Aoife Eustace Doyle explains that she’s always loved fashion and art from a very young age. “I’ve always loved messing around with fabric and draping it around things”, she said. The Limerick native designed her own communion dress when she at the tender age of eight years old. “My dad actually got it made for me”, she recalls, “I remember watching the drawing come to life and thinking ‘this is so cool, I want to do this’, she continued. Luckily for Aoife she was afforded the opportunity to study fashion in college to pursue this dream.
One of Aoife’s favourite aspects of fashion and design is the positivity it brings to those who wear her work. The designer likes the confidence clothing can bring people and how clothing can be used as a means of self-expression. She explained that she loves how “clothes give you a chance to express and feel good about yourself”. “I’d really love for women to feel confident and beautiful in my designs”.
Having finished college, Aoife is now working in costume and says that she loves it. The job seems fitting for the designer seeing as her graduate collection was based on a film. She says that costume “really lends itself to my design style and it just seemed like a very natural progression for me”.
Although careers in fashion and the arts have a stigma for being difficult and rare to find work in, Aoife believes that her course in Limerick School of Art and Design provided her with versatile skills for a wide range of careers and employment. “I suppose that’s one of the good things about fashion at LSAD, it gives you a lot of transferable skills so you have a lot of different options after college”, she said. The designer acknowledges that “finishing college and trying to plan your next step can be a bit overwhelming, it’s really good to have that base skill set and that work ethic that you know you can take anywhere”.
Aoife was part of the Dublin Fashion Festival which is a great experience as it brings light to the activity and talent in the Irish fashion industry which is easy to overlook. “It’s really great to see that so much is happening in the fashion industry in Ireland at the minute because we can tend to forget about it but we have some great people here,” she said. The design Aoife submitted to the Young Designer of the Year competition was from her graduate collection. She explains how this particular collection was inspired by the 1951 film adaption of “A Streetcar Named Desire”.
“The contrast between the exaggerated masculinity and femininity of the two main characters in the film is what first caught my interest and is something I have endeavoured to bring through the collection”, she said. The final look from the graduate collection was what she submitted to the competition. “I had incorporated an innovative approach to the cut, which draws on influences from 1940’s menswear and lingerie”, she explained. The design also “evokes the sensation of too tight embraces and the idea of being trapped”. The design which was an elegant, light pink robe was a strong contender in the competition, with Aoife describing it as the most feminine look in the whole collection. Aoife hopes that the design “really evokes that 1940s old Hollywood glamour while still appealing to a modern woman”.
Article by: Aisling O’Conner
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