A hidden Gem Irish Design Shop


Hidden in a cosy corner of Dublin’s Powerscourt Townhouse Centre is a curious boutique. Framed by rows of colour, texture, beads and buttons, Marion Cuddy’s irish design shop prides itself in bringing contemporary Irish design and fashion to the nation’s trendsetters. With an owner – Marion – as interesting as the gorgeous garments she sells, this little boutique gives consumers a chance to buy from both the renowned and the newcomers of Irish design. Ragsbox are always curious about new Irish talent and trends that will soon become mainstream so we took a jaunt into this irish design shop to chat to Marion about her business.

10432091_10204016867210852_7585500932043870633_nSince opening in 2010 as a temporary pop up shop, Marion’s Emporium has been a place to find bespoke investment designs: unusual styles that make a statement. Her 6 month experiment soon turned into a successful business. “And I’ve been here ever since!” she exclaims proudly.

Her passion for sales and new design glitters in her eyes as she talks about her job, just like the glittery embellishments of an Emma McKay white dress on the rail behind her. “I like selling pieces that women just fall in love with and need to own” she explains.


Emma McKay Mermaid inspired dress

One thing that really catches your eye about the boutique is the fact it is all Irish, bringing a sense of pride to your wardrobe. When asked about why she emphasises the fact she sells only Irish, she says:

“Its important to sell Irish because you have to support the industry. As the years moved on and the economy got worse, designers struggled in Ireland and moved to the likes of London. You don’t want it to die out here… besides, there is so much strong talent in Ireland.”

This love for finding Irish designers means that Marion builds close relationships with them, allowing her to call up and ask for alterations or made-to-measure, custom outfits for women; she is a true believer in the customer coming first. “I like to have the one-on-one relationship because it adds to the luxury” she states simply, the love of her job emphasised in her voice.


Pastel shirts from Trish Carroll, Philippa Long and Zoe Carol

Marion started out by sourcing from renowned designers such as Caroline Mitchell, Tyrell and Brennan, and Tim Ryan for unique, special occasion wear: women could find that one of kind bridesmaids dress, red carpet look or a day at the races statement piece.

However, in recent years, the energetic sales woman has expanded her hunt to young talent fresh out of college for young, trendsetting clients. She isn’t looking for a big label, but rather high quality fabrics and strong, new ideas in fashion. “Irish women are over labels” she laughs. “They don’t want the same dress as everyone else, they want to make a statement!”

Excitedly, she shows some of her new discoveries: cool contemporary shirts from recent NCAD graduate Tish Carroll, a bold metallic dress in a blush gold from Griffith College’s Emma Collopy as well as a bold tangerine and cool grey asymmetrical knit tunic by Honor Fitzsimons, adorned with a surreal, cord neckpiece by Derek Lawlor.


Honor Fitzsimmons knit tunic and Derek Lawlor neck piece

Lastly, she holds up a beautifully quirky yellow jacket with cut outs by Aimee Chan. It is love at first sight. It is clear these new designs are fresh, suited for any age as she shows me her finest pieces, tipping that young consumers should keep their eyes peeled for these new and rising stars of Irish fashion.


Aimee Chan jacket and top

Finally, is it important for young fashion lovers in Ireland to be aware of new designers? “Of course!” she says without question. “It shows the talent as well as new takes on trends. Style isn’t the big label or the same as everyone else is wearing, new designers are creating exciting clothes that can inspire young people to be adventurous with style.”

Marion has a point. Just browsing through the layers of cashmere, chiffon and leather one can feel inspired to embrace new style. As a young shopper, buying big investment pieces might be a while away, however lurching around small boutiques is for now. The promise and mystery of quirky shopping trips to unlikely places can bring both new discoveries and new ideas on updating your style. Time to go on a style scavenge, fashion lovers?

Rails of Tyrell & Brennan, Caroline Mitchell knitwearHonor Fitzsimons, Derek Lawlor and Philippa Long

By Aisling Duff – Ragsbox Fashion Contributor

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