Ailbhe Ní Bhriain
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain uses film, photography and installation to picture an uncertain, destabilised future.
Izzy O’Reilly lives and works in Dublin. She graduated from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin with a BA in Fashion Design in 2019. Her work adopts a tactile and humorous approach to experimental pattern cutting, employing unexpected material contrasts to create absurd hybrid images.
Her recent womenswear collection was inspired by male boxing culture in mid-twentieth century Ireland. In this age of gender fluidity, the work plays on the stereotypical gender polarities of an earlier era. Throughout the collection there is an interplay between established tailoring techniques, experimental design and construction. The neat silhouette of 1940s women’s costume is contrasted with the bulky physique of male boxers’ bodies which were also idealised at that time. Inspired by artefacts of family history, the elegant femininity of her grandmother is depicted through tailored separates that jar with bulging latex inflatables reminiscent of the muscle of her prizefighter husband. The tailored separates are made to contain the specific volumes of the fully inflated undergarment, and can be filled via oral valves such as those found on water safety devices. Media such as latex, dead-stock suitings, silk and cotton, as well as upholstered foam head-gear and groin guards, are used.
Izzy O’Reilly has applied for a Golden Fleece Award to invest in further study and training in fashion design that will allow her to deepen her skills in design and handmade craft and take her a step a closer to her aim of producing her own collections from a studio in Ireland.