Label to Watch: Ros Duke

An exclusive look at the spring/summer campaign by one of Ireland's most discerning new designers

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Words by Michelle Hanley
May 24th, 2017

Ros Duke has risen up the ranks in the Irish fashion scene since the launch of her first collection in 2015 thanks to her timeless creations. After graduating from NCAD, she then went on to complete a post-graduate at the prestigious Central St. Martins in London where she majored in Innovative Pattern-Making. Subsequently, Ros became part of the furniture of the John Rocha studio working with him and Simone for 10 years before the itch to dip her toe into the water came and she launched her own brand in late 2014.

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ros-duke-irish-knitwear-handmade-ss17-maven46

Running her own label, teaching in Griffith College and NCAD, and occasionally freelancepattern-making for Helen Cody and Danielle Romeril has given Ros a very real understanding of the challenges women face in being both smart and comfortable on the go, something that has become a fundamental factor in her designs. Her deep understanding of shape and commitment to top quality fabrics such as Italian cashmere is the backbone of her creations, which are hand-crafted in Dublin by a small and highly skilled group of creatives and knitters who help her realise her designs.

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ros-duke-irish-knitwear-handmade-ss17-maven46

The location of her latest shoot is intrinsically linked with the theme of the collection which has looked to the iconic documentary Grey Gardens. “We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to shoot in an amazing half-derelict Georgian mansion in Mount Merrion. The house has an interesting history, we shot one look in the ruins of a conservatory which was built specifically to house the owner’s collection of orchids.” Ros continues, “It has an old run down glamour, with a mix of crumbling stucco work and midcentury crazy patterned carpets and wallpapers.”

A collection that is primarily tasteful and refined was styled by Ciana March of Concrete Collar who puts a witty twist on the traditional, and with a nod to nostalgia, she subtly turns the classy twin sets into altogether more edgy attire.

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ros-duke-irish-knitwear-handmade-ss17-maven46

Ros explains, “When I was designing this collection, I was thinking about the way people are living and working, what’s going on in the world and how unstable things are feeling. I focused on twinsets, and T-shirt shapes, in peony pink and slightly undone Breton knits. To deconstruct the image of that 1950s American cashmere-wearing white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, I like things feeling a little off.” This theme of both fading Hollywood glamour and dissatisfaction is captured beautifully by model Iseult Timmons Ward.

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ros-duke-irish-knitwear-handmade-ss17-maven46

Ros Duke Spring/Summer collection is now available in Clothes Peg in Sutton, [ MADE ] Store & Gallery in the Powerscourt Townhouse, and Granny’s Bottom Drawer in Kinsale.

Styling: Ciana March, photography: Simon Walsh, makeup: Orlaith Shore, model: Iseult Timmons Ward.