Ennis Fashion Week at Clare County Library

18 October 2013 - 25 October 2013

De Valera Public Library and Gallery, Harmony Row, Ennis, Co Clare
Phone: 065 6846353
Email: arts@clarelibrary.ie
Web: www.clarelibrary.ie/arts

Ennis Fashion Week at Clare County Library

Ennis Fashion Week 2013 is set to run from October 18-25. This is the seventh year that Ennis, the Boutique Capital of Ireland, will celebrate all things stylish with a programme of events including in-store promotions, workshops, talks and shows. As always, Clare County Library are delighted to show their support for the week. This year there will be a talk by Kathleen O’Sullivan on the internationally renowned designer Sybil Connolly. This free event will take place at the De Valera Public Library, Ennis on Tuesday, October 22nd at 6.30pm and is a great opportunity to travel back in time to the 1950s, a decade of decadance.

Sybil Connolly put Ireland on the international fashion map in the 1950s with her ‘colleen couture’ and wowed international fashion audiences when she launched her designs in Philadelphia in 1953. The Welsh born designer of Irish parentage captured the hearts and imaginations of the American buyers not only with her good looks and personality, but also with her clothes. The designs which were dubbed ‘ colleen couture’ presented a fresh look at Irish native handcraft. Connolly became renowned for her use of crochet and knitting on swirling ballgowns and most notably used Carrickmacross lace on evening wear. This was the first time that this lace, normally produced in black, white, and cream, was seen in an array of colours on cocktail dresses .By the late 1950s Sybil Connolly was employing Irish women in their homes producing hand knitting and crochet for her thriving business in Dublin. Irish linen and Irish tweed were the designers fabrics of choice , and her linen and tweed creations were worn by high profile figures such as Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Julie Andrews to name a few.

Sybil Connolly diversified her career in later decades when she collaborated with companies such as Tiffany and Waterford Crystal, and wrote books on gardening and interior design. However it was the 1950s that were the height of her design career. It was the ballgown era, a romantic era for clothing and this Irish designer earned her place in it along with fashion heavyweights such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Christabel Balenciaga. Sybil Connolly paved the way for a whole host of talented Irish fashion designers who nowadays rightfully take their places on the international fashion stage.

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