The Dress, the Dancer, the Dance

IDM captures the energy and excitement of the personalities working in the world of Irish dancing fashion. From fashion legends, such as Gavin Doherty, to the newcomers breaking in, they all have a story to tell! CHECK IT OUT!

Designer: Gavin Doherty Company: Eire Designs by Gavin

We felt it appropriate to lead off with IDM’s 2016 Design a Dress Contest sponsor, Gavin Doherty. As one of the most sought after designers on the planet, he breaks Irish dancing costume design down to a simple motto, “The Dress. The dancer. The dance.” This is what Gavin believes is needed for a perfect performance. “I take inspiration from those lines of WB Yeats, O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance.”

Eire Designs’ goals is for every dress to achieve that perfect harmony. “You cannot separate the dress from the dancer and the dance; it’s a unique trinity combining colour and movement in choreographed harmony. That’s what we work towards. And the better we know the dancer over time, whatever school they dance for, the better we can work with them on the dress of their dreams.”

Gavin goal as a designer is to captivate and mesmerize the audience and the judges, with his costume design. A ‘Gavin’ is one of the most sought after costumes in Irish dance and while Gavin is rightly proud of his name and reputation and insists his team won’t rest on their laurels. “We are constantly challenging ourselves. Every season is a new challenge. People look out for our designs at competition. That is pressure that we thrive on. We have an amazing design team that I personally work with on every single dress. We have the best and most skilled and highly trained staff working on embroidery and dressmaking. They travel to major competitions with me and for me to do personal consultations and provide alterations for those who don’t have the luxury of having an onsite fitting. This is important because we have customers from all over the world wanting to wear one of our dresses.”

With the profile of Eire design dresses and the constant demand, quality is fundamental to everything Gavin does. After growing rapidly, the company saw the need to establish a dedicated customer service department. They believe they now provide the best service in the world both onsite and online. “Our goal is to have each dress perfect for the dancer before it leaves our premises and we are very happy to resolve any issues if and when they arise.” The company believes in quality and Gavin says they never opt for cheaper alternatives. And their quality reputation is recognized worldwide by big names such as SwarovskiTM who recently chose Eire Designs as their preferred partner for Irish dancing.

The Eire Designs team has noted the improvements in dancers’ performances and results when they put on "a Gavin" for the first time. “Often we get asked does the dress get judged, and I say no the dress doesn't get judged but the overall performance gets judged and the dress is part of that performance." As far as he is concerned, Gavin is being judged every time a dancer steps on the stage. the Dress, The Dancer. The Dance. It is what drives him on.


From the August 2016 issue of IDM

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