Dublin’s fashion scene has emerged from the embers of the dreaded recession like a phoenix. As rent prices around the city dropped, entrepreneurial young designers, collectors and boutique-rs have swooped in to reopen the city’s shutters and breathe life into the streets and wardrobes of Dublin.
Current Dublin style is aesthetically and politically moving against the cookie-cutter style offered by faceless high street brands. Sure, you can still find your favourite name brands on the city’s main fairways, but it is in the side streets, back alleys and unlikely spaces that Dublin fashion really thrives.
Stop any style conscious Dub on the street and you will find them sporting an eclectic mix of designer, vintage and second hand pieces. This heady mix of old, new and odd is pretty representative of the diverse range of clobber on offer around the city.
To find unique designer labels and one-off statement pieces you don’t have to wander far from the beaten track, just a stone’s throw away from Grafton Street, nestled in the rooftop of a Georgian townhouse, you will find The Loft Market - an independent collective of 16 young Irish fashion designers and jewelers. Similarly, just a hop skip and a jump up the cobbled streets from the tourist hub of Temple Bar lies the design hub-coffee shop wonder Tamp and Stitch located near the hamlet for independent fashion, jewellery, graphic and interior designers that is Cow’s Lane.
Take a turn down any side street and the odds of stumbling across one of the city’s many vintage boutiques are pretty high-with odds doubling at the weekend when the many fleas and markets, like, The Ha’Penny Flea, The Ferocious Mingle Market and the Dublin Flea Market are added to the mix.
Indigo and Cloth, Project 51, Tahiti Vintage, The Harlequin, Jenny Vanders, Sé Sí, Om Diva, Carousel and 9 Crow Street are just some of the expertly curated designer and vintage boutiques that pepper the south side of the city. In these shops the hard graft of hunting down timeless gems has been done for you, but if you prefer to keep the thrill of the hunt for yourself then Capel Street on the north side of the city is a proverbial treasure trove of second-hand and charity shops.
In order to give you a taste of what the fashion scene is like at the moment we caught up with some of the city’s most fashionable residents during the Dublin Fashion Festival, and asked them to share what they think makes Dublin fashion so unique.
For more information, and a handy illustrated guide to the best indie shops in Dublin check out our Dublin Shopping Guide – Fashion map.