Eilis Boyle – styleisle file

Tell us about your journey in fashion?

I became interested in fashion in my teens, I was obsessed with 50’s and designed a few full skirted dresses. In my late teens, I used to travel to Madrid to helpout during fashion week. It took me a few years until I ‘knew’ fashion was a career I wanted to pursue.

Tell us about your typical day when designing a new collection.

The starting point of each collection is usually the last piece, or pieces,designed from the previous season. I will take out all the fabrics I’ve been sourcing and my heart just tells me what to do. I’m not disciplined or strict in the design department. I prefer my mood to dictate what I will work on.

Once I’ve decide what fabric I’d like to work with, I’ll spend hours draping,pinning and cutting.

What kind of things inspire your designs?

Fabric is my prime source of inspiration. I’m constantly looking for fabrics and sometimes a source piece, and collect them. Many times I’ll keep them for seasons before I decide to use them.

Tell us about how you make your pieces?

Once the design is decided, I’ll make a pattern and then work with seamstresses who help me make the pieces. Sourcing materials must be a difficult process, and the raw material is the key to quality!

Tell us about how you source your materials?

I work with many mills where I have been sourcing fabric for years. Lace makers in France, silk in Italy and some fabrics are sourced in India. Fabric quality is key to the collection, my design is simple so fabric and how pieces are made are key.

Have you ever been asked to design a one off piece for someone? If you could choose,who would be your muse?

I make many one off pieces. My whole 10th collection was made up of one off pieces. I really love doing limited edition collections. I have done a few commissions for international award ceremonies. I would love to dress Tilda Swinton or Marina Abramovic.


Have you got a favourite piece?

There was a dress from my 10th collection which Aisling Farinella and myself named the ‘Vatican’ dress. I really love that piece. I never thought I’d sell any piece of that collection, it was a collection of ‘impossible’ dresses. But theVatican dress did sell to very inspiring Irish artist.

Do you find yourself checking out the competition from time to time?

No. I think what I do is very true to me, I don’t look at clothes for inspiration. Most designers I love do completely different collections to mine.

Do you feel that now women have become more cost conscious and has the world of design has suffered?

I think women have become more knowledgeable and thoughtful about their purchases. It’s a great change. Value is important, but longevity and exclusivity are really important too. Designers have less money, but more time, so design in the long run will benefit from theslowdown in the economy.


Eilis’s collection is available at Bow, Powerscourt Town Centre, Dublin 2.