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Irish Designer Week: Louise Kennedy

Louise Kennedy is one of Ireland’s most successful fashion designers. She’s known for her clean lines, attention to detail, sophisticated designs and sexy womenswear and has now decided to take a new direction with a bespoke bridal collection, which is being sold exclusively at her boutique in Merrion Square.

Why start a bridal collection?

I have always dressed clients for evening wear and the red carpet and I felt that the bridal collection was a natural synergy and progression for the brand. My boutique at 56 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 also offered me the perfect location to house the bridal collection. It allows for exclusive and personal bridal fittings in intimate surrounds.

I launched the bridal collection last September on the advice of my good friend, jeweller, Paul Sheeran. Paul encouraged me to see the importance of bridal wear in the Irish market and I was immediately hooked!

What was the inspiration behind your bridal collection?

The collection was inspired by the timeless elegance of the 1930s, particularly the art-deco era. I wanted to create a collection that would never date and with this ethos I designed a collection that is both classic, yet non-traditional.

How would you describe your designs?

There are 25 dresses in the collection and each design has been created using the finest couture techniques, from start to finish. The aesthetic of the collection follows a pattern of lean, fine lines that are cut to fit the body. Each dress has a hint of lustre and sparkle and the gowns vary in shades ranging from ivory to white. For example, the Kari dress has been finished using French Guipure and Swiss lace and is hand encrusted with pure Swarovski Crystals and lined with luxurious duchess silk.

The Louisa dress was created using 15 metres of georgette and duchess silk and features a hand encrusted Swarovski Crystal bodice that is reminiscent of 1930s Cartier jewellery.

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L: Jacqueline | R: Louisa

What can brides-to-be expect when they visit your Bridal Room at 56 Merrion Square?

The service we offer is by appointment only and therefore all fittings are one-on-one. When a bride chooses a dress, one of our trained bridal consultants will take her measurements and from this a toile will be made for her second fitting. Following from this a third or fourth fitting may be required before the finished gown is created.

The interior of the Bridal Room reflects the 1930s influences of the gowns. The room features a colour palette of white, gold, grey and purple and features the newly launched Louise Kennedy Tipperary Crystal ‘Oriana’ range. The room is illuminated using an art-deco style Louise Kennedy Tipperary Crystal Earth Star.

Each bridal dress has a woman’s name, are any of the names meaningful to you?

The names of each gown reflect the woman that I visualised wearing it. The names are associated with love and Greek goddesses.

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Sophie

What type of woman typically buys your designs?

The Louise Kennedy woman appreciates fine, clean lines and is looking for a timeless, yet unique gown.

Do you try to accommodate women of all sizes?

Every dress is completely bespoke. Every dress will be made to the bride’s actual body measurements.

How do you make sure that each gown is unique?

Each gown is bespoke and therefore is made to brides unique measurements. If a bride requires a slight alteration to the structure of a dress we will try to accommodate their request.

With so much experience in the fashion industry, what advice would you give to brides-to-be who are trying to find the ‘perfect’ dress?

I believe a bride should look for a style and shape that she is comfortable with. The fit of a garment is most important and with the bespoke service that we provide we are able to ensure that every bride feels confident and extremely beautiful in her gown. Since launching the bridal collection I have received many comments from brides suggesting that the soft, delicate nature of the fabrics that we use are incredibly comfortable on the skin.

Will you be launching a bridesmaid collection any time soon?

In my boutique I would like to create ‘the complete bridal destination’, where brides can select their gowns and bridesmaids gowns to complement one another. I hope to launch a bridesmaid collection in the coming year. In the meantime, however, the boutique provides a comprehensive range of evening- and cocktailwear gowns that are perfect for bridesmaids.

There are so many amazing Irish designers, how do you think we could better promote them?

There is a growing support for Irish designers at an international level. The quality of Irish design is superb and amongst the international community, that alone promotes itself.

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L: Savanna | R: Kari

Do you believe that Irish people should try to consider buying Irish first and foremost?

I try and support Irish products and design as much as possible. I think it is important to recognise Irish skills and craftsmanship and this is reflected in the interior of the Louise Kennedy Bridal Room which is finished using many Irish designs.

How fashionable are Irish women in comparison to our European neighbours?

Irish women are incredibly fashionable. They dress to suit their persona and body shape and tend to veer away from heavily branded pieces and trends.

You have stores in the UK and Ireland, do you think there are any significant differences in the clothes women choose between both countries?

Our loyal clients in both London and Ireland particularly love our evening gowns, cocktail wear and suiting for weddings and formal events. London exposes us to a global market that ranges from the Middle East to America. The cultural climate of these countries plays an enormous part in London style and is reflected in fashion trends.

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L: Oriana | R: Olivia

Prices of the gowns are upon application but range from €2,900.

The Bridal Room at 56 Merrion Square is now open and viewings of the Louise Kennedy Bridal Collection are by appointment only. Call +353 (1) 6620056 or alternatively email: [email protected]

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