The alchemist in our family, my Mum inspired my love of fabric and design. Being her first daughter and she so energetic and creative, I was proud to wear her most exquisite designs that were complete originals tailor made for me.
I loved when she brought me into the local drapery shop where the smell of new fabric screamed possibilities and the spools of thread bounced on the counter whilst being bundled and wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.
My life in fashion began in Dublin at the age of 17 working for a well-know and respected Irish bridal and evening wear designer. It was 1986 and the Irish home grown fashion scene was enjoying a type of renaissance despite this being a decade of prolonged recession with high unemployment and emigration.
Youth culture had very few mediums with which to make itself heard, certainly in comparison to today, music was an option but fashion was one platform with which the young could see themselves being taken seriously and respected. Fashion has always depended on the youthful energy of each new generation to breath new life into what is considered passe.
I entered this world with such an enthusiasm that I devoured and relished every aspect of the industry; I sourced fabrics, beads, and feathers, was responsible for fashion shoots and magazine spreads featuring our own creations on top Irish models, in addition to managing seasonal fashion shows and getting our creations the recognition they deserved.
It never felt like work and I never felt bored by any of it. So consumed was I that I enrolled in The Grafton Academy of Fashion and Design and studied there for six years before being taken on by a German fashion house with whom I worked for nine years, eventually leaving to return to university to complete my MA.
Since then I have worked freelance and still find it every bit as rewarding as I did in my youth.