Irish-born Sarah O’ Rourke of Saraden Designs is one of Ireland’s up and coming Millinery Designers. Sarah has built an extensive design background throughout her years. She began her design career at a young age, making clothes for her Barbies. Sarah then began making her own clothes, some successful some not so much.
After completing her leaving cert Sarah decided she wanted to study Fashion and Textile Design. In some ways Sarah loved the course but she also couldn’t work within the restraints facing her. With this new information Sarah decided she didn’t want to pursue Fashion. Instead she did a complete 180 and began studying sculpture in IADT Dun Laoghaire. Here she received her degree in Visual Arts Practice.
Whilst in IADT Sarah created a new handmade fabric medium. With this fabric Sarah tried bridging the gap between the notorious Art vs Craft stigma which surrounds art colleges. In her fourth year Sarah used her handmade fabric as a base and sewed portraits into it. This was Sarah’s way of demonstrating portraits can successfully be created through craft based mediums.
After her time in IADT she continued to experiment with this new fabric. This essentially was the beginning of Saraden Designs. With her new sculpture knowledge Sarah began to create her millinery designs. At first she only created designs for herself and then for family and friends. This gave Sarah the confidence to gradually become more daring and adventurous with her creations.
Various Saraden Fabrics
Each design is exclusive; the patterns in the fabric are unique and cannot be replicated. The fabric making process begins with creating reams of fabrics with the desired colours and fibres. Once ready the designing can begin. The fabric is laid out flat with templates placed on the fabric. These templates are then cut out, sculpted and left to dry into the chosen design. Once Sarah is happy with the design she secures each piece together by hand. Sarah completes each of her designs with a high standard and will never let anything leave her studio if she is not 100% happy with it.
Sarah has now decided to create her very first online store which she launched on August 18th 2016. In October 2016 Saraden Designs exhibited with 130 chosen worldwide Milliners at London Hat Week. You can see how Sarah got on in London in her Design Blog.
Sarah also created a sister company called Saraden Says where she blogs regularly about all thing Fashion and Beauty, click here to find out more.