independent.ie– It started with a chance meeting at an event in Soho House, New York, in 2019, and two years later, Irish designers Eoin Dillon, of Reuben Avenue, and up-and-coming designer and NCAD graduate Louise Kavanagh (AKA Louiseagh) this week unveiled Revival, a lockdown project which delivers a powerful message about the possibilities in upcycled couture.
Reuben Avenue’s latest collaboration sees Louiseagh use old samples and dead stock from Dillon’s mainline collection, and give them a whole new fashion life after splicing and dicing his linens, satins and silks into something different.
The project where no-waste culture meets demi-couture is 1980s-inspired and the collection is handmade in Dublin.
“Last February, I arrived at her house with my car full of samples of trousers, kimonos, shirts, some offcuts of fabric that were left over. She has used the biodegradable fabrics, old samples and zero-waste ethos to make this collection of eight looks,” explains Dillon, who hit the headlines in 2020 when Kim Kardashian bought his mushroom satin two-piece loungewear.
There are clues to Louiseagh’s love of disco on her Instagram account, where she writes: “In my last life, died at Studio 54.” She named the eight garments after disco icons or 1980s starlets.
The ‘Kylie’ co-ord (€545) started out life as a lavender linen kimono, and it’s been repurposed into a ruffled, tie-on corset and paired with a bias-cut, short, flirty, panelled skirt.
‘Bella’ (€360) was a kimono in her former life and now her silhouette has been upgraded to a dress with leg-of-mutton sleeves. ‘Bianca’ (€595) was a black shirt and a pink shirt, and now she is a peplum corset.
The collection, which was photographed in a mirrored set that Dillon built in a studio in Harold’s Cross after teaching himself how to make a kaleidoscope, also features ‘Diana’ (€450), a babydoll dress with puffball shoulders which, in a former life, was two pink shirts.
Donna Summer is regarded by many as the absolute queen of disco, and the homage to her comes in the form of an eponymous top (€545) made from linen dead stock, and is fully bound and lined.
Louise says: “I’ve worked in an industry where people don’t care about fashion, it’s thrown away after the season is over, thrown on landfill, it’s like dumping plastic bottles, so what interested me about working with Eoin was that all his garments were 100pc biodegradable and he took that into consideration before his garments were even designed. He wanted to involve a young designer in a collaboration, and not have samples sitting there going to waste.”
“What excited me was that we managed to make two completely different things out of the same fabric, and we have agreed to do another collaboration for AW 22,” says Dillon, who has just finished his new mainline collection.
For details on how to purchase from the Revival collection, go to reubenavenue.com.
Best foot forward
The tractor-soled boots of the last few seasons have both thrilled and scared me in equal measures and I worried about that locked-in sensation.
However, in my little sortie across the shops this month, I found a mixture of comfy ‘chunky’ styles that were surprisingly light.
Terenure in Dublin 6 is famous for being a shoe destination, especially for toddlers’ first shoe fittings at the landmark Cripps store. My favourite is Scarlet Slippers across the road, and they have an extensive range of boots and shoes, including Rieker and Wonders. The owners of the store, and neighbouring Dress Circle boutique, sisters Niamh D’Arcy and Deirdre O’Connor, could not be more helpful.
Ditto for sisters Gemma and Hilary McFadden, who run Premoli in William Street in Galway. Their brand of lightweight ankle and full-length boots come in both suedes and leathers, and I really like the striking olive green suede and the buttery cream leather.
I checked out MarcoMoreo, the Italian brand stocked in 50 Irish shops. Their original line is home to the two-tone strip boots, with its zig-zag pattern and small heel-to-toe drop.
They have introduced the more trend-focused Black Label, which is where I found the ‘Sue’ boot (€280, left) with its laced-up front.
The most recent addition to the Moreo family is the Collezione Privata, home to the ‘Valerie’ ankle boot (€210), with its curved lines, decorative zip and eyelet finish.
The style also comes with an optional animal print tongue, and the ‘Valerie’ comes in navy and in black leather. You will find a list of brand stockists on marcomoreo.com.