Trinity Fashion Society went out with a bang last Friday as they put on their annual fashion show, aptly named Transcendence: The EPIC Journey of Fashion. Held in the EPIC Museum Building located in Dublin’s Docklands, the show was conceptually enthralling from start to finish. Everything, from the location — which embodied the show’s overarching theme of interconnectedness — to the ethereal synth music playing as the models strutted down the runway, and, of course, the diverse array of outfits on display, was carefully conceived and executed.
The sweet, soothing sounds of a violin. Shining into the building’s glass façade, the start of a soft pink sunset, calmly reflected against the Liffey. Through the opening of a door, the fleeting glimpse of a patchwork-patterned pink dress. These aren’t the first things you would associate with Dublin’s EPIC Museum. On Friday, Trinity Fashion Society proved that it has the energy, the creativity, and the people to transform any venue into a fashion-ready runway. This was just the first taste of the evening to come.
As we sat down to peruse the show notes which offered us a glimpse of the running order, the growing chatter of eager attendees filled the room. Luckily, we had already claimed our front-row seats. At 8.30pm, following a welcome speech by Fashion Soc Chairperson Ryan Byrne, the first models started strutting down the runway – often walking solo, but sometimes in pairs – to showcase the highlights of contemporary Irish fashion.
The show consisted of three main acts and closed with a grand finale featuring all of the models as they took to the runway one last time. Act One: The Roots offered a unique display of designs which embodied Irish culture and “pay homage” to the Emerald Isle’s vibrant heritage. The second act showcased diverse collections which contain a “fusion” of “Irish and other global cultures”, resulting in a striking coalescence of fabrics, textures and styles. The third and final act of the show, The Transcendence, offered the audience a spectacle of avant-garde designs which were carefully curated to evoke the “interconnectedness of cultures” and “transcendent nature” of the fashion industry.
All three acts featured memorable showpieces, such as Claire Garvey’s visually-appealing, psychedelic, gem-studded take on kitsch, as well as handmade pieces by Trinity students…
All three acts featured memorable showpieces, such as Claire Garvey’s visually-appealing, psychedelic, gem-studded take on kitsch, as well as handmade pieces by Trinity students under labels such as Made by Mimi, FurU&Me, and The Fat Goblin. A multitude of visual aesthetics were featured during the show, but the outfits remained cohesive and especially suitable for the summer. Rion Hannora’s “blue squiggle dress” was a personal favourite. A final bonus act, unknown to the audience, closed the show: The Trinity Fashion Society committee members themselves walked the runway as well, proudly wearing green.
Byrne described his elation at the show’s success, and noted how the clothes, venue and audience intertwined to represent the transcendent nature of Irish fashion: “The acronym for EPIC is Every Person Is Connected”, he said in his closing speech, “Irish people are dispersed all over the world, and because of that there’s a lot of influence for Irish designers … we wanted to showcase that”. This event represented the resilience and diversity that inspire Irish designers and fashion, and also paid homage to the Irish diaspora in a fitting setting.
The show also saw the launch of Fashion Soc’s partnership with the online shopping app VIOU, which allows users to purchase items seen during the show. The VIOU app allows you to rewatch the show, as well as have access to behind-the-scenes interviews with designers. For those interested in supporting the Fashion Soc in highlighting young Irish designers and holding more memorable and meaningful events, the app also features a donation option.
It goes without saying that Transcendence: The EPIC Journey of Fashion was far more than the sum of the clothes it featured. The show was well-envisioned from start to finish, and the components, when combined, created an atmosphere that not only brought together but also inspired the crowd of mesmerised onlookers.