#FashionForwardNation: Who’s On The List For 2019?

From globe-trotting Oscar nominees to college students with an eye for design, from super-polished businesswomen to over-70 style bloggers, Ireland has new confidence when it comes to dressing. Who is catching our eye this year?

Ruth Negga, Eve Hewson and Saoirse Ronan

Red carpet ready

Aisling Franciosi played Jon Snow’s mother in Game of Thrones, Kate in The Fall and appears in thriller The Nightingale, based on Kristin Hannah’s novel about war-torn France, set for a summer release. Aisling wore vampish black lace at the Venice Biennale …

Child-actor Lara McDonnell (the first Irish Matilda in London’s West End and Holly Short in Artemis Fowl) is developing a pretty, age-appropriate style of her own, with simple dresses for events and cool-schoolgirl jeans, sweaters and boots for the weekend. With her Audrey Hepburn-ish crop and poise, she’s definitely one to watch …

Jessie Buckley, most promising newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards, on the BAFTA rising star shortlist, soon to feature in Judy with Renée Zellweger, and in Misbehaviour with Keira Knightley. Plenty of red carpet practice means she has graduated from Breton tops to Georgia Harding floor-length florals …

Highlander star Caitriona Balfe, who spent ten years modelling, favours sharp modern cuts …

Charlie Murphy, Aisling Franciosi and Sarah Bolger

Denise Gough (recently signed up for the Game of Thrones prequel movie), has a soft spot for Erdem; she wore his sharply cut SS19 cropped jacket at the London Film Festival, and paired a floral bustier top with boyish plaid trousers. She’s aided and abetted by stylist Rebecca O’Neill …

Sarah Greene played the title role in Rosie, Roddy Doyle’s film about homelessness, last year, and this year stars as a detective in a new series, Dublin Murders, based on a book by Irish crime writer Tana French. Impeccable taste – think off-duty ballerina by day, elegant fit and flare dresses and tulle skirts for the red carpet. Greene’s screensaver   is a photo of her photobombing Beyoncé at the Met Ball …

Charlie Murphy of Love/Hate and Peaky Blinders will appear in upcoming films Dark Lies The Island and The Corrupted. One of her most striking red carpet outings was in a long navy lace dress from Fran & Jane …

Sarah Bolger, fresh from TV series Counterpart, with films End of Sentence and A Good Woman is Hard to Find on the way this year, has a wardrobe to match her growing profile. Irish designer Don O’Neill sends her Theia dresses for events …

Victoria Smurfit shows off her gym-honed figure in show-stopping gowns, usually sleeveless. With bi’s and tri’s like hers, the over-40 “sleeves please” rule does not apply.

Josepha Madigan, Sinéad Burke and Oriole Cullen

In the public eye

Maria Walsh Former Rose of Tralee and MEP hopeful wears colour and simple silhouettes.

Sinéad Burke The academic, activist and Vogue contributing editor has a growing wardrobe of fashion collabs and red carpet and frow appearances, notably in Rochas and Gucci.

Oriole Cullen The fashion historian and V&A curator owns enviable Dior pieces.

Josepha Madigan, TD, Efficent, appropriately dressed, Madigan matches her outfit to the occasion, whether on a school or State visit.

Eileen Smith @eileenstylequeen

Vintage style

Polly Devlin, writer and THE GLOSS contributing editor, could give a masterclass in accessory wearing. From Chanel to Dior, more is more!

Edna O’Brien Celebrating 50 years of The Country Girls, Londoner O’Brien’s grande dame des lettres wardrobe is more urban than pastoral these days.

Eileen Style Queen From golf to galas, stylish senior Eileen Smith is an Instagram influencer with clout.

Lily Fortune, Wicklow set stalwart and Lainey-lover (she often wears Lainey top to toe) has fearless bohemian flair.

Niamh Sterling, entrepreneur, Anne O’Leary, CEO Vodafone Ireland and Aisling Dodgson, Head of Treasury at Investec

Early risers

Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland, favours dresses (from Dior to Dolce) over suits, colour over black, and looks both powerful and feminine …

Aisling Dodgson, Head of Treasury at Investec, is a truly fashion forward dresser, alighting on new shapes as soon as they land – looks great in Roland Mouret, Victoria Beckham and Peter Pilotto

Francesca McDonagh, Bank of Ireland CEO, is a confident, classic dresser, wearing Louise Kennedy tailoring in black, midnight and blue

Jenny McDermott, Marketing Director at Peter Mark, starts her day with a visit to one of PM’s 71 salons: always looks “done” in understated, elegant layers

Sharon Bannerton, MD, Bannerton PR, wears neat suits and elegant dresses to accentuate her tennis-honed frame. Has a shoedrobe of lovely Louboutins

Maoliosa Connell of Avoca, fresh-faced and fashion-forward, even after pulling all-nighters before Avoca’s Ballsbridge opening

Ruth Curran, managing partner at Merc Partners, wears pastels with aplomb, especially pale pink and blue Louise Kennedy under a well-cut camel coat

Lesley Tully, Head of Design Thinking, Bank of Ireland, channels Jenna Lyons’ cool, in heavy spectacles and black not-so-basic basics

Niamh Sterling The globetrotting entrepreneur favours Elie Tahari and Hugo Boss for meetings

The consumer team at WHPR: Lorraine Dwyer, Claire Guiney, Ciara O’Connell, Emily Gallagher, Suzanne Kearns, Aimee O’Driscoll and Stephanie Whisker who count M&S and Pandora among their clients; always glossy, groomed and beautifully dressed at the break of dawn: how do they do it?

