Report by Breda Fay- GANS rep (edited by Tamzen Lundy)
Since the beginning of April, some members from Felt makers Ireland have been working with designers from the fashion world on a collaborative project linking craft persons and designers.
Today – August 29th– was the culmination of our work, when our projects were modeled as part of the CIFD Fashion Show/ Media Day. The fashion show itself was amazing and one could only be inspired by the address and commentary of Eddie Shanahan, chair of CIFD, a truly enthusiastic and inspiring speaker.
For the last few months, Carmen Garcia, Niki Collier and Breda Fay have been engaging with our partner designers from the council of Irish fashion design. We had been randomly matched to “accentuate learning and ensure innovative engagement”.
I worked with Michelle Kearns, a milliner from Tuam.
Michelle and I shared stories of our likes and dislikes, dreams and history to come up with a theme for the design. We also discussed different textures and shades of felt. Samples and photographs went back and forth until we finally decided on a very fine and feathery black Merino and Silk with embellishments of cerise Tussah silk that Michelle would incorporate into a wire structure. The finished work would illustrate overcoming adversity (thick and gnarled branches) growing into more open structure with birds and blooms of hope and resilience.
In all, 15 pairs brought their projects to completion and the resulting hats, baskets, dresses, scarves, etc were amazing. The crafts of calligraphy, metal smith, lace making, felt making, basket making, crochet, textile art and embroidery were all represented.
This is the second year of the collaboration and I would urge members to watch the GANS page of the website and read the blog posts for notice of next year’s event, when we will once again advertise this opportunity. For those that managed to get along this year and became involved it was certainly and enriching and lasting experience.
See a word from Eddie in thanks below.
The below was received from the Council of Irish Fashion Designers
Ladies & Gentlemen,
On behalf of all of us in CIFD I wish to express our gratitude to you for the skill, inspiration, dedication and creativity you brought to our collaboration project.
It is not often that one of Ireland’s most eminent journalists declares an event as ‘Triumphant and emotional’ – but those were her first words at the end of our presentation on Thursday.
My colleagues and I have enjoyed the process, our respect and admiration for your skills is difficult to put into words. Design and Craft came together last week in an engaging evocation of Irish culture, proving beyond doubt that our heritage crafts can be extremely engaging in a contemporary context.
I hope you too enjoyed the project and the presentation.
I know Mary has exciting plans to give the work further exposure and I will also be seeking extra opportunities in the coming months.
We can expect some newspaper and magazine publicity in the coming weeks. In the meantime I am sending you a hi res image of your contribution by WeTranfer. I hope to have some video clips of the pieces in the next short while and will also forward those in due course.
I look forward to the possibility of working with you again in the near future.