An Edge in Irish Bridal Wear
by Briana Palma
May 21, 2012 – www.thegenteel.com
…….One fashion industry insider with whom she has built a relationship is Melissa O’Connor Regan, another stylist who discovered O’Connor’s work while browsing Dublin’s Design Centre. “I was dressing [actress] Victoria Smurfit for something and literally they didn’t have anything that would work for her body, but I really loved Claire’s work,” O’Connor Regan recalls. “They rang [Claire] and asked her to make something up. The shoot was the next day, so she stayed up all night making a dress. I sent her a thank you note and we’ve stayed in touch since then. It’s been really great. She’s amazing.”
In June, O’Connor Regan will open Beloved, a specialty bridal boutique with an emphasis on supporting Irish designers and providing personal styling services. The boutique will cater for fashion-forward clientele by stocking O’Connor’s collection along with English designer Caroline Matthews of Caroline Atelier. O’Connor Regan is also working to add two more designers whose looks will suit more classic brides.
“Weddings are hugely popular in Ireland, but so many girls buy dresses that come from all over the world,” O’Connor Regan says. “We never really think to look to our own and especially with such a big-ticket item, it’s crazy that that money should be going abroad when we have designers of equal merit and talent here in the country.”
Bringing in O’Connor’s designs was a no-brainer for O’Connor Regan. “Claire pattern cuts everything to perfection,” she says. “You could turn her dresses inside out and wear them; they’re that good. And also, she really understands structure and women’s bodies, and that’s what I wanted; I wanted dresses that are truly flattering. I don’t want girls to have to wear really tight underwear or any of those hold-in garments under the dress. I think you should be comfortable and beautiful on your wedding day.”
O’Connor Regan is confident about the venture and is looking forward to providing brides with a complete styling service. “There are so many millions of dresses, but a lot of people go for exactly the same thing, which is kind of sad,” she says. “There’s a different dress for every girl. It’s just a matter of getting the dress to the girl.”……