Interview: When Poppy Met Daisy

Designing my own clothes was never something I was very good at. I could throw an outfit together no problem and, when the wallet allowed for it, buy it and take it home, but when it comes to actually designing something and making it my own, my only experience revolved around stealing my sister’s Fashion Wheel when I was eight.

After a recent purchase of a few fancy buttons and threads however, I’ve a new-found intrigue for DIY fashion and am full of good intentions for embellishing garments I already own that could benefit from a little TLC. It’s the perfect way of vamping up your wardrobe without splurging ahead of Christmas – rediscovering clothing creation!

But where to start? This is where a new fashion and sewing school in Dublin steps in. When Poppy Met Daisy is a trendy new sewing school offering a range of different classes, workshops and craft-inspired fashion parties. Whether you’re interested in just learning the basic sewing skills or are setting your sights on creating a fashion masterpiece, it has all the elements of a stylish new hobby.

When Poppy Met Daisy is the brainchild of Lorna Daly, who took time out recently to chat to me about her inspiration behind the brand, her background in fashion and the successful launch night held in November.

“The school opened in 2010 and the idea came from a need for something different in Dublin, something that put the fun back into fashion and took the intimidation out,” Lorna explained. “I just went for it and didn’t think and set the school up in a matter of weeks. Of course it took a long time for us to gain momentum, as with any business, but we now have such a loyal client base and are adding to it everyday.”

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When Poppy Met Daisy was officially launched in The Grand Social on Tuesday, 12th November, and Lorna said she had an amazing response.

“We could barely clear space for the runway, which was incredible. It was so nice to see some of the people we had taught over the years and so many newcomers. I was completely overwhelmed!”

Lorna began her relationship with fashion when she took up a role as a sales assistant with Topshop, with whom she worked with for almost a decade. During this time, she went on to study fashion design and attended the Grafton Academy and SCFE.

“After that I freelanced in costume and design and then set off to London to work for textile designer, Hermione de Paula, for London Fashion Week,” she explained.

Missing her home turf however, it wasn’t long before Lorna returned to Dublin and set up the fashion and sewing school by herself, continuing to work with Topshop part-time.

“Since then, we have collaborated with so many other teachers in different fields like corsetry, costume, fashion illustration and styling, and hopefully we will continue to add to our team.”

With less disposable income, and more guilt associated with spending sprees, Lorna says DIY fashion is important in the fashion world today.

“I can’t believe the price of alterations nowadays and just how disposable clothing has become, even from an environmental point of view. It’s terrifying. A €29 class here would teach you hundreds of euros worth of alteration skills and that’s just one example. I often have girls come in with an idea of a dress they just can’t find and in four weeks, I can teach them how to achieve that.”

“They then have this knowledge for life, it’s an incredible achievement.”

So what makes When Poppy Met Daisy stand out?

“We are professionally trained designers. We are all young, but not inexperienced. We don’t skip the basics. We presume you know nothing and start from that point!”

With all classes fashion-focused, the school’s main focus is on dressmaking and fashion design (which they teach in four or six week terms) as well as day-long workshops focusing on everything from basic alterations and peter pan collars to fascinator classes and how to make a dress in a day. Next year will also see the school teaching illustration, photography, styling and Photoshop.

For class schedules and details on their fun hen party / group events, visit http://www.whenpoppymetdaisy.com

Photos from fashion school launch at The Grand Social, November 12. Photo Credit: Laura Vitel

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