Wednesday, 31 July 2013

FOLD Collection | Leah Doyle

As I'm sure you've all gathered by now, anything that's fashionable with a bit of architecture thrown in to the mix (and vice versa) really gets us excited. Recently we were contacted by a young designer and graduate of Bray Institute of Further Education, Leah Doyle, who reckoned we might take a fancy to her designs. Well she was darn right. Each piece in Leah's collection is inspired, and named after, many of architecture's greats. Below Leah explains the aspects of the architects' work which informed her collection's design and construction.

"The Aalto top is inspired by Alvar Aalto's Savoy vase, its sheer and soft lines.

The Van der Rohe trousers are inspired by the marble, onyx and travertine used in the Barcelona Pavilion, with its soft swirling symmetrical pattern which is repeated through the fabric.

The Loos dress has the most simple material. I read that Loos was against ornamentation in architecture so the scooped "cut out" at the front of the dress plays homage to the form of the café museum chair.

Eileen Gray's screen is the inspiration for the Gray jacket with its thick, sturdy and woven pattern.

The Wright top is inspired by the stained glass window from the Robie House, crisp, tailored lines with a high shine finish.

The Le Corbusier skirt is inspired by a photo taken in the convent de la Tourette, the clear strong lines of the verticle mullions contrast the thin, fibrous horizontal elements.

I found my initial inspiration for the collection when taking photos of buildings in town. I found I was more drawn to the materials used in the building then I was to its overall form, finding visual comparisons between the patterns, textures and shadow in the surface of the building and that of certain fabrics.
This idea is reflected in my choice of material and each garment relates to a photo documenting a piece of architecture/furniture by each of the modernist architects named in the collection." 

Leah also seems to share our love for empty carparks.... Sheer monochrome goodness! 

We're looking forward what Leah has in store for us next!

Oh and as always, don't forget we are offering all of our luverly readers 20% off Motel Rocks. Simply enter concretecollar at the check out! Shop til ye drop!

Friday, 19 July 2013

The Liberties Ladies Day

We proved the old chestnut of "Never work with children or animals" to be wrong this week as we got friendly with the Liberties' horses and their owners.

The area known as The Liberties is the south-west part of Dublin’s inner city approximately west of Aungier Street and south of the River Liffey, predominately in Dublin 8. Steeped in history, this area is characterised by its intimate terraced streets, bustling shopping districts, colourful locals, open spaces and the historical and contemporary architecture. We have spent a lot of time in this neck of the woods over the last 6 years due to its unceasing popularity as a potential site for projects amongst our architecture tutors! Dublin’s enduring horse and carriage tradition is ever present in these parts sustained by the huge flux of tourists drawn to the area by the Guinness Storehouse. The St James's area has long been associated with the brewing trade. Many breweries were established in Dublin up to the mid-17th century to compete with the booming London beer trade. These included a brewery established around 1670 at what is now known as St James's Gate.  

On 31 December 1759 this brewery was leased to Arthur Guinness at £45 per year for 9,000 years. The site has been the location of the Guinness brewery ever since. Guinness has expanded well beyond the original 4-acre lot, and has consequently bought out the property, rendering the 9,000-year lease from 1759 redundant. During the 19th and early 20th centuries the brewery owned most of the buildings in the surrounding area, including many streets of housing for brewery employees, and offices associated with the brewery. Nowadays, carriage traders have a large rank on Market Street South which extends around the corner to Pim Street where some of their stables can be spotted. Molyneaux Place, just off Thomas Street also has a long tradition of stabling with local traders dating it back to the 17th century. Though the days of horse-drawn coal and milk men are gone it is lovely to see this tradition of horse culture living on. 
We were lucky enough to wear the innovative designs of award-winning Milliner, "Bright, young thing" and recent Architecture graduate Aisling Aherne while ambling around these parts. Granted this isn't your typical inner city headwear, however the monolithic tanks, towering brick walls, stables, sheltered grottos and neighbourhood markets provided us with diverse backdrops for her striking, structural pieces. We asked Aisling how her architectural education has influenced her design aesthetic (if at all) and here's what she said:
"I credit my architecture studies for drawing out a creative side in me. The processes we were encouraged to explore in our architectural design are common to those I apply when designing hats. It’s about bringing a thought from concept through to a final product. Although the skills involved in between may be different the stages of design are very similar. My architecture studies have equipped me with a method of resolving challenges through various stages of design.
I like to think my designs themselves reflect my architectural background. Clean lines are a predominant characteristic within my design,  form and structure taking priority in my work. For me the drama is conveyed predominantly through the basic “blocked” shape with trimmings being secondary to this. This priority given to form is a derivative of my own architectural style  where additional elements are approached with minimalism in mind. My ‘structured’ approach to millinery is in a sense reflective of the boldness of modern architecture  with it’s simplified form and removal of  unnecessary decoration."

