House of Kerry’s new printed and woven collections by artist/designer Christine O’de Vries “We Share the Same Sky” are inspired by current events and the idea of the sky as the planet’s heirloom with us having a shared responsibility to look after it. We live and work in different towns, cities and fields, we have different dreams but we share the same sky. In an attempt to look at the bigger picture, Christine has included fabrics celebrating the work of mostly women hand weavers from different parts of the globe. Fabrics chosen not only for their beauty and heirloom qualities but because the crops were grown organically or little use of chemicals are required and also because social goals and good working conditions are supported. A report from the UN on Rural’s Womens’ Day 2020 shows that women and particularly in rural areas throughout the world have been most affected by the Covid 19 pandemic and and this also underpins the collection.
The cut and style of the pieces are a gentle nod to the 1940’s and the liberating fashion style of post World War II, inspired by Christine’s discovery of an old notebook, now a treasured heirloom, kept by her grandaunt Bridget O’Donoghue, a nurse in London during WW2. The notebook is a little bible in sustainability where she noted her salary and kept track of personal items from luxuries to essentials with a trend for swopping and lending items among her circle of friends, self care too was an important part of the day to day even in surreal times.
Scalloped edges make an appearance too a playful nod to Kerry’s blue flag beaches on the Wild Atlantic Way and which Bridget must have been looking forward to visit when back home. Rossbeigh, Derrynane, Banna, Ballinskelligs and Inch are some of our favourite haunts.
One piece in particular directly inspired by the notebook is the “Paddington to Killarney” trenchcoat named after a “train” ticket Bridget bought noting “My ticket from Paddington to to Killarney alone cost me £4.1.8”. The trenchcoat is a timeless piece in Irish linen hemp union, woven by Master Weavers in Irish Linen. The colors are in Breton blue and oyster and woven into the warp and weft is Christine’s hand drawn watercolor landscape painting design of “Cill Áirne”, (Killarney in Irish) and meaning “Church of the sloes”. It is in toile du jouy style from her original “Cill Áirne” scarf design. A timeless piece, the trenchcoat has wonderful scalloped hems including the front and back panel.
Christine’s vision is to create sophisticated, feminine and timeless pieces with understated style. The collection made to uplift and celebrate strong women includes a limited edition scarf collection and wearable art pieces made to order including 2 trench coats, two piece ensembles with flattering sculpted peplum detail, woolen beret and printed dresses with her own designs.