Last Friday evening (February 19th), I attended the deBláca 1916 Easter Lily collection launch that took place in Dublin City boutique, The Design House, 43 Dawson Street. Irish award-winning jewellery designer Mairead deBláca hails from County Cork and creates jewels that are inspired by both the nature around her and her own artwork. Designing pieces that are simple and beautiful, deBláca introduces a unique collection that is perfect for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a key moment on Ireland’s path to independence. Someof you may not yet know this; I myself am the great grand-niece of Joseph Mary Plunkett, one of the leaders of the Rising, and one of the seven signatories of the Irish Proclamation. Hence why I was delighted to attend the event and represent my family, and to mingle with other jewellery lovers too. I was honoured when Mairead also asked me to read out Joseph Mary Plunkett’s last letter to his beloved wife Grace Gifford, which was written shortly after he had married her in Kilmainham Gaol, and seven hours before he was executed.
The brand new 1916 Easter Lily collection by deBláca is inspired by the designer’s interpretation of the traditional lily flower to commemorate the fallen Irish of the 1916 Easter Rising. In the shape of a calla lily, it is the symbol of remembrance for those who died during or were executed after the Rising, as originally designed by Cumann na mBán, The Irish Republican women’s organisation, in 1925. It is important to designer Mairead deBláca that this representation of the women’s hard work is still evident in the commemorations & memories of all that happened before, during & after the Rising. The lily flower’s colours; green, white & orange, echo our national tri-colour that symbolizes the hope for peace, harmony and unity between all sections of the community in Ireland. At the time of and in the aftermath of the Rising, the lily also represents the modern Irish freedom struggle, and has been connected to Easter 1916 as it first blooms in springtime.
DeBláca’s collection is a selection of pieces all of which that feature this Easter Lily design including a pendant, tiny stud & drop earrings and a lapel pin too. Made of Sterling Silver as well as a limited selection of gold-plated pieces, the collection is unique and very special for the Centenary of the Easter Rising. Already fans of the designer, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and wife Sabina were gifted with a lapel pin and pendant necklace respectively, which I’m sure I’ll see them wearing during next month’s ceremonies. The jewellery is all made in Ireland and is also hallmarked in the assay office in the historic Dublin Castle, for that extra special Irish touch.
deBláca 1916 Easter Lily collection is available from €66, online here at deBláca, and exclusively at The Design House, 43 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
The Design House itself is a brilliant little boutique, hidden away on Dawson Street among the art galleries, delicious bars & restaurants, parallel to our famous Grafton Street. It houses many designs from fashion, jewellery & bridal to vintage styles and a variety of crafts all in the one building, on three floors. With over 50 Irish designers, 60 craft designers and 16 artists, The Design House is home to many of Ireland’s creative talents that also offers a shared studio space and professional fashion workrooms for designers to work within, manned by their in-house seamstress. The concept behind The Design House enterprise is to bring artists from all the creative realms together under one roof and to give the customer a wide range of high quality products, some of which are more affordable and some that are more luxurious, as well as bespoke service and a good old-fashioned café, all in the heart of Dublin City.
I believe the model helps to create & sustain jobs for all of the designers which are in effect their own business. I further believe that this model could be franchised and used to assist many more designers both within Ireland and beyond. – Bébhinn Flood, Founder of The Design House
Visit The Design House, 43 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
Images © Nirina Plunkett, The Design House