Ib Jorgensen - a Fashion Retrospective Floralesque 1

The National Museum of Ireland is currently hosting a Ib Jorgensen exhibit called ‘A Fashion Retrospective’ and houses 40 of his amazing pieces. I love visiting the national museum as they always have such an amazing array of different types of exhibit on offer and I have yet to go and not find something interesting. However, when I went this time it was to see this specific exhibition and I was not disappointed.

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Evening dress of daisy embroidered organdie, the neckline encased in a double pleated frill studded with silk roses, c 1964
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The exquisite detail on his work is second to none and simply beautiful

I am sure that many of you are already familiar with Ib Jorgensen but if not he was one of the biggest leaders of Irish Fashion from 1950’s right through to the 1990’s when he retired. The Danish born designer really helped put Ireland on the international fashion map with his beautiful handmade pieces. He trained at the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design in Dublin and then began his fashion career at the house of Nicholas O’Dwyer, where he became a skilled cutter and tailor and these skills are evident in his work. While working at this fashion house hr spent two and a half years managing their two couture work rooms. Ib Jorgensen - a Fashion Retrospective Floralesque 8

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Hand beaded sequin shift dress, the beading executed by Peta Swift in a harequin design of soft pastel colours, c 1967

At the age of 22 Jorgensen began his own label on South Frederick Street in Dublin – no mean feat for some one so young. He worked hard and expanded and within the decade he became more successful. He also became one of the founding members of the Irish Haute Couture Group in 1962 which was created to promote Irish Design Internationally. ‘Ib Jorgensen achieved international recognition during the 1970s; his clothes were stocked in the International Designers Room at Harrods, in Liberty of London, in Fortnum and Mason, and in a number of upmarket American stores such as Neiman Marcus. He also designed for the London-based readyto-wear company Mattli, under the label, ‘Ib Jorgensen for Mattli’ {via}.

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The detail on the ‘LACE’ pale eau-de-nil taffeta tunic dress and skirt trimmed with cream lace, S/S 1992

Jorgensen began making two collections a year and he made clothes for some of the most stylish women in the world. In 1979 following his continuing success he opened a store in Sloane Street in London. He really is one of Ireland’s successes with regards a designer breaking into international markets.

In 1994 Jorgensen retired and decided to focus on Jorgensen Fine Art. He blamed the increase in VAT from 14% up to 21% as one of the reasons why he closed his doors and sadly held his last show in October 1994.

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Look into the Mirror!! Night and Day Evening Jacket of wool and silk with satin, silk and leather appliqued decoration designed by IB’s wife Patricia Jorgensen in 1982

Ib Jorgensen is of legendary status in my eyes when it comes to looking back into our Irish fashion past and also he was forward thinking as some of his pieces would not look out of place today.

A Fashion Retrospective Exhibition is on of those rare exhibitions that really takes you into the mindset of the designer as it includes  day, cocktail and evening wear. If you are in Dublin I would certainly pop in, and if you would like more information you can read about it here.



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