Jill De Burca is an Irish Designer that needs little introduction – her pieces are well designed and visually unique and she is certainly in my opinion one of the most well known Irish Designers around. She won the prestigious “Irish Designer of the year 2015” at the Irish Innovation Awards 2015 and has featured in Brown Thomas’ CREATE installation both in 2015 and this year.
What stands out about her pieces are the high quality embellishments that adorn many of her pieces. Her pieces still remain very wearable and some have a stylish sportsluxe feel about them which I find really appealing. Her skills have also not gone unnoticed from the fashion world and she has worked with brands such as Diane Von Furstenburg, Vera Wang and Calvin Klein but to name a few. With such experience it was only natural that she would develop her own label and today I am beyond delighted to be featuring her on Floralesque.
What is your first memory of fashion?
My granny knitting on the sofa or my mum sewing dress’s together on the kitchen table… not sure which was first but equally as inspiring for me!
Since becoming a designer do you think that your relationship with fashion has changed?
I think I buy a lot less now! I think knowing the in’s and out’s of whats involved in producing a garment mean that I have a lot more respect for my clothes.
I think we live in a very fast fashion world where disposable clothing is a rife. Nobody wins with fast fashion, people are not payed properly, someone looses out and the cloths are not made to last.
Your pieces are visually stunning and additional meticulous details make the pieces works of art. Where do you find your inspiration?
Firstly thank you very much 🙂 I love to to find inspiration from traveling and visiting exhibitions and especially natural history museums.
Are there any materials in particular that you love to work with?
I love to use cupro , jerseys and silks. I especially love mixing contrasting textures to create interesting combinations.
Do you remember the first piece that you made?
It was a dark green dress with tiny white daisies and buttons up the front, I was about 11 or 12. My mum had quite a big part in helping in the making though!
I love the deep dark colours that you use in both your AW14 & AW15 collections – are there any pieces in any previous collection that hold a special place for you?
I still wear my Bomber Jacket all the time from AW14, I love it. Its really lux, there is a lot of embellishment work in it but because its all black its quite understated. You can literally wear it anywhere….and I have! I also go back to my embellished dress’s a lot , great for weddings and parties. I love rediscovering pieces that I haven’t worn in a while and wearing it in a different way.
Are there any designers that you are currently on your favourites list?
VALENTINO……just amazing design and craftsmanship. The attention to detail and execution of techniques are stunning!
And on that same note, I am aware that you have sold your designs to some of the powerhouses in the Fashion world such as FVD, Calvin Klein etc.Is there any designer that you would love to see produce your pieces?
Valentino 😉 No I don’t mind actually but its always nice to see your design produced in a way that does it justice. High street and high end designers buy designs so sometimes ideas are watered down or not executed to a high standard to be produced cheaply. It’s always nice to see them produced to a high but its not that important.
Erdem is just an amazing designer and working for him I would think was a once in a lifetime experience. What did you take away most from that experience?
I actually worked for Jenny King in Brighton who has produced Erdems work since his very first collection( they went to collage together) So she would design the embroideries and produce them in the studio in Brighton. I trained with her and then went on to production, embroidering Erdems clothing when I reached a high enough standard. Working there taught me invaluable information about producing work to such a high standard and not compromising.
Although I am sure that it would be hard to choose are there any moments in your career that you are most proud of?
London fashion week was Amazing. Irish Design 2015 brought a group of Irish designers over to show at the ICA in London as part of London Fashion Week. It was an incredible opportunity and gained a lot of insight from the experience.
As a graduate of NCAD, do you think that it is important to go to college to learn design?
I did textiles and specialised in Embroidery. I think it gives you an opportunity to try a lot of things and decide what you really like doing. I also think interning is incredible important in learning the hands on skills and narrowing down what it is you want to do.
What advice would you have for anyone thinking of entering the world of fashion design (something that they don’t tell you!)?
People are actually really nice! I think there is an illusion about the fashion world that everyone is rude and bitchy but I can honestly say I haven’t had any bad experiences, but then maybe I’ve been really lucky .
Get a back up job, whether it be teaching, graphic design, …something that will make it easier to juggle cash flow in the first few years. It is really though and and investment is hard to find.
Since launching your own brand – what have been the biggest highs and also the toughest challenges that you have experienced?
I love seeing the clothes come alive on someone, that’s the greatest feeling! Watching Laura Whitmore on the telly wearing one of my jumpers was a bit of a surreal moment!
I think cash flow is really tough for a new designer. You have to pay out a lot for supplies / services and photo-shoots and then wait and wait for money to come in. But I guess its like that for anyone starting a business.
What does the future hold for Jill de Búrca?
To continue to do what i love, learn grow and continue to share it with people
And lastly a very important question…. Lyons or Barrys tea? And favourite dipping biscuit?
Rooibush tea all the way! 🙂
A massive thank you to Jill for doing the interview – her work is just stunning so I am delighted to be featuring her. You can follow Jill on her website, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and my fav. Instagram. I warn you now – you will spend quite a while going through her visually stunning feed 🙂
I would highly recommended taking a look at her work as it really is just amazing and if you are in Dublin her pieces are at CREATE in Brown Thomas for the next few weeks.
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 Jill and are of her new AW16 collection.