A DESIGNER from Co Tyrone is preparing to travel to London Fashion Week today (Tuesday), to showcase her wares to an audience of global fashion experts and international press.
Joanne Doherty, who is originally from the Fintona area, is the proprietor of ‘Piece Makers’, which uses design, technology and innovation to create unique products.
Now living in Derry, she is among a collective of designers selected to travel to one of the biggest events in global fashion.
Joanne won the right to showcase her work at London Fashion Week after successfully pitching to Jenny Holloway, CEO of renowned Fashion Enter London (FEL).
The initiative was part of a competition run by Derry City and Strabane District Council, in partnership with the Fashion & Textile Design Centre and FEL, which supports emerging designers and helps to take them commercially to market through a series of workshops led by industry experts.
Typically engraving wood with laser technology, Joanne Doherty’s work through Piece Makers has been in part inspired by the cultural make-up of Derry and Belfast.
But harnessing linen and leather and other textiles, her new jewellery and accessory range uses the latest in laser technology to create contemporary Celtic designs inspired from the ‘Book of Kells’.
Using bright colours and beautiful fabrics, such as leather, silk, linen and felt, she brings these iconic images right up to date using the precision of the laser cut and engraving technology, while combining mixed materials such as leather, wood and acrylics.
Labelling her new range ‘Next Chapter’, she said, “My tagline for Piece Makers is ‘telling stories’, each piece tells a story.”
She said ‘Next Chapter’ takes its inspiration from the Book of Kells, putting a modern slant on Celtic art for her new range.
The mother-of-four has been perfecting her craft for the last five years. Educated in Garvallagh PS and later St Brigid’s, her link with Derry began through her GNVQ studies.
After spending some years working in retail management for various well known chains, she broke out on her own five years ago to pursue her passion for creating things.
She says her work is about celebrating and showcasing the beauty of Ireland, North and South and believes now more than ever is a perfect time to celebrate and combine design and technology to making something unique, special, authentic and wearable.