Alanna McIntyre is an amazing emerging designer whose work is simply breathtaking. I spotted her work after she won the “One to Watch” title at Kerry Fashion Week and thought it was just beautiful. She studied at the Limerick School of Art and Design and then went on work with Danielle Romeril in Dublin and then onto Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, London.
Alanna is really at the start of what I know will be an amazing career, the work that she has done to date and the work placements as well will help cement her as a great Irish Designer. By going to work with other designers before setting up her own label shows business smarts and that she is in it for the long haul – I love supporting emerging designers and am delighted to feature an interview with her today.
Have you always been interested in fashion?
I have been interested in fashion for as long as I can remember and when I was in sixth year of school I decide that I wanted to pursue a career in fashion.
What made you decide to take design as a serious career path?
When I was in school I thought I had to pursue a “sensible” career option and I had been considering nursing or teaching as options. I realised though that I wasn’t overly excited by those options and that they didn’t really suit me or my skills. I wanted to do something I would love, so that’s when I decided to pursue fashion design.
Can you tell us about your current collection?
My most recent collection was inspired by the life and work of the artist Vincent Van Gogh, exploring the connection between his art and his mental health and his struggle with bipolar disorder. The collection explores the contrasting states of depression and mania experienced by the artist through the concept of restraint and an ultimate search for freedom as expressed through his art. My main focus was the painting Starry Night as a symbol of manic euphoria, portrayed in the collection through circular forms and intricate binding and gathering.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I often take inspiration from artists, and as seen in my graduate collection I have a love for Van Gogh’s work. However, I am also inspired by more contemporary works and love finding inspiration in galleries and exhibitions.
What had been the biggest pinch me moment to date?
Probably winning the “One to Watch” title at Kerry Fashion Week earlier this year. I was so shocked and delighted and it was so lovely to have my work acknowledged at a national platform, outside of college events.
I would also consider my graduate fashion show as a very proud moment. After spending four years in preparation and one very intense year working on the collection it was surreal to see the finished collection on the night.
Who are your own personal favourite designers?
My favourite designer is probably Simone Rocha, I love her design aesthetic. I am also a great fan of Danielle Romeril, and was lucky to have the opportunity of interning with her. Her collections are so innovative and exciting.
I believe that you were currently studying at the Fashion Design at Limerick School of Art and Design. What has been the biggest lesson that you have learnt while studying?
Yes I graduated from LSAD in 2015. I really enjoyed my four years there and learned so much. I think one of the biggest lessons that I learned was time management! The work load is very intense in the fashion design course and it is easy to become stressed or fall behind. During the course of the four years I definitely got better at managing my time, meeting deadlines and not being such a perfectionist with everything!
Do you have any tips for those thinking of studying fashion design?
I think that if it is something that you love or know that you are interested, go for it! There is a lot of hard work involved in the course and it can be very intense and quite demanding at times. However, if it is something that you love it makes the workload easier and it is so worth it to see your finished pieces at the end.
Also in my degree course it was compulsory to do an internship in my 3rd year, whereas in some colleges it is not. I definitely think that interning during college is something that all fashion students should try to do even if it is not required. I interned with Danielle Romeril and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and I learned so much from the experiences.
What are your plans for the future?
Having recently moved to London, I am currently looking for jobs withing a design studio. Having my own brand is definitely something that I aspire to in the future but for now I am keen to gain as much industry experience and learn as many new skills as possible.
Thanks so much to Alanna for the interview. I love her work and the inspiration behind the current collection. If you would like to see more from her and the details of her portfolio – then check out her website.
All images kindly provided by Alanna for use.