Wednesday, 12 June 2013

House of O'Casey

As soon as we were introduced to young Irish designer Colin Horgan's first collection, we knew exactly where we were going to bring it. 

The Sean O'Casey community centre by O'Donnell Tuomey is situated in East Wall and provides a central communal hub for the surrounding area. Facilities such as a creche, day care centre, sports hall, and theatre called for a large ground floor area. The residents were keen to introduce a tall building to their streets and so the iconic (may we say emmental-like) tower was conceived. 

Almost square in plan, the ground level is divided into quadrants and houses a creche, a senior citizen day care centre, a small gym, multipurpose sports hall, large reception space and a 156 seat theatre. Four planted courtyards puncture this area providing visual connections between the various social activities in the centre. A five storey tower folds up out the plan and houses meeting rooms and offices. The 'Sean O'Casey Boardroom' on the top level has views over the city to rival that of any penthouse suite in Dublin. When can we move in?!

The architects' choice of a materials offers visitors a true visual feast. The tower with its corrugated concrete surface gives the illusional of stacked shipping containers. Along with the porthole like windows which dot its facade, we are given a subtle nod to Dublin's docklands which are located nearby. Each level accommodates one main room, each of which is given its own identity by differing the colour of the floor. O'Donnell Tuomey's signature rusty-red covers railings along the street edge and the steel beams which surround the courtyards. A brick floor surrounds the main central courtyard, enhancing our connection to the outside. Flake board and a yellow, black, red and white floor help to reinvent the standard sports hall. 

The refreshing originality and materiality of this project provided us with the ideal backdrop to showcase the work of Colin Horgan, a fashion design student in Limerick School of Art and Design. Horgan's collection tells the story of a weak and naive girl eager to break free of her submissive ways. The strong silhouette of the padded, lamb skin shoulders, along with the impossible-to-miss structured red patent LEORE jacket and AGORA skirt, all hint at armour and the girl's desire for vengeance. The softer mesh and sheer fabrics represent the girl's seductive side along with her innate sense of femininity.

Be sure to follow Horgan on twitter and facebook to keep up with all of his goings on! Or even better, get in on the action and preorder his ZINA jacket now! You can keep up to date with the community centre here

Oh and don't forget that we are offering our readers 20% off Motel Rocks! Just enter concretecollar at the checkout!

All photography and styling is our own

Ciana wears:

first look
gold hoop earrings - topshop

second look
vintage leather cap
american apparel racer back body
black strap heels - h&m

Becky wears:

first look
russian red lipstick - mac
leather look leggings - topshop

second look
white leather strip as headpiece
black leather strap heels - h&m

Many thanks to Om Diva, Fran Laycock and Colin!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Lead Mines

Revelling in the Bank Holiday sunshine and post-exam bliss we journeyed out to one of our favourite forgotten landmarks-The Ballycorus Leadmines. Opened in 1807 and operating until 1913, the site was a former lead and silver mining and smelting centre. The most distinctive surviving remnant of the site is the ruin of the flue chimney that lies close to the summit of Carrickgollogan hill. Photographic records show that the flue chimney was originally much taller with an extra brick section, now dismantled. It is the only example of such a flue and chimney to have been built in Ireland. 

The land around the chimney is owned by the State forestry company Coillte and managed by the Dublin Mountains Partnership. The top third of the chimney has been removed as it was deemed unsafe as has the lower section of the external stairs. In addition, a number of buildings from the smelting works situated in the valley below also survive to the present day. These industrial buildings, all built from granite, include furnaces, purification tanks, lime kilns, stores, workers' cottages and the manager's house. Many of these buildings are now private residences while the smelter site itself is now a solvent factory.  The former mill pond is now part of a concrete plant.

The distinctive granite flue chimney with its external spiral staircase was the perfect spot for dressing up in the innovative collection from 'We are islanders'. We are islanders is an exciting new design label from Rosie O'Reilly and Kate Nolan based in Dublin, Ireland. Produced locally using only sustainable materials, this fashion label refuses to compromise on style and quality while remaining dedicated to better practice.  From organic and fair trade cotton and reclaimed factory remnants to non-violent silks, Irish wools and organic salmon leather the materials used have been chosen for their luxurious qualities combined with their minimal negative social, environmental and humanitarian impact. All prints are hand-drawn illustrations and are screen printed by hand in Dublin using non-toxic dyes. 

The result of a continuing examination of what it means to live on the island of Ireland or any island – this globe included – We Are Islanders looks to reflect the necessity to look outward, not inward and to challenge accepted norms.Here at concrete collar we admired their ethical approach to fashion and keeping things home-grown!

All photography and styling is our own.

Becky wears:
wool trousers
wool Bomber
wlack Bralet
asos cuff rings
wildflower wreath made on site

Ciana wears:
printed silk scarf (styled as turban)

cream jersey dress with salmon leather detailing
organic salmon leather skin (styled as crown)

orange wool scarf (styled as head-wrap)

leather fringe jacket from shutterbug

all available from The Loft at Powerscourt Town Centre
also check out:

Also we're now proud to be part of Motel Rocks Street Team and are delighted to offer ALL our readers a 20% discount. Just enter concretecollar at the check out! HAPPY SHOPPING!!