June 13, 2010Comments are off for this post.

The first Spring Summer Collection, 5 years ago….

Eilis boyle 2006 small

HPIM2030-final small

HPIM2161-final small

HPIM2181-final small 
2006 cropped 

HPIM2288-final-3 small

This was the first Spring Summer I did 5 years ago.

 It feels equally as long as it does recent.

If you haven't seen or heard of the girl in the pictures you will soon...; )


May 31, 2010Comments are off for this post.

Let the fun begin


On your mark get set ...go!!!


Last week I was involved in a mentoring session organised by the girls of Re Dress as part of their annual Fashion Evolution event. I met so many wonderful aspiring creative talents.

Since then I have received quite a few emails asking for further advice, so I thought I'd put a post together focusing on questions of those who are attempting to set up their own label.

I'm pretty sure I'm not  the best person to give advise, I don't always practice what I preach.. but that doesn't mean I don't want too...sometimes I need to say it to myself..and the universe.. to be convinced!

So, if  you are working on your first collection these are a few tips...

1. Get experience,  and I know this might sound like a step back, it will be worth it. It's the only way to learn the knots and blots of the industry. Learn from their success and their mistakes. If you haven't worked for another designer for a few seasons, at least, I would say don't even think of setting up your own label.

2. Once you've gained some experience, research as much as you can in terms of the concept of your creations and who you think your customer will be. I really believe you only have one chance to give a first impression so make sure your designs are up to scratch. I would rather wait for a year or two before putting something out there that I know is not as perfect as can be.

3. Keep your first collection small and concise. A 6 to 10 piece  strong collection can be enough to seduce your customers. Don't try to do everything. You can build up the collection in the future, but it will be easier to grab your customer's attention if you have a specific and clear concept.

4. Pricing. Once you've chosen a design concept and the market you think it will be for, be very conscious about costs and pricing. If you are designing for a younger market price point must be adequate to their spending capacity ( this comment is very specific to Ireland..in other countries where there is a bigger population you will find a more diverse customer base with a broad  range of budgets)

5. Don't under price your collection. The temptation is to undercut yourself at the beginning trying to get into good shops. It will be hard to charge what you should be charging later on.

6. Capacity. Be very clear what your limitations are, financially and production wise. Say no when you are unable to commit. It's better to say no than to say yes and then letting people down.

6. Stay small for as long as possible. It's the only way to learn without making huge mistakes or taking huge risks.

7. Build up a private customer base as well as nourishing a few shops. Don't step on their toes by selling at discount, this may come back to haunt you.

8. Press are always looking for new stories and great images. Invest in a good shoot, it doesn't have to be overproduced or costly..having great images is priceless. Write a press release. The story is so important now. Everyone from customers to journalists want to know the story behind the label so make sure there is soul in what you're doing.


If there are any other questions I haven't covered or you'd like something more specific let me know!

May 21, 2010Comments are off for this post.

National Drawing Day


 Marchesa Casati by Giovanni Boldini


Organised by the National Gallery in Dublin, tomorrow we celebrate

National Drawing Day

There are venues all across Ireland participating in the excellent event

click here


With very little chance of rain, it looks like it will be a promising weekend.

So put on sun protection, dust your pencil case and start sketching

Have a great weekend!

May 11, 2010Comments are off for this post.

The Winding Stair

Last weekend I payed a visit to one of my favourite places in Dublin.

On the North Quay, The Winding Stair... bookshop turned restaurant combines my favourite obsessions...food and literature...

Pic 3

I bought, The Complete Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault


A wonderful hard back, with all of his stories from Little Red Ridding Hood to Cinderella and dozens of illustrations by Gustave Dore


I'll hopefully be visiting them again next week for another delicious meal...will report back...

Winding Stair on Facebook

January 17, 2010Comments are off for this post.

Are you talented?


You have, no doubt, heard of the awful tragedy in Haiti.  
Myself and some other Irish designers are organising an online auction to raise funds.
We have lots of ideas and some amazing things already donated, but thought I would ask you my talented readers for input, any original thoughts ?.
Donations will be accepted in Bow boutique, Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin 2, Ireland (you can post them too)  up until  Tue, Jan 26th
Auction will be live
Thurs Jan 28th (I'll post when it's up with a link)
We have set up a Facebook page called Talent for Haiti with details and updates.
You can contact me with any questions either here, in the comments section, or email me at
If you could pass on the word we would really appreciate it.
picture of Shirley Temple from tvtropes

(original post snatched from the very talented Helen James)