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Interview Sinéad O’Dwyer Toile-de-Luxe contest

A few weeks ago we published the designs of 21 ArtEZ-students. You decided that Sinéad O’Dwyer was the best of them. Her magnificent price: an interview with The International Fashion Daily.

Congratulations Sinéad, you had so many likes (691!), how did you do it?

Well I am from Ireland and a lot of my family and friends from there and abroad were very supportive …but I don’t know actually, I didn’t do anything special.

Do you have an idea why people liked your picture?

The idea behind the photo comes from my initial inspiration ‘The Love song of J.Alfred Prufrock’, I suppose I wanted the feeling I got from it to be relayed in the photo .Though maybe few people have actually read it.

Indeed a lot of people probably don’t know that poem?

Yes, but the emotions expressed in it are universal. For instance the feeling of isolation. This can lead to a sort of paranoia or madness which is made beautiful, but also a bit strange and also humorous in the poem. I think this is very relatable.

But there must have been more?

Yes, well also visually the design is quite sculptural, I tried to give it a kind of nonchalant couture feeling. The construction is without darts , I ended up working with big flat shapes that were gathered in curved lines to create volumes. I can imagine people liked the easiness.

How does the back look?

Short and has the same movement as the dress..

About the picture, was it easy to make?

I was very nervous about it, because I never did a photoshoot before. But the model was very experienced and I gave the photographers, Isis Doeleman and Emanuel Engelen, my ideas and they helped me to achieve what I wanted. It kind of happened naturally.

Are the other designs in your Toile de luxe collection very different?

They are similar, the starting point was also gathering in curved lines such as circles and quarter-circles, which created volumes and folds and in another I used beads in between the gathers to create a sort of built in jewellery. I actually collaborated on the beading with my father, he is a silversmith and artist, and now he is also helping me with the beading for my graduation collection.

I will use crystal beads in combination with metal beads and because silver is too expensive and heavy my father made them in bronze that looks like gold and is also lighter in weight.

How did you discover ArtEZ?

By chance, my dad once bought me a design magazine and there happened to be an article in it about Iris van Herpen and the school she was in. So I decided with him to go to the open day. Central Saint Martins in London was a more logical choice, but I liked the style at Arnhem and I was impressed by all the facilities.

Will you stay in Holland?

I would love to do an internship at Alexander Wang in NY for as long as I can, I was there interning already and I learned a lot, had responsibilities and I also have relatives who live there, I thinks it’s a really inspiring city, but I can imagine also coming back to Holland at some stage too because I like it here.


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