Shannon O’Doherty fashion designer Interview

Around one month ago one of the shooting we worked for has been published on Flanelle Magazine ( here to see it ). During this occasion I had the honor to collaborate with Shannon O’Doherty, UK fashion designer. Her creation caught my attention at first sight. Following is her interview for Alis 1996. Get her to know better and discover upcoming projects.

A.P. : So you told me you are from the UK , tell us a bit about your icon inspiration and your background.

S.O. : I grew up in Kent with my Mum and Dad. Now I am attending the ‘University for Creative Arts’ in Epsom. Studying fashion design, I started year 0 in 2018 and I am now mid way through my second year. I am heavily inspired by cult classic movies and historical costume.

A.P. : How was your passion for fashion design born ?

S.O. : I had always been very creative as a child, and enjoyed painting and drawing. I realised when, picking a degree to do after A-Levels, that pursuing a career in fashion was the only industry I could see myself working in the future. Designs for clothing were usually drawn in my free time. But I never actually constructed any garments, until I started uni in 2018. 

A.P. : The shirt that we used in the shooting for Flanelle Magazine was inspired by Romeo and Juliet ? How did you come up with that idea ?

S.O. : The shirt was part of my university first year ‘Shirt Project’. It was ment to be based around a dynamic duo.From there I got the idea of Romeo and Juliet from. I strived to create a collection that represented that duo in a way that combined and unified their many differences, as one. I was initially inspired by 17th/18th century artwork depicting the lovers and their historical dresses. This led me to watch the 1996 Baz Luhrmann movie, where Romeo wears a suit of armour costume. It ended up becoming a major design inspiration.

I juxtaposed the very masculine and historical armour references with luxurious feminine floral fabrics. I added ruffles and cropped style to give the collection a modern flair. This combination allows the collection to convey both sides of the opposing duo in a subtle way. Looking further into armour and mail, led me to incorporate chains and eyelets into the collection giving the garments an edgier detail to them while still being hyper feminine.

A.P. : The shirt that we used in the shooting for Flanelle Magazine was inspired by Romeo and Juliet ? How did you come up with that idea ?

S.O. : The shirt was part of my university first year ‘Shirt Project’. It was ment to be based around a dynamic duo.From there I got the idea of Romeo and Juliet from. I strived to create a collection that represented that duo in a way that combined and unified their many differences, as one. I was initially inspired by 17th/18th century artwork depicting the lovers and their historical dresses. This led me to watch the 1996 Baz Luhrmann movie, where Romeo wears a suit of armour costume. It ended up becoming a major design inspiration.

I juxtaposed the very masculine and historical armour references with luxurious feminine floral fabrics. I added ruffles and cropped style to give the collection a modern flair. This combination allows the collection to convey both sides of the opposing duo in a subtle way. Looking further into armour and mail, led me to incorporate chains and eyelets into the collection giving the garments an edgier detail to them while still being hyper feminine.

A.P. : How long was the process to realize that item and do you have more pieces of that collection ?

S.O. : The shirt is actually the first garment I have ever made. The entire project was around 2 months long and the shirt took around 2 weeks to construct, due to the amount of hand sewing involved. I designed a whole 6 outfit collection but was only required to construct one garment.

A.P. : Is that your last work or did you work on something new ?

S.O. : I have actually worked on many more university projects since making that shirt. The first was taking inspiration from the 90s consumeristic culture, specifically looking at the 1999 movie ‘Fight Club’, which I designed a lot of prints for. The outcome was a six outfits collection incorporating these prints, unfortunately due to lockdown last year I was unable to construct any of the garments from the collection.

I currently have two ongoing projects for my second year of uni which I will hopefully be able to realize them as soon as university will reopen in April. The first is a tailoring project, so I will be sewing a tailored jacket, as part of a collection of eight outfits . The inspiration for the project is coming from my research into secret societies and ivy league prep. The second is a drape project, for this I am researching into iconic films such as ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Kill Bill’.

A.P. : How do you see your future and what is your biggest dream ?

S.O. : Right now I’m concentrating on finishing second year . Then I’ll start the third year in September and will begin the research for my final collection. In the future, I aim to venture out on my own and start my own fashion brand.