As race season hits its stride, IMAGE Magazine celebrates the people behind the Irish millinery industry. LIZZIE GORE-GRIMES catches up with the people behind some seriously iconic head-turners. Here’s Laura Kinsella’s story…
Laura Kinsella finds inspiration in unusual places. Japanese horror films were the creative stimulus behind her spring/summer 2013 collection – a range that saw effusive fabrics such as organza, waffle, buntal and silk in black and gunmetal grey manipulated into complex origami shapes. “I would describe my hats as sculpted, luxurious and distinctive,” explains the Carlow-born hat designer. “I see them coming in somewhere between traditionally inspired and contemporary. Gracefully striking with an edgy twist.” Clearly, the judges at this year’s Kerry Fashion Week were well impressed, and Laura walked away with the winning prize. “It was wonderful to be part of Kerry Fashion Week this year – it’s such a great event, and to win was even better.”
The young designer is not new to millinery, though. She comes with impressive credentials, having worked with accessory designer Alejandra Quesada in Mexico City, MaterialByProduct in Melbourne, and Philip Treacy in London, before returning to Ireland in 2011. Once back on home turf, she began to work with Beads & Bling in Dublin as a milliner and tutor before setting up Laura Kinsella Millinery in 2013.
“My hats vary from season to season,” says the Limerick School of Art & Design graduate. “My spring/summer collection is inspired by feats of engineering, namely bridges. But the one thing that resonates throughout my work is the finish. Pieces are blocked or moulded using traditional techniques or free-formed by hand. I primarily use traditional millinery fabrics such as buckram, buntal, silk abaca and felt, with leatherette and velvet coming in, depending on the time of year.”
Laura also calls on her fashion background when creating a collection. “I make sure to follow all the international trend reports, as I know clients will be buying outfits from current trend colours and styles.”
So, what’s next? “I’ve created some new accessories this season, including a series of leather neckpieces, and hope to broaden the accessory range. I’d hate to lose the bespoke element of my hat design, but I’m hoping to source stockists for some ready-to-wear pieces by the end of the year.”
086 371 9285; laurakinsellamillinery.com
To read more check out the latest copy of IMAGE Magazine, on sale now.
Photography: Barry Murphy
Make up: Niamh O Dwyer, Lancome Paris at CH Tralee
Hair : Ruth O Sullivan, Sean Taaffe Group
Co – Ordination: Upfront PR.
Shot on location in the Europe Hotel & Resort
Lizzie Gore-Grimes @lizgoregrimes