces. The red-haired gifted designer
briskly made a name for herself when she was commissioned
to make several outfits by Lady Gaga's stylist Anna Trevelyan
and snapped up by Selfridges' 'Bright Young Things', ”the
annual initiative which hand-picks, nurtures and showcases
some of the UK's most exciting rising stars from 
the worlds of fashion, art, design and food.”

Strongly inspired by the work of Victorian sculptor and
goldsmith Alfred Gilbert, namely his memorial sculptures,
her latest 'Forget Me Not' s/s 2014 collection looks more
practical than her signature religious-inspired pieces.
High-end fancy dresses in sheer lace and delicate tulle
adorned with hand-crafted beadings are paired with
headpieces and jackets skillfully made of safety pins
like the silver and gold jewelry. Sorcha subtly reinterprets
Gilbert's romantic mood with a latter-day twist in a sort
of punk reminiscence with scarlet and midnight blue bursts
accessorized with a capsule collection of leather bags
exclusively made for Sorcha by Spanish firm Betangible.
'Forget Me Not', swear I won't.

> all images © by Hugo Yangüela <

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