Saturday, 31 May 2014

Interview with the Designer: Alice Halliday

I recently took a trip down to Skibbereen and met up with the lovely Alice Halliday who lives and works in the area.  I also went to an amazing restaurant there called the Riverside Cafe and even though I had already had breakfast that morning I managed to tuck into brunch aswell.  Piggery to the max!!

Here's a few snaps I took of Alice's gorgeous work and her beautiful studio and we even had time for a little chat.

Can you tell me a little bit about your background, how you got into designing and making clothes?

By the age of 9 I knew that I wanted to be a fashion designer. I used to make barbie clothes with my mum and fashion cut-out dolls with my auntie. I would style my sister and friends and hold fashion shows for my parents, and even invented a game called 'The Latest Fashion'. I come from a very artistic family, and both my granny and mum used to make their own clothes.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Anywhere and everywhere really! Nature, historical costume, religious iconography, art, music, people! There's just so much beauty around to be inspired by.

What other designers do you like, at home and on an international level?

There are so many! But to name a few, some Irish designers I admire are Joanne Hynes, Helen Cody and Umit Kutluk. And internationally I love Ulyana Sergeenko, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino

What do you like and what do you find challenging about being a designer in Cork/Ireland?

I like the fact that there isn't too much competition from other designers, and it's easier to stand out. It's not too hard to network and get your name out there. But on the other hand sales can be slow, there just isn't that much money around, or people are being very careful about spending. I think also people expect my pieces to be really expensive so they get a bit scared, but my designs are actually very reasonably priced, and I can tailor to suit all budgets, so it's worth enquiring! 

Can you tell me a little bit about your love of environmentally friendly fashion.

I've always been a nature lover and very passionate about looking after the environment. I think it's so important to reuse old fabrics and not be wasteful. Fashion can be such a throw away industry, but people are definitely becoming more open to sustainable fashion, which is wonderful. To me, a garment is so much more interesting and special if it has a history behind it. Pieces made using vintage fabrics or upcycled from old clothing or textiles really have a story to tell, and it feels great to give them a new life!

What does a typical day look like for you(if there is such a thing)?

Hard to say really, Naythan, my beautiful boy has recently turned two so each day is a bit unpredictable. It's nice to make plans and have some structure but I'm learning to accept the unexpected and sometimes it's best to be spontaneous! I can be sure that every day will involve both laughter and tears! I only work two days of the week at the moment, from home. And the rest of the days I spend with Natty, usually we go somewhere, to visit friends or to a playgroup, or for a walk if it's nice.


And lastly, can you tell us an interesting/random fact about you?

My dad nicknamed me 'Tiggy' when I was a tiny baby because of the way my hair stood up on my head... like Mrs. Tiggy Winkle, and it stuck! My family and close friends still call me that to this day. I love the Beatrix Potter stories and I now have a beautiful framed Mrs. Tiggy Winkle illustration on my wall, thanks to my mum!

If you fancy owning one of Alice's beautiful pieces you can find her stocked at her etsy store , Brocade and Lime in Cork and Atelier 27 in Dublin.

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