- 03 Oct 18
Created in collaboration with London punk fanzine Stone Age, the new collection from design duo Electronic Sheep will thrill music lovers.
Electronic Sheep is one of the hottest names in Irish fashion, and was founded by the dynamic design duo Brenda Aherne and Helen Delany. The pair have lived and worked as designers in London, New York, Munich, Rome and Dublin, and over the past 16 years their knitted ‘tapestry-esque’ pieces have gained a cult following. Electronic Sheep is now stocked globally throughout the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Italy, Germany, Japan and Australia.
However, the story all began on a street in Dublin, where Aherne and Delany grew up as next-door neighbours. And what better way to bond with the girl next door than over fashion? “We became rockers just as we hit our teens,” reflects Delany. “We listened to Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, and spent all our weekends in Freebird record store and Flip second-hand shops. As we got older, our taste got more eclectic – we got into everything from Elvis to The Velvet Underground. As important as the music was, so were the people who belonged to the scenes and the clothing that went with it. The Smiths, The Cure, The Clash and The Ramones all made their mark on us.
Our taste in fashion was strongly linked with music. This is still the case and everything we do has a musical influence – ‘Is this piece good enough to get into the gig?’” Between the two of them, Delany and Aherne have studied fashion, graphic design and knitwear in NCAD, De Montford University, Limerick School of Art & Design, Central Saint Martins in London and the School of Visual Arts in New York.
They joined forces to create Electronic Sheep in 1998. To celebrate 20 years in the business and their love of music, Electronic Sheep have teamed up with Willy Carroll of Stone Age fanzine in London for their new collection, ‘The Beat Club’. They first met Carroll when he worked in Smile Records on South Great George’s St, Dublin, and kept in touch when he moved to London. They would meet him at gigs of his girlfriend Lolo, who is in the band ye Nuns, Joanne Joanne and the all-female karaoke Fall tribute band, The Fallen Women.
Delany explains that both the style and content of Carroll’s music zine inspired the new collection: “Willy’s unique handwriting really struck us, and we coveted the handmade zines for their design as much as the stories. For our AW18 collection, we had decided to dedicate our whole Electronic Sheep collection to music. Willy’s fanzine literally fell on the floor while we were thinking of ways to incorporate typography and words into the collection. So it was destiny.”
The graphics and style of the zine make for irresistible designs that capture the DIY beauty of zines, and the collaboration resulted in three beautiful scarves in three colourways. “The ‘Mixed Tape’ scarf mixes nature with music – a Stone Age interview and a painting by Electronic Sheep,” explains Delany. “‘Red Eyed Cats’ is an Electronic Sheep drawing of a smoking cat collaged with Willy’s type.”
Their biggest piece, ‘Stone Age’, is based on Electronic Sheep’s favourite piece from the zines; Carroll’s interview with Thurston Moore. “The interview has loads of music references and for us, the hand-drawn band names particularly stood out: The Cramps, New York Dolls and Iggy Pop were all mentioned. Those sections are collaged with our drawings in the ‘Stone Age Zine’ collaboration scarf. The story in the zine also features a flyer for Sonic Youth playing at McGonagle’s – a Dublin club we went to back in the day!”
Electronic Sheep’s new collection ‘The Beat Club’ can be bought online at electronicsheep.com, and stockist information is also available on the site.