Words by Michelle Hanley
May 11th, 2017
We’re always eagerly anticipating the latest creations from the crème de la crème of Irish craft here at maven46, so, when we heard Joi Fu and Damien Hannigan of the acclaimed linen homewares studio 31 Chapel Lane have turned their hand to fashion we could not wait to see the result. We were not disappointed as this collection is a study in sophistication and effortless style, combining timeless cuts with their signature natural tones.
Straight out of the philosophy of many celebrated modernists from Coco Channel to Le Corbusier, the idea that ‘less is more’ is something that has permeated their design aesthetic from manufacture to photography as evidenced by their latest shoot under the creative direction of Ciana March at Concrete Collar shown here.
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The couple launched 31 Chapel lane in 2012 and turned around their first homewares collection in just three months from Damien’s native Cavan. The idea was born when they lived in Asia and began to grow an appreciation for simplicity and integrity of Japanese textiles and a want to fill their own home with unfussy flexible fabrics. Damien was raised in Cootehill, Co. Cavan, and the studio coined its name from Chapel Lane, a location for one of the many cottage industries producing linen in the town during the 19th Century. Joi, originally from Sydney, travelled the length and breadth of the country seeking out the best quality linen from the few remaining linen mills and weavers in an effort not just to maintain but to shine a light on our manufacturing heritage.
Now based in the Georgian centre of Limerick City, the studio has designed a new women’s ready-to-wear line focused on timeless pieces that will endure passing trends with simple cuts and the sheer quality of one of this country’s lasting legacy to fashion, the highest quality pure linen.
Designed with a modern woman in mind, this SS17 collection combines classic tailoring and a colour palette plucked from the fresh floral hues of an Irish summer. The yellows of gorse, greens of ferns are anchored by signature blocks of powder white, onyx black and dark navy.
A design house to keep on your radar, 31 Chapel Lane has taken the winning formula and ethos from their homewares to “take the Sunday linen from the side dressers and lay it on the midweek table,” and applied it to this new collection designed to take you to any occasion, with the confidence of knowing minimalism and quality will always amount to sophistication.
31 Chapel Lane’s debut fashion collection is available to purchase directly from the label’s website.
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