31 May 2011

In 2006 Sorcha O'Raghallaigh moved to London from rural Ireland to study fashion design at Central Saint Martins. As well as doing internships with some of the greats, including Diane Von Furstenburg and John Galliano, Sorcha's work has appeared in Vogue Homme Japan, Vogue Italia, Dazed & Confused, i-D. But, until last week, she was still relatively niche. That was before Lady Gaga told the world about her on Graham Norton while wearing one of her custom made medieval 'wedding' dresses!

Grazia Daily: So, Lady Gaga said your name on national TV last weekend, how the hell did that happen?!
Sorcha O' Raghallaigh: Anna Trevelyan (Nicola Formicetti's assistant and an amazing stylist in her own right) spotted my graduate collection in June 2010. Since then I have been working on briefs for Gaga. She's also helped me a lot with other stuff and even styled my lookbook for A/W '11. She's kind of like my mentor and really she's responsible for the relationship with Lady Gaga.

GD: From Offaly to Saint Martins to Lady Gaga; that's quiet a journey in a short space of time. What's the master plan?
SOR: I moved to London five years ago, a nervous wreck! A week later I started in St Martins and it's one of the best things that happened to me. They completely nurtured my creativity and created a world where there was no restrictions or boundaries creatively! It's almost been a year since I graduated and there have been lots of highs and lows and struggles but, I'm beginning to feel like slowly I'm finding my feet. Lady Gaga wearing my dress on the Graham Norton show was amazing; like a surreal mark of a year on. As for a 'master plan' I'm not too sure!

GD: Have you designed many pieces for Gaga and how does it work?
SOR: I designed another piece which she wore in the opening scene of the Born This Way video! Basically, Nicola and the team request that you send sketches with your ideas and inspiration. If they like what they see it gets commissioned. Thankfully they've liked my stuff so far.

GD: Have you met her in real life and, if so, is she as eccentric as she appears?
SOR: No I have never had the pleasure!

GD: What do your mates/parents thing of the whole thing?
SOR: My parents and friends are really over the moon. They have always been very supportive through the good times and the bad times! I've had an overwhelming response from people and press back home in Ireland too, everyone has wished me well which is always nice.

GD: Your designs are medieval-inspired and pretty special, but I couldn't see, say, Victoria Beckham in them! Is there anyone else you're like to dress? (I think you should totally work with Florence Welch)
SOR: Yes, I have always wanted to design something for Florence, I think she's an amazing artist and she seems to have a magical presence when she performs. I would love to see her wear some of my designs!

GD: What's your dream commission?
SOR: Dressing Daphne Guinness would be a dream come true. I've designed gloves for A/W '11 with her in mind, so you never know!

GD: Three words to describe your A/W '11 collection?
SOR: pre-Raphaelite, layered, embellishment.

GD: So, what's next?
SOR: Hopefully to be able to continue doing what I love!

by Angela Scanlon


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