Feminine. Soft. Beautiful. Embellished. Elegant. Vibrant. Eye-catching. All of these describe the stunning designer by Irish Designer Valerie O’Shea from Valecia Fashion. When I first saw her pieces as part of Cork Fashion Week, I was enthralled by the beauty in her work and the embellished detailing that added an elegance to her work.
I like when I see her pieces that I can recognise Valecia Fashion straight away – the embellishment is just beautiful. And today I am delighted to be featuring her work on Floralesqu.
Have you always been drawn to fashion & design?
Yes, Fashion is something I have always had an interest in. I used to wrap scraps of fabrics around my Barbies to make new dresses for them. I remember being so excited one Christmas getting a mini sewing machine from Santa. My mother used to make a lot of dresses for herself and her sisters and friends when she was younger so it has definitely stemmed from her.
What is your favourite part of the design process?
It very difficult to decide… I love sourcing and buying all my fabrics and trimmings. I have so much fabric in storage boxes at home.. it is starting to become a slight obsession! I also love when it is time to cut out my pattern designs. There’s a great feeling of progress when you hear the scissors cutting the fabric!
Are there any designers that inspire you/you admire?
There is so much variety out there in the fashion world that is it impossible to pick just one. I also find that my style varies a lot depending on my mood! 😛 I love really detailed embellished work like that of Elie Saab, Ralph&Russo, Valentino and Zuhair Murad.
Starting a fashion brand is quite the undertaking, what have you found most challenging?
The most challenging thing for me has to be the fact that I still work full time and work on my label in my spare time. I go through bursts of productivity and sometimes push myself too far leading to me wanting some r&r which is ok but it is sometimes hard to get back into the swing of things!
Would you have any advice for aspiring designers that would like to create their own designs/label?
I am aware that you are now stocked in OM Diva which is fantastic. They are such a great support to emerging designers. What has this meant to you? Om Diva has been an incredible opportunity for me. It is such a fantastic platform for young Irish Designer to get their names out there. I am so grateful to Ruth and all her “divas” for their support our the last 2 years. I will never forget the feeling I had when she rang me a few days before my first launch party with them. 3 of my designs had sold already after being on the shop floor for only a day. As soon as I hung up the phone I was dancing and jumping around my sitting room with excitement!
Although I am sure hard to choose – what has been your proudest moment to date?
Oh it’s so hard to pick! I’ve had some of my designs feature on Xposé in the past which has been amazing. They named me one of Ireland’s “Hottest New Designers” which is a huge honour. Seeing the 2015 Cork Rose, Aoife Murphy, in one of my dresses on TV on the Rose of Tralee stage was also a very surreal experience!
What does the future hold for Valecia Fashion?
I’m really not sure… I don’t have a plan set in stone as of yet. I can be quite indecisive so I have changed my mind about what direction to go so many times. I hope that I can continue to keep growing.I have really great customers and supporters. I like the idea of trying to keep an exclusive bespoke feel to all my work.
A massive thank you to Valerie for doing the interview. I loved learning more about what drew her into the craft and who she herself admires. I would recommend checking out her Facebook page as her pieces are just beautiful. Valerie is also on Twitter and I love her Instagram – it is a great source of elegant inspiration.
If you enjoyed this interview in the ‘Floralesque Meets’ Series, then you can click here to read more exciting interviews with designers, creators, artists, photographers, entrepreneurs and more – enjoy meeting the makers!
All images kindly provided by Valerie for use.