Because meets... Róisín Pierce


A glimmer of hope at Paris Fashion Week

Róisín Pierce has been quietly whittling away at her Autumn/Winter 2024 collection for the past 12 months. The Dublin-born designer, who won Chanel’s inaugural Métiers d’Art Prize in 2019 and received an LVMH nomination in 2022 before her first show at Paris Fashion Week in March 2023, still works closely with her mother, Angie, from her early childhood home in Rathfarnham to create her otherworldly collections.

For Róisín’s 5th collection since launching her brand, the designer took audiences to Irish Embassy in Paris. Her collections often have storybook titles, and the most recent ‘O Lovely One, Girl that Fell from a Star,’ is, what she calls, “a tale of a celestial descent performed in cloth and thread.”

It's no surprise that the way she speaks about cloth and thread feels like something out of a fairytale. Her Irish accent, lyrical in its flow, bounces between ideas, inspirations and emotions. “I’d been looking at classical paintings of women with high divinity, women portrayed as angels and goddesses,” she says.

The imaginary figures she conjures have come from a place of spiritual healing, offering hope at times of hardship, when our newcycles are dominated by conflict. “The new collection is about a girl who fell from a star, who came to Earth to share hope and love.” Róisín’s gift of hope feels like a particularly welcome addition to the hectic schedule, now more than ever.

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It makes sense that poetry supplements the whimsical collection, inviting audiences even deeper into her fantastical world. Written alongside Michelle Freya, it takes root in the works of Irish poet Dora Sigerson Shorter’s The Star.

“The poem and collection necessarily deal with the sorrow of conflict which currently darkens the mercurial plane we have inherited,” reads the show’s notes. The poem acts as Róisín’s plea for peace, love and hope in the complex world, which manifests in a series of frothy white ethereal gowns that glide down the runway like clouds.

Delicate ivory crochet stars, that appear plucked from the night sky, are set to rest upon bouncy smocked flowers, while a decorative quatrefoil motif, which has graced previous collections is overlaid with sheer organza. Bubble-like details cascade down her dresses, and floral chains of Irish hand crochet follow them. “From far away the designs look quite sculptural, but when you come up close the textures reveal themselves, the different fabrications create different shades of white,” she says.

Milky white ribbons hang in ringlets, and clusters of smocked rosettes are nestled against sheer organza and lace – the collection is a symphony of tactile flourishes. “Each fabric becomes its own colour when you play with different finishes, transparencies and translucencies, things that float and things that are much heavier, but all in white.”

Each piece is an ode to an “instrument of order in a chaotic world,” she says as myriad textures meet in a hymn-like crescendo. Róisín’s clothes, steeped in spiritual meaning and showcasing her deep adoration for handcraft, act in peaceful protest. A white flag fluttering in the wind.