EVENT RECAP | FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY

EVENT RECAP | FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY

Two months after we had first met the designers shortlisted for Festival of Curiosity’s studio residency, it was time to shine. The Chocolate Factory had been transformed from their usual work space to a full blown runway and guests were taking their seats in excitement, probably just as much as the designers and models backstage. Through their residency, the creatives – Ally Nolan, Maureen Sellina Laverty, Rebecca Marsden, Danielle Jordan, Dearbhla O’Beirne and Roisin Pierce – explored how new technologies can be integrated into fashion design. Each of the designers presented their unique vision of fashion and technology, which is why the jury (including our own Kristina Dimitrova), had an incredible difficult task of choosing a single winner. After much debate and discussion, the Future Fashion Design prize was awarded to TCD Master student Ally Nolan for her piece The Queen of the Night. See below the magnificent pieces from all six designers and the inspiration behind them. Ally Nolan – The Queen of the Night (Overall Winner; Most Creative Use of Technology) Design inspired by 18th-century crinolines and 1950s Dior; The 800 petals are laser cut at different depths, making the neoprene fabric semi transparent. When they are back lit with LED lights the detail on each petal is illuminated. Topped with a sheer mesh black bodice and a beret composed of battery powered petals. Maureen Laverty – Where’s my Arm Hole / My Head’s Stuck (Best Design Process) Organic jersey garments that interact with each other through sensors made using conductive fabric and stitching. The integrated pressure and stretch sensors between the top garments change the intensity and...
INTERVIEW | SABINNA RACHIMOVA, SABINNA FOUNDER

INTERVIEW | SABINNA RACHIMOVA, SABINNA FOUNDER

Before launching her own label SABINNA, Sabinna Rachimova worked for some of fashion’s heavyweights such as Christian Dior, Mary Katrantzou and Schella Kann. The Central Saint Martin’s graduate made headlines with her brand in February when she partnered with the Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA), technology company Pictofit and Fashion Scout for the first interactive augmented reality fashion experience. SABINNA’s 004 collection allowed attendees at her London Fashion Week presentation to interact with the garments in a virtual world. Guests could directly mix and match SABINNA’s collection using Pictofit Augmented Reality technology on a Microsoft HoloLens. The Pictofit HoloLens application allowed shoppers to switch garments with simple hand movements to style outfit combinations. As Sabinna prepares for another fashion and technology project ahead of London Fashion week, we caught up with designer to chat about learnings from her collaborations and the future of the label. Can you describe your line of work? SABINNA does womenswear, knitwear and ready-to-wear to be precise. Currently we are the only young brand that uses the see now -buy now strategy, which means that each season the customer has the possibility to purchase selected items directly from the catwalk, without waiting for another six months until it hits the stores. We are always pushing the boundaries when it comes to communicating with consumers and love to involve new technologies that help the end customer experience fashion in new ways. My husband, who I have been with for over 10 years, works in tech and so I always had a huge interest for all things related to this field. You collaboration with Pictofit and FIA made a splash in...
INTERVIEW | JONATHAN RAYSON

INTERVIEW | JONATHAN RAYSON

Designer Jonathan Rayson is a mix. A mix reflecting different countries, industries and crafts. He spent his formative years living, studying and working over three continents (Europe/North America/South-East Asia), where he followed music as his first passion until becoming ‘disillusioned and depressed with it [music]. Since I enjoyed working with my hands and knew of the financial rewards which would follow it, I took on a working apprenticeship in mechanical engineering with a large company in the oil and gas sector.’ Quite the jump, you might think, but Rayson says he looks at this as one of the founding developments for where he is today. After five years in mechanical engineering and upon meeting a future business partner Rayson had launched his own US based denim brand within a year and with no vocational background in fashion. ‘At the very beginning I was practically self-taught, but I had a fervent passion to learn.’ Shortly after he enrolled into a local fashion tech school, which set him up in good stead for where the designer is today. This year, Rayson graduated from the prestigious Central St Martin’s. As he sets sights on launching his own brand and design studio, we caught up with Jonathan to talk more about the unlikely but surprisingly pleasing merge or engineering, fashion and design. What’s keeping you busy right now? I’m currently working on my first ready to wear collection, along with a small range of specialty made to order “demi-couture” pieces. I anticipate that these will be available and in stores early next year, assuming all goes smoothly. Essentially this will be my core...
INTERIVEW | JOANNA DAI, DAI WEAR FOUNDER

INTERIVEW | JOANNA DAI, DAI WEAR FOUNDER

‘We were born out of a love for style and a need for function, a call for quality and an understanding for value,’ reads Dai Wear’s website. ‘We are fast-moving and forward-thinking, and we want to be empowered by ease and authenticity.’ It might sound like quite an ambitious goal for a brand that’s just launched but, glance over its website and you’ll see the startup wants to put its money where its mouth is. Dai Wear, launched in late July 2017, creates clothes for the professional working woman by combining performance fabrics, elegant tailoring and honest premium quality. By selling directly to consumers, the brand is able to maintain designer quality at contemporary price points, with pieces ranging from $175 to $475. Many of the pieces also are constructed with Italian sourced and patented Sensitive® Fabrics, and raw materials are Oeko-Tex® and/or REACH certified wherever possible. Beyond technical-meets-tailoring pieces, Dai advocates for sustainability and social impact. “Beyond just products, I had the vision of a brand that served as a community for women and a platform for more consciously sustainable practices,” says Joanna Dai, founder and creative director of the brand. Dai Wear has partnered with Dress for Success Greater London, a chapter of the global non-profit organisation that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools. A portion of net proceeds from Dai sales will be donated to Dress for Success Greater London. With all founding elements in place and a successful launch, we caught up with Joanna to hear more about why she started the brand,...
FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY BRINGS FASHIONTECH TO DUBLIN

FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY BRINGS FASHIONTECH TO DUBLIN

If you follow us on Instagram you might have seen that back in May we met with a group of aspiring designers in Dublin for a day of talks, knowledge-exchange and overall good vibes. For these six girl bosses, the hangout actually marked the start of Festival of Curiosity’s Future Fashion competition. Since then, the designers have been working tirelessly on their vision of the future of fashion, which will culminate in a fusion of fashion and technology showcase later this month. Now in its fifth year, Festival of Curiosity is Dublin’s celebration of science, tech, art and design where the focus is cross-collaboration, learning and having fun along the way. This year saw the launch of the Curiosity Studio – a design and research residency programme – which for this year’s edition focuses on the exploration of fashion and technology. Six outstanding designers were chosen after a casting call to work in the studio on the theme of Illuminations, from Darkness to Light. During their residency the creatives received mentorship and guidance from a number of organisations and individuals including Make Fashion Canada, INTERLACED, The British Council in Ireland and CONNECT. It didn’t take long after meeting Ally Nolan, Maureen-Seline Laverty, Rebecca Marsden, Danielle Jordan, Dearbhla O’Beirne and Rosin Pierce to see that they weren’t just interested in creating just another illuminated dress. The way they want to approach fashion and technology looks at how it can improve people’s lives, contribute positively to the environment and empower women. Laverty, for example, started her career at Alexander McQueen and Savile Row but wanted to use her apparel construction techniques...