Róisín Pierce Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Róisín Pierce’s way of speaking can take your breath away. “The name of the collection is ‘O Lovely One, Fallen From a Star,’” she said. “She’s essentially an angel who’s come to earth to bring peace, hope and love. I wanted to create something quite heavenly, with this numinous feeling. A feeling of protection.“

And then she conjured a host of angels, dressed in white (with a single exception), garlanded with flowers and stars to walk among us. Well, through the ornate salons of the Irish embassy in Paris to be exact. Pierce works with her mother Angela in Dublin, reinterpreting Irish hand-crafted traditions, while infusing poetry into them. Her deeply-considered collections emerge when they’re ready, once a year.

This time, she collaborated with a young female poet, Michelle Freya, whose lines on the show invitation hinted at female-powered redemption in these dark times. Pierce said she had been researching “images of high divinity” in which worshipped women appear across many cultures. She noticed a common denominator shared across classical representations of ancient mythologies and world religions. “They were always wrapped in transparency, floating, vaporous.”

Aphrodite, goddess of love, walked among this collection—appropriately enough, since Pierce is drawing brides to her work. The hand made textures of radiating whorls of smocking and Irish crochet ran through abstract yet intensely detailed evocations of petals, rosettes, florets and floral chains. Her self-invented iconography was there in lattice work knitwear. “I see it as X-es. Kisses,” she said.

Headpieces, which appeared to be almost organically grown, resembled seafoam, haloes and stars. Hand-crocheted “Posy-holders” dangled from tiny garlands. The materials Pierce uses are mostly deadstock Swiss bridal laces, organza and cotton yarn. The exception this season, for a designer who’s only ever worked in white, was one look rendered in midnight blue. It represented Pierce’s translation of the dove Purgatorio, plucked from Dante’s Paradiso who, Pierce explained, “plunges into the depths of the sea to bring heavens and earth together; light and dark, sun and moon, air and water, peace and anger.”

Pierce’s compelling work has gathered her own real-life angels to uplift her career. This was the second time the Irish embassy hosted her show, which was championed by the department of foreign affairs and the design and craft council of Ireland. Meanwhile, she is newly represented by Dover Street Market’s showroom in Paris, a dream arrangement for a young designer, which will see her supported with production as well as sales.


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