Nina Walls The owner of MaxMara Belfast is swathed in gorgeous MaxMara layers, accessorised with Dior slingbacks and Chanel jewellery …

Furkan Karayel, founder and CEO Diversein.com, always stylishly put together while advocating for women in tech, female founders and diversity in the workplace.

Natasha McKenna, Siobhan McDonald and Eva O’Donovan

Artists & galleristas

Clifden native Cavanagh Foyle, one half of the artistic duo Bag&Bones, known for her signature Pop Art “squiggs” (short for squiggles) swapped a lawyer’s suits for sequins, separates and a glam riff on the black polo-neck. Her sister Gigi is also fashion forward …

Yvonne McGuinness The artist’s low-key style features scarves and cropped trews with a bohemian bent …

Siobhan McDonald When not exploring volcanoes or ice floes, this artist wears theatrical pieces and unusual accessories …

Natasha McKenna, Partner at Mason, Hayes and Curran, supports the development of visual arts in Ireland – part of her company’s CSR mission. Her wardrobe includes Helen Cody and Louise Kennedy, with jewellery from Costume and Loulerie …

Nuala Goodman, Milan-based artist and curator has a preference for Prada …

Mandy Williams of The Oriel Gallery has an impressive wardrobe of cocktail dresses for exhibition openings …

Dr Barbara Dawson has been pushing boundaries in her role as curator of The Hugh Lane Gallery. Her style (and earrings) are quietly impressive …

Eva O’Donovan’s fashion-inspired artwork has featured at Brown Thomas. Away from the easel, she has an artist’s eye for accessories like silk scarves, cool cuffs and gorgeous knuckleduster rings …

Mary Heffernan, general manager at the OPW, is like one of the gorgeous heritage buildings she oversees – never overdone and always elegant.

Niamh O’Sullivan

Instagram crushes

Niamh O’Sullivan This fashion blogger’s signature style is classic with fluid silhouettes, elevated by designer handbags; Prada and Gucci are favourites.

Emma J Cotter, founder of Luxe Poise hair accessories, adds feminine touches to her #OOTD with pastel shades and hair bows.

Ashley Doyle, menswear fashion buyer, creates a high-low mix. Highs include Dior slingbacks and Gucci hairslides.

Clockrise from L-R: Ashley Doyle, Sandra Wilson, Emma J Cotter, Louise Byrne, Felicia Olusanya and Hilda Smith

Felicia Olusanya, spoken word poet, punctuates her edgy style with standout accessories.

Hilda Smith (mum of stylist Courtney Smith) shares outfit ideas for older women on her fun blog overthehilda.com.

Louise Byrne, fashion blogger, makes straight-leg jeans, ankle boots and an oversized blazer look new. www.simplestyle.ie.

Sandra Wilson, (Vogue Williams’ mum) just joined Instagram; swaps pieces with her famous daughter.

Róisín Lafferty, Tolü Makay and Hansine Johnston

Cooly creative

Margaret Mangan, the Galway-based Cloon Keen Atelier founder, has incredible clothes made by local seamstress, Lana at the Silver Needle, using material from Joel and Sons in London, or Cloth in Dublin. She also loves Roisin Gartland …

Mary Kate Geraghty, singer and Other Voices presenter, is a dynamic dresser with a great line in disco numbers …

Dearbhla Keenan, make-up director, Brown Sugar, always looks immaculate and chic, making high-street Zara look high-end …

First soloist at the London Royal Ballet, Melissa Hamilton’s off-duty uniform of flats, leggings and blazers shows off her honed prima ballerina figure. Her blond fringe is cool too …

Interior designer Róisín Lafferty’s personal style gets more and more confident and colourful (pictured in Richard Quinn), as her work becomes more adventurous too, with clients all over the world …

Clodagh Shorten, owner and genius buyer at Cork boutique Samui, has a passion for Belgian designer Dries van Noten, but looks good in edgy Rick Owens too …

Interior designer Suzie McAdam’s style is pretty and feminine with a penchant for florals and hats from Anthony Peto and FAO Millinery …

Hansine Johnston London-based fashion designer with Irish, Danish and Greek roots, wears her own vintage-style beach dresses in Italian silk beautifully …

Singer-songwriter Tolü Makay’s glamorous on-stage outfits take inspiration from her Nigerian roots.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Oxmantown and Daria Werbowy

Country casual

The Temple Family of Magee 1866: The Donegal Temple family has given country tweeds a fashion-forward make-over.