Ciana wears:
First look
Pink sinamay base with jinsin trimming

Becky wears:
First look
Red Mohawk with a silk abaca base and a striped coque feather

Ciana wears:
Second look

Blue velour felt base with wired leather
Becky wears:
Second look
Yellow silk abaca base with jinsin bow
This post coincides with the 43rd Liberties Festival running from the 17th to the 21st July which includes live music performances, comedy, historic walking tours, talent shows, a pop-up exhibition of local photography and much more. Check out for tickets and event details! 

Thanks to the Liberties men for their good nature and letting us photograph their horses. Huge thanks to Aisling too and check out more of her incredible work here and on Facebook.
And don't forget about the 20% discount we are offering our readers off Motel Rocks. Simply enter CONCRETECOLLAR at the checkout. Happy shopping!

Interestingly, St. James’ Gate was traditionally a main starting point for Irish pilgrims to begin their journey on the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James). Their pilgrims’ passport were stamped here before setting sail. It is still possible for Irish pilgrims to get their passports stamped here, and many do, while on their way to Santiago de Compostella. Love a good passport stamp we do.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Bull Island


Despite recently obtaining (and since losing) a blue flag ensuring its safety as a swimming spot, Dollymount Strand is thought more so as a place to walk your madra, learn how to drive, kite surf or to simply zip up and go for stroll. The strand runs along the east side of North Bull Island along the coast of Clontarf, Dublin. The construction of the Bull Wall was begun in 1800 and was built along with the Great South Wall (1761) to tackle the constant silting in Dublin Bay. The island is essentially a build up of silt deposits.

A bridge connects the mainland to the island but its original purpose was to assist workers with the construction of the Bull Wall. The current structure dates from 1907, replacing one which was erected in 1819. Vital restoration work was carried out on the bridge in 2008. 

Seventeen structures exist along the Bull Wall and Clontarf Promenade. The Art Deco style bathing shelters were designed by Dublin City Council Architec,t Herbert Simms, in the 1930s. Simms made a significant contribution to the design of housing in Dublin in the early 19th century. The need for shelters such as these arose out of a concern for the welfare of the working classes. Their construction facilitated affordable outdoor recreational facilities. 

Recently we were lucky enough to make the acquaintance of recent NCAD graduate,  Leanne Keogh. Her design aesthetic caught our eye from the get-go. Leanne is interested in the notion of identity and place. Her designs are informed by a love of understated femininity, art, architecture and the urban environment. Having spent a summer interning for Richard Nicoll in London and observing the way in which Londoners dress, she was inspired to design a collection that would become an element of her customers' daily narrative. Her pieces aim to convey a variety of personalities and identities. We were particularly drawn to her oversized outerwear, the design of which were created by exploring vintage menswear patterns. Leanne's eye for fabrics is both original and innovative. Between her waxed denim trench coat, her bonded and rubber mesh fabrics, we just can't get enough! These outerwear pieces are given a further daily wearability factor when paired with her perfectly constructed white tees and her clean cut linen skirts and waistcoats. Why take a walk to Bull Island in a fleece when you can sport a piece that seamlessly blends both fashion and function?

All clothing worn is by Leanne Keogh... apart from the Converse! 
All styling and photography is our own

And don't forget about the 20% discount we are offering our readers off Motel Rocks. Simply enter CONCRETECOLLAR at the checkout! Happy shopping!!

Ciana wears

First look

Waxed denim trench coat
Wool and leather beanie
Bomber jacket inner linen waistcoat (worn as waistcoat)
White cotton tee
Navy line skirt

Second Look

Rubber mesh coat
White cotton tee

Becky wears

First Look

Bonded mesh fabric coat
White red stripe cotton tee

Second Look

Rubber mesh bomber with inner liner waistcoat
Wool and leather beanie