The Irish Dress Oscar

There are few things in life of which I am certain and I will never second guess myself on…one being …if I ever find myself at the Oscars – I WILL wear PETER O’BRIEN. …yes, I said ‘The Oscars’. One thing about my friends and I is that at times I can be totally delusional..TOTALLY!… I tend to go off on tangents and certainly when I’m left alone with my thoughts – I have been known to fantasise. For example, when I was 30 I spent a year in London working. It was one of my happiest times…a dick of a boyfriend was history, I was working really well, I lived in Maida Vale (MAIDA VALE!!!!), I was in one of my favourite cities doing ma own thing, and was fully convinced that there was every chance I would bump into Chris Martin (obviously pre Gwinnie!)..unless he was two-timing me – the bas%$£@!!!!… anyway this chance meeting would inevitably end with us getting married, having children with a strange sort of lisp (anyone else notice that????), having lots of songs written for me and sure I’d be happy out. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have a big ego – but I believed in fate and…Mills and Boon. Anyway this is taking me away from The Oscars – SO, you understand that I assumed that by some strange twist of fate, I was going to find myself on the red carpet at The Oscars cool as a cucumber (not a perspiration mark in sight, not smiling like a chesire cat and yes, wearing Peter O’Brien). I now accept (happily I might add) that this will not happen, unless one of my daughters hits the big time (stage school here we come!!!!! – I jest.)

But thankfully our talented designers don’t need to rely on the likes of me to showcase their wares on the Red Carpet. Like everyone else I’ll be glued to ‘Live From The Red Carpet’, to cheer on Saoirse Ronan..who has already flown the flag for Ireland and (Tropical Popical)!..but what of the unsung heroes of the red carpet?? I’m not talking YSL, or CHANEL, or ERDEM, ..I’m talking, CLAIRE GARVEY, DON O’ NEILL, JENNIFER ROTHWELL, LAURA JANE HALTON, YVONNE ROSS, ELAINE MCGOVERN…They’re our fashion and jewellery designers who have hit the big time and are top of their game. Let’s start with CLAIRE GARVEY.. Claire graduated from NCAD in 1991, continued her studies in Russia and this award-winning designer now owns her own store in Dublin with celebrity and international clients.

claire garvey

pic 5pic 4

FORMER miss ireland LISA MADDEN in claire garvey.jpeg to her Academy Awards red carpet moment???..well a long time fan of Claire’s – Chic Bassist Nile Rodger decided he’d ‘wear Claire’ for Sir Elton John’s after show party last year….tres chic!..(ouch)

nile rodgers and elton john in claire garvey.jpegpic 2

Now, LAURA JANE HALTONLaura Jane’s designs have been spotted on many a red carpet both here and on the international fields. Very much to the Thinking Woman’s taste, Halton as been celebrated in Vogue Italia and many other Fashion Bibles.

mairead farrell in laura jane halton
So to Laura’s Oscar prowess…in 2013 Fodhla Cronin O’ Reilly wore a Halton gown when she was nominated for her short movie “Head over Heels”.

fodhla cronin o'reilly
Then jump ahead 3 years and another glorious gown was spotted on the Oscars Red Carpet, this time on Norah Twomey was was nominated for The Secret Of Kells..pure elegance..

pic 3
courtesy of

So, to DON O’ NEILL. Don hails from Kerry and now lives across the Pond and after spending time working with Fashion Houses such as Christian Lacroix and Badgley Mishka, he now serves as Creative Director of THEIA. Why do we know and love him???…Well when Oprah Winfrey decides you’re good enough to wear on the red carpet – and not any old red carpet but the ACADEMY AWARDS Red carpet – you know you’re doing something right – in fact the whole WORLD knows you’re doing something right…

oprah cover shot

oprah as oscars

THEN, When the star of one of Disney’s most successful movies EVER, decides to wear your creation – WOW….Idina Menzel (aka Elsa) wore this stunning black number to last year’s Vanity Fair party…and again the boy from Kerry knew he’d hit gold…

idina menzel at oscars party

JENNIFER ROTHWELL.. well this New York Native (but raised in Dublin) blazed a trail through the fashion world …keeping the likes of Calvin Klein and Norma Kamali at the top of their game. So it was inevitable that one of Jennifer’s creations would make a splash on the Oscar Red Carpet – and aptly it was the occasion when Liselott Oloffson (wife of Song Of The Sea Director) chose a stunning blue gown for the red carpet..


…And finally – ELAINE MC GOVERN ..Stan and Laurel were a formidable team, Starsky and Hutch were pretty cool, dammit Rebecca and Corina really rock!…but when besties Elaine Mc Govern and Yvonne Ross (award winning jewellery designer) collaborate over what to wear to the Oscars – stand back and let the experts at it. Yvonne attended last year’s Oscars in an Elaine Dress and her own jewellery – now how proud would THAT make you!!!!


And of course we cannot forget Simone Rocha (check out her website, like a work of art), daughter of the inimitable designer John Rocha.


Rebecca almost chose this to wear on her wedding day. She let Alexa have it instead 😉


The Dublin designer now based in London is in serious demand and has credited the birth of her daughter Valentine for her latest collection. We are very interested to see if one of her wonderful creations will appear on the RC tomorrow night.

Michelle Monaghan in Simone Rocha



So, listen, when you’re admiring the tans and hair-dos, the nails and the shoes, the teeth and the smiles, spare a thought for the hours of long labour that went into creating the vision that stands beside Ryan and Giulianna and remember behind every great star is a great designer who believes Coco Chanel’s mantra “Dress Shabbily and they remember the dress, dress impeccably and they remember the woman”.. Best of luck to our Green Team stateside – what a year for irish film.
Corina X

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s