Claudia Taheny is an amazing Accessories designers, whose silk creations are both beautiful and luxurious. She specialises in textile print design and prints on a beautiful silk material. What I personally love about her work is the geometric patterns throughout her collection – it is minimalistic but the vibrant colour palette that she uses really makes them stand out.
Claudia is passionate about the textiles industry and most importantly the environmental impact production can bring to our world. All her work is digital printed which is much more economical friendly and created using the most environmentally conscious silks, making sure that the dyes being used from the manufacturers are eco-friendly. This is so important and I really admire Claudia for taking this stance with her brand. She is also a finalist in the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2018, and we wish her the very best of luck in the Awards. We are delighted to be featuring her on Floralesque today.
Have you always had an interest in design and fashion?
Yes ever since I was in my teens I have always gotten evolved in attending fashion shows and especially doing work experience to get an idea of how the industry works and also to get advice and make connections with designers. My most memorable show would be the Volvo International Design Collective Fashion Show in 2012 for the Volve Ocean Race Festival in Galway at the time. I was only 18 at the time and I remember the excitement of backstage and meeting designers Umit Kutluk and Heather Finn Knitwear.
Can you please share a little of your journey into your career in fashion?
In 2013 I started my journey in GTI (Galway Technical Institute) in Fashion Design, which gave me my foundations in sewing and pattern drafting. That year also represented GTI in the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2013 in the Student Category. The course thought me valuable skills in design and making.
In 2014 began my fashion journey in textiles design in GMIT (Galway Technical Institute CCAM), as I have always loved fabrics and designing. I spent four fantastic years learning and designing and pushing my creative abilities out side my comfort zone. I learnt my only limitations are my imagination! I received a First Class Honours degree and the Academic Achievement Award 2017 from GMIT which is a moment I will never forget
Silk is such a beautiful and luxurious material, what drew you to work with it?
Through out my college years I have experienced working with various types of materials and I specialise in digital print which means most of the time it only allows synthetic materials to be used which can be very frustrating to get a luxurious finis, a softness and flow to the design process. When I design my prints I design them in a way that the design can be used for many aspects of the textile industry be it interior or fashion. Narrowing down my designs led me to decide my prints were more suited to fashion and scarves are something you will always see me wearing! It’s a must have in my wardrobe.
Deciding on Silk was a process of elimination of trial and error with different fabrics and how the print worked and interacted with the fabric. I loved the luxurious finish and also the shine and softness when the fabric is draped on the body
The patterns on your scarves are just beautiful – where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspirations come from all around me; it can be the smallest flower in nature or the roughness of the buildings in our landscape. My recent obsession is contemporary architecture and looking back on architecture from the 60’s. I love free flowing lines and geometric shapes and how they look different at day or night. I base a lot of my work on shadows and how the light reflects the liner shapes on to other buildings.
I do a lot of drawing, which I find therapeutic and take my designs from them in sections and play around on the computer complying units that work and compliment each other. Colour is a major factor when it comes to print design, as you don’t want too much or not enough! Contemporary architecture is full with colour and tones which has been great in exploring for a colour palette
I love that you touch on using environmentally conscious silks and making sure that the dyes being used from the manufacturers are eco-friendly. How important do you think it is that designers try to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable?
Designers like myself are the future of fashion so I believe we need to set the trend of being more sustainable and environmentally conscious. Customers today want to know more information then ever about where fabric is being sourced and what they are actually wearing will be durable or not or how it will impact through washing etc. The fashion industry is taking steps to protect the future of fashion, I consider myself as being part of that future for the textiles industry to grow and thrive in an environmentally conscious industry.
Would you have any tips for those hoping to start a career in design – something that someone had said to you when you were starting out?
Being honest when I was in school in my leaving cert year and all I wanted was to go to Art College and I was always told to go for a science degree or primary teaching! I knew deep down I was creative person and even though all my friends were applying for business, science etc. I went with my gut instinct and followed my dreams. One tip which I still live by is “ Just try it, you have nothing to loose”. On this earth we are only passing through so why not make an impact instead of following the crowd. If you have a creative gift use it even if it isn’t a full time career still explore. You don’t try you will never know and that goes for designing to always try it out.
What was the most challenging aspect of launching your brand?
Launching a brand happened by accident for me, in my degree show in college I had never expected to sell my scarves I had only done them for my exam, it was only when the show was open for the public my phone kept ringing asking to buy my scarves. It took off by itself, which is challenging at times to stay motivated, the key is to keep designing, take your sketchpad out and draw anything that catches your and it can lead to new and exciting print designs!
Although I am sure it will be hard to choose, what has been your proudest brand moment to date?
My proudest moment is a very simple one, the day I saw my first collection of scarves and seeing an audience react to them in such a positive way at my degree show. Hard work does really pay off!
Where would you like to see the brand going in the next five years?
The next five years I feel very positive about, I hope to travel to Australia and bring my designs with me. Yes the Irish have always been a good support to me, but I feel that all over the world fashion culture is different. I want to bring my design abilities to that side of world and show and learn the different design techniques of their culture. I also hope to developed a men’s range of silk scarves as men’s fashion industry is really developing
And lastly a very important question…. Lyons or Barrys tea? And favourite dipping biscuit?
Out of all the questions this is the hardest! I will shock the readers I DON’T drink tea!!! I am very strange I know being Irish and not drinking tea, I am more of a prosecco drinker! Biscuits have definitely got to be Mcvities chocolate digestives.
A massive thank you to Claudia for sharing her path into design and where her inspiration comes from. I love learning more about the brand as I always find that you create a greater connection to the pieces. You can check out more of her work on her beautiful website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram. A massive good luck to her also at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards in March!
All images kindly provided for use.
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!