Thursday, 27 March 2014

Unravelling Honor

Contemporary art-inspired looks littered the catwalks of renowned fashion houses from Chanel to Prada this time last year. Céline’s bold new aesthetic for SS14 was initially met with scepticism by Phoebe Philo’s army of loyal minimalists but even they have come around. Now brush stroke splashes, pop-art prints and bold primary colours are seemingly the order of the day. We’re not convinced of their longevity or their mass-market appeal but heck, this is fashion!

These colour combinations reminded us of one of our favourite art and architecture movements, De Stijl where visual compositions were simplified to the vertical and horizontal directions, and used only primary colours along with black and white.

This made the discovery of Dublin based designer Honor Fitzsimons all the sweeter. Honor's use of colour in her latest collection is reminiscent of the paintings of Piet Mondrian. She uses strong block colours in architectural lines to further embolden her knits.

Her SS14 collection ‘KIK’ comes from the childhood nickname of avant-garde artist Karel Appel. He was a founding member of the CoBrA artists group, active in 1948, whose mission it was to create complete freedom and spontaneity in colour and form. The blocky geometric shapes of Appel’s sculptures and relief paintings, with their bold primary colours, inspired the layered and ‘3D’ knit textures applied in the collection.

Honor experiments with tried and tested knitwear patterns -ribbed, stockinette, stockinette brioche - and blends these with her own original patterns such as the recently developed 'Aerated Tuck'. We love how Honor is actively pushing the boundaries of knitwear and moving away from its 'home-spun' image.

Honor’s aim is to create graphic, fun, and innovative garments that are also elegant and wearable. She makes knit textures that look crisp, modern and industrial and looks at everyday materials such as metal sheeting, bubble wrap, and uniform geometric shapes for inspiration.

Our current season favourite neoprene enters the mix in the form of minimalist skirts and coats, proving knitwear is not the only string to this designer's bow. Neoprene and Merino wool are a winning combination in our book and the addition of lycra creates a neat, sportswear finish.

Honor has worked for fashion houses Diane Von Furstenberg in New York, Quasimi Homme and Louise Goldin in London, and Peachoo + Krejberg in Paris as well as producing avant-garde costumes for music artist Robyn.

Sporting brows Frida Kahlo would be proud of, we explored the sculptures of the now vacant Bank of Ireland HQ by Ronald Tallon of Scott Tallon Walker (1968-1975). The former headquarters is currently undergoing refurbishment after its purchase by Irish business man Larry Goodman to the tune of €43 million in 2012.

There are two landmark sculptures on the site - the yellow steel geometric work, 'Reflections' (1978) by Michael Bulfin and 'Red Cardinal' (1978) by John Burke. The former sits off-centre in a the sheltered central plaza which is wrapped on three sides by a single-storey colonnade at the ground floor level. 

The green-tarnished bronze and bronze-tinted glass facade is strikingly elegant and beautifully detailed. A product of 1970s Irish modernism, its public appeal seems to have long-surpassed its concrete counterparts which are in close vicinity

Honor's collection is available from Atelier 27 or made to order via her online store

All jewellery is available from Coldlilies.

Thank you to Nicky Billings and Amy Browne of Sugar Cubed for skilfully tending to our hair and make up. Keep an eye out for our upcoming guest post on their blog where we will be reviewing our trip to the salon. 

Look 1
Ciana wears:
black neoprene skirt - both by Honor Fitzsimons

Look 2
white neoprene skirt - both by Honor Fitzsimons
cork flatforms- Topshop

Glow for Gold earrings - Natasha Sherling
From Here to Eternity Ring in GoldNatasha Sherling
From Here to Eternity Ring in Silver Natasha Sherling

Look 3
Becky wears:
LARA Bomber: Acid Red + Black
black neoprene skirt as before - both by Honor Fitzsimons
white bluchers - Zara

Glow for Gold earrings - as before
Under Earth Three Fingers Ring in Gold - Niza Huang

Look 4 
Ciana wears: