HE DRESSED Oprah Winfrey for last year’s Oscars, but this week celebrity fashion designer Don O’Neill was eyeing up the fashion in Adare during the Limerick International Fashion and Design Festival.
A native of Ballyheigue, county Kerry and now based in Brooklyn, he paid a visit to Catherine McCormack’s boutique in Adare, which is the largest stockist of his label Theia in Ireland - ahead of judging the international student fashion show in the city this Thursday.
Catherine, who was the first person to bring his label to Ireland, said he always “calls in to says hi when he’s home” and is hugely popular with her customers.
“We have already dressed several of our clients for Royal Ascot and the Curragh next year in his designs, because they are so timeless and elegant. He’s not a slave to trends, but produces really beautiful, feminine clothes with great fabrics that flatter the figure,” she told the Limerick Leader.
Only 200 tickets are available to see what has been described as ‘one of the biggest fashion shows in the country’ this year, with students exhibiting from 19 colleges. Taking place in the former Franciscan church on Henry Street, the runway fashion show and awards ceremony will showcase the designs of competing student designers from colleges and universities across Britain and Ireland and wider Europe.
The overall winner will receive a €10,000 bursary, plus an internship in New York with Don O’Neill, creative director of Theia Couture, an evening wear collection, and chair of the competition’s judging panel.
“We are thrilled to have someone of the calibre as Don O’Neill getting behind this event,” said Celia Holman Lee who is organising the festival.
She said the festival is a “unique opportunity for people working in all aspects of the fashion industry in Limerick to come together and show the world why we are such a force in terms of fashion”.
The Brown Thomas Group is the main sponsor of the winners’ prize bursary, while Adare Manor and Therapie clinic have also supported the project.
Invitations have been issued to fashion colleges in Ireland, Britain, Europe, the USA, Asia and the Middle East.
Tickets to see the fashion show can be bought at the Limerick Leader offices at 54 O’Connell Street.
The fashion show starts at 7pm, and will finish at 9.30pm.
This Friday, a gala dinner and fashion show, in association with Bóthar and Masterchefs Hospitality, with special guest celebrity TV chef Rachel Allen, will be held in Thomond Park. For ticket information call Bóthar on 061 414142.