Daria Werbowy The supermodel, who has a house in Cork, has been spotted in an off-duty wardrobe of vintage Levi’s jackets and jeans.

Lady Oxmantown of Birr Castle wears vintage Pucci and Sybil Connolly from the Countess of Rosse’s archives at Birr.

Cliodhna Prendergast The Connemara-based co-founder of food and photography consultancy Lens and Larder, does evolved Irish style, making the traditional look modern.

Chantal Fortune The Wicklow-based antiques expert gives floral tea dresses an exotic edge.

Dr Easkey Britton, surfer and scientist, (when not in a wetsuit), layers up smartly.

Sarah Jessica Parker Fashion’s darling spends part of her summer in Donegal, swapping Manolos for wellies and sipping tea from Arran Street East mugs.

Natalie B Coleman and Aisling Farinella, and Lisa Marconi and Sarah Drumm

Fashion pairings

The Kennedy Sisters designer Louise Kennedy’s signature look? Cropped Piper trousers and a Lily knit from her own collection, with Hermès trainers or Manolos. PR Caroline wears LK tailoring beautifully …

Natalie B Coleman and Aisling Farinella These fashion friends are two peas in a pod: give them any trend, they make it their own …

Lisa Grainger & Susan-Jane Corbett, sisters and owners of Olori boutique Cork, choose from cool labels like Susanne Bommer and Cathrine Hemmel for their similar, pared-back style …

Steph Hutch & Claire Ryan, of The Crate florists, use a little vintage, a little high street, a lot of colour: their style is like their bouquets – romantic, relaxed, modern …

Helen Cody & Marion Cody, one a fashion designer, the other a graphic designer – both have a great sense of style, whether wearing Helen’s designs or cool yoga gear …

Margaret Gallagher & Mary McSweeney Wearing Rick Owens, Shumacher and Alexander Wang from their Les Jumelles boutique in Galway, and sporting matching blonde bobs, twin sisters Margaret and Mary always look impeccable …

Sonia Reynolds & Francie Duff own uber-Irish textiles store Stable; these willowy redheads rock a cool mix of vintage and Irish labels, accessorised with a linen or herringbone tweed scarf …

Lisa Marconi & Sarah Drumm of Dust Design have a designer’s eye for print and pattern.

John Redmond and Paul O’Connor, Gabriel-Kane Day Lewis, Daniel Kearns and David Beckham

Men about town

John Redmond Brown Thomas’ flamboyant creative director (and artist) is always ahead of the fashion curve, seen here wearing a Dries trouser-kilt. The group’s suave, impeccably dressed buying director, Paul O’Connor, is always snapped on the street at Fashion Week.

Daniel Kearns Formerly at Ungaro and Galliano and now at David Beckham’s Kent & Curwen, Kearns (from Rathgar in Dublin) knows how to put a smart casual look together.

Allen Leech this former St Michael’s schoolboy (chauffeur for the Granthams) is a peppy, preppy dresser on and off the red carpet.

Michael Fassbender With a uniform of jeans, formal shirt, leather jacket and aviators, tall, slim MF looks effortlessly FF…

Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis A gorgeous young chip off the old block; takes the occasional FROW seat with friend Brooklyn Beckham.

Al Mennie Antrim’s big wave surfer, model and stylist Sara O’Neill’s other half, does something extraordinary to an Aran sweater.

Tara Marzuki, Laura Whitmore, Fiona Leahy and Clodagh McKenna, Erin O’Connor

Exciting Irish Exports

Katie Kelly The London-based jewellery expert favours bold colours and patterns ….

Maura Kent, decorista, has a wardrobe full of crisp Pippa Holt kaftans to keep her cool in Dubai’s heat …

Elizabeth Morrison, an interiors entrepreneur working between Dubai and Rajasthan, has perfected a modern, East-West aesthetic, with elegant linens, palazzo pants, and classic Jackie O shades …

Eimear Noone, onstage the international, Malibu-based conductor dresses with the help of Irish designer Claire Garvey …

Derry girl Roma Downey, glamorous and powerful Hollywood producer, has a red carpet-ready wardrobe and looks cool on set in leather trousers, sneakers and long-line blazers …

Erin O’Connor From sharp tuxedo suits which accentuate her Modigliani frame to off-duty double denim, O’Connor (who is 6”1) manages to look elegant in velvet jacket and wellies at Electric Picnic …

NYC-based fashion blogger Tara Marzuki (@tarmarz) wears her H&M coat and vintage Levi’s with Brooklyn attitude. Her Céline sunglasses polish the look …

Clodagh McKenna upped sticks and moved to London, where she is part of an ex-pat crew which includes presenter and DJ Laura Whitmore and high-profile event planner Fiona Leahy, all flying the flag abroad for our #FashionForwardNation.

For even more #FashionForward dressers revisit our 2018 list

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