The Helix Theatre played host to DCU Style’s annual fashion show last Thursday, a colourful kaleidoscope of art, fashion and music.
The theme of the night was ‘Life Imitates Art’ with famous paintings serving as backdrops and inspiration for the show.
The night kicked off with a stunning dance routine to Billie Eilish’s hostage performed by two incredibly lithe athletic girls.
Fresh back from a stint at London Fashion Week, bubbly 2fm DJ and fashionista Tara Stewart was on MC duties for the night.
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Out here looking like I just got crowned Miss Ireland 🙈 massive shout out to the iconic @helensteelefash for making this incredible dress for me 😭 I had such a ball presenting the @dcu_style fashion show last night in the @thehelixdublin. The entire show was just incredible from the models to the Irish brands to the stylists and crew. I was pretty nervous tbh as it was my first MC gig 👀 but I had such a good time!!! 💙💎 Special shout out to the gorgeous @Brnghklly @emmainacoma for having me and being such legends!!
The Aussie native paid homage to Irish design by wearing a custom multi-coloured Helen Steele creation and called for a round of applause for her dress when she took to the stage.
Diversity was evident on the catwalk with models of different heights, shapes, sizes and colours strutting their stuff in a confident fierce manner.
The Helix resounded to the sounds of Kanye West, The Carters and Lizzo as the models sashayed down the runway.
With a one-year modelling contract with 1st Options up for grabs on the night, it’s no wonder they were bringing their A-game.
The deal went to Jack Deignan, a proud moment for him and his family as a fashion insider told us his mother had flown in from Hong Kong for the occasion!
Also impressing the audience were stunning five-foot powerhouse Tara Ellis Cantwell and statuesque beauty Benedicte Akambu, who previously won the 1st Options modelling contract and is now signed to them.
These included Tola Vintage, Dublin Vintage Factory, Rebirth of Cool, The Harlequin, Nine Crow St, White Noise, Wise Guy, Charlotte’s Love and Heartbreak Social Club.
The show was a testament to the strength of Dublin’s independent fashion scene.
The attention to detail in styling, curating and casting the show was evident throughout the night.
Magee tailoring and Collar and Cuff suits were paired with Folkster’s dainty occasionwear for an elegant look with Dizzee Rascal’s Dance Wiv Me playing in the background.
It wasn’t all skyscraper heels as models went barefoot and let the clothes do the talking for Charlotte’s Love to the sassy sound of Lizzo’s Boys.
While The Carters’ Apeshit hyped up the already excited crowd as models showed off Selfmade’s one-of-kind painted and print designs.
Standout pieces included Folkster’s embellished jackets, a shin-length Nine Crows fur coat modelled by Benedicte Akambu, a see-through red plastic mac styled with leather look leggings also from Nine Crows, an adorable Tola Vintage red and yellow check skirt styled with a turquoise Lacoste polo shirt worn by Qichen Hu and a black Wise Guy t-shirt worn as a dress on Katie McGowan.
Dylan Bradshaw provided the hair styling and Inglot were the makeup artists on the night.
The show was sponsored by some big-name brands including Just Eat, Bank of Ireland, Broderick’s, Spin 1038 and Carter Beauty.
Some well-known faces were spotted in the audience including YouTuber Grainne Binns looking incredible in white over-the-knee boots, black mini dress and a white faux fur coat.
During the show’s interval, we got a sneak peek at some of the up-and-coming Irish talent in the Project Young Designer competition.
The designers had to come up with a concept based on the theme of the show and interpret this into their piece.
It was judged by fashion maven Ella de Guzman, owner of popular Dublin consignment store, Siopaella.
NCAD student Heather Gilroy was awarded the prize for her innovative design combining a heavy roll-neck jumper with a light white floaty skirt over lightweight trousers and runners.
Heather’s design was inspired by the paintings of Louise Bourgeois with motherhood being the main theme.
She designed the outfit in the hope of modernising and bringing to life the work of Bourgeois through the means of clothing.
Her design will be showcased for all to see in Siopaella’s Temple Bar store.
An honourable mention has to go to NCAD’s John Mangru’s beautiful baroque corset and skirt modelled by Anna Lattimore, inspired by his love of extravagant renaissance paintings.
He used the colours, texture and actual garment references from the outfits in the beautiful paintings.
John said he wanted the outfit to have heavenly and ethereal vibes.
This led to the choice of fabrics that were very soft and light, almost cloud-like.
He also wanted to showcase his love of beading and printed textiles on the project.
The show closed with Kanye West’s 2005 hit Touch The Sky blaring and a shower of colourful confetti descending from the ceiling.
A slick professional production from start to finish – well done to the DCU Style Soc and all involved.
This was actually the first ever fashion show I’ve ever been to, which is mad considering I eat, sleep and breathe fashion!