Sinéad O’Dwyer: Ready-To-Wear SS24

For SS24 we were Sinead O’Dwyer’s students, and, seated at the head of a classroom within The Royal College of Art, she was our teacher. Aptly named, Assembly, this wasn’t a typical London Fashion Week show – rather, within her alma mater, O’Dwyer staged an intimate Q&A-style seminar guided by i-D’s senior fashion features editor, Mahoro Seward, to explore the intricacies of craft, the challenges that come with producing size-inclusive work and her own experiences as an art student. She spoke a lot about the body: “The body you choose should be your first creative decision,” she said, recalling how when she began her studies, there wasn’t a single mannequin she could relate to. Meanwhile, models skulked, to the left of the unorthodox seating arrangement, in shirts with sculpted plastron bibs, pinafores, culottes, jackets and knits. “I think it’s important for the industry to slow down and appreciate the craft of the clothes and to gain a better understanding of the process of making design inclusive, from inception to production,” she says in a preview of her decision to show in this atypical way.

About “after-school dressing in the summer and the ease of uniform items”, looks were informed by O’Dwyer’s Killina Secondary School days in rural Ireland. A lot of the garments were actually crafted in the same wool plaid used in schools nationwide. 

O’Dwyer’s quintessential silk shibari harnesses evolved, ripening into interwoven art pieces with Swarovski crystals and beading. The designer also continued her development of the fully fashioned knit, added her first gaberdine styles and developed her shirting further. “This season was very much about simplicity, making simple items for different bodies,” she tells 10.

“The beading technique is new, as are the embossed crystal motifs of interlocking “S’s” and corseting. We also have new shirt leotards… and our first organic cotton knitted tank tops… that are meant to provide more ease of movement to the wearer – they also mean you can go braless if you want!”

Photography courtesy of Sinead O’Dwyer.

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