Carolyn Moore

Dublin City Councillor for Kimmage Rathmines

Designing Women, December 2014

Fashion feature, Like magazine, December 2014Click to enlarge. Read below.

Photography: Miki Barlok

Styling: Caroline Matthews, Charlotte and Jane

Hair: Jennifer for Wayne Lloyd

Makeup: Andrea Murphy

Shot at Castlemartyr Resort

DESIGNING WOMEN

In Cork, visionary female designers are transforming the fashion landscape. By fusing luxury crepes and nappa leather, Caroline Matthews has carved out a niche with her stylish and edgy fashion collection, while designing duo Charlotte Cargin and Jane Skovgaard, through their label Charlotte and Jane, have created a vintage inspired line, inspired by the timeless and elegant style of the 40s and 50s.

Charlotte and Jane

“Our personal style informs our collections 100%. We do not follow fashion trends and fads – we design classic, timeless pieces we absolutely love, in fabrics and colours we love.

We like designers Oleg Cassini who created pieces for Grace Kelly and Jackie Onassis – our style icons – and of course Coco Chanel. Both designers share our same ethos; classic pieces in beautiful fabrics.

We started Charlotte and Jane at the beginning of 2009 and launched with a show in Cork in the spring of that year. What inspires us are beautiful natural fabrics. We both come from a fashion and textiles background and so have a keen eye for quality fabrics. We design our own prints for our linings, which we have hand block printed for us, and we design our own tweeds that are woven for us by Kerry Woollen Mills.

Our clients also inspire us. We meet each client on a one-to-one basis and get a real feel for their personality. We take into account their needs for their dress, their body shape, their colouring- and from there we find the best style for them from our collection and the right colour and fabric. As each style is custom-made for each person, it takes on the personality of that person.

Irish women are realising that it is better to have less in your wardrobe than more. If investing in one piece, we’d definitely suggest our Dakota coat. It sets any outfit off and with its wide collar, which narrows the waist, and its full skirted bottom with feature pleat at the back, it’s a beautiful and incredibly flattering style. Investing in quality, classic, timeless clothing is much smarter than spending on seasonal throw-away fashion. It’s vital to get clothes that fit you beautifully and flatter your shape, in colours and fabrics that really compliment you.”

Caroline Matthews

I adore leather. I love the look of mixing it with other softer materials to give that soft/ hard look, which is why I choose to work with the softest lamb leather and luxury crepes to create pieces that are understated yet stylish. What inspires me are women on the street and everything around me. I love to see women who look effortlessly stylish but then can keep that look with a pair of skinny jeans and a top. That is what fashion is about.

I’ve been designing for a number of years and my first venture into fashion was my own bridal label Caroline Atelier. I decided this year that I wanted to follow my true passion and start my own fashion line, in addition to bridal, and Caroline Matthews was born. I design for women who are confident, know their own style, know what suits their body shape but are also looking for some luxury. All our dresses are tailored to below the knee to make a woman’s silhouette look longer and leaner. Our jackets and trousers are also designed with extra length so they can be worn with high heels without compromising on length, or if you want to wear flats, they have a concealed zip on the inner leg at the bottom to give a looser look.

My personal style is clean lines and edgy cuts. I love to mix things up, using different materials. I live in cigarette trousers, skinny jeans and a cool blazer. For the winter, I’ll be wearing my leather jacket from our A/W collection and also my big fur coat, I love faux fur. Again, I think it comes down to mixing up textures, which seems to work for me.

My own style influences my collections hugely. I basically design what I’d wear and feel amazing in. I don’t see the point being a designer if you design a collection that you personally wouldn’t wear and put your name to.”