- Lifestyle & Sports
- 27 Sep 17
Colin Horgan’s hugely imaginative, neon-bright designs have found favour with stars such as Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga.
When last I spoke with Kerry native Colin Horgan, he was stepping into his final year at Limerick School of Art and Design. Even during those formative years, the student designer was attracting major buzz.
He has certainly lived up to his early potential, with his work being shown in Brown Thomas and featured in the Triumph Inspiration Award. Colin’s striking designs also made him a semi-finalist in Vogue X MUUSE Talent 2013, and netted him KFW2013’s One To Watch gong.
After completing his BA, Horgan had to decide what direction to take his enviable talents. The designer is candid about the pressure that surrounded him, given the acclaim that had already attached itself to his brand.
“That year was such a blur,” he reflects. “Between working on my graduate collection, and sending and finishing the production of SS140, I felt like I had taken on a bit too much. I didn’t really think about the amount of work that was necessary to build a brand, but I learnt quickly that I needed to do it. I knew after finishing the graduate collection I should really go work for someone else just for a while, until I committed fully to my brand. An offer came around for me to move to Copenhagen to work for Anne Sofie Madsen for a season.
“I really admire her and when I had a chat to her about moving back, she thought the Royal College of Art might refine me better. I was really impressed with the course leaders when I went over and was offered a place at RCA. Right now I’m in London, where it feels right for opportunities.”
And what opportunities. Horgan has now been a part of London Fashion Week and Shanghai Fashion Week, and was sponsored by Kopenhagen Fur to travel to China and show his designs there.
Horgan has also become a fast favourite of fashionable women in the music industry. Indeed, he’s loving the relationship he gets to build between artist and design.
“I’ve worked and dressed a strong number of women in the music industry,” nods Horgan. I feel my work is best suited for the stage! I’ve worked with a few Irish artists – Slowskies, Blooms and Young Wonder – whose music I still listen to. Elsewhere, Lady GaGa, Dua Lipa, VV Brown, Noramens, Alicia Harley and Glowie have all worn my clothes, which is a huge honour. My work was also seen on UK artist A2, who’s under Tinie Tempah’s management.”
Working with such incredible stage artists feels like a natural evolution for Horgan’s designs, which have become even more showstopping over the past three years.
“I think my work is becoming more extreme,” he agrees. “At the start of launching my work, I was so focused on selling my clothes and getting it out there, I lost track of actually just letting go and enjoying the freedom. In my old work, you can see that it was super-commercial, but I’ve learnt the hard way to shake it off.
“I think I’ve mastered my aesthetic and vision. I feel like my master’s collection is probably the most honest I’ve been about my work in a long time. It comes from me, and it is a little scary to put myself in such a vulnerable position, but I’m excited for the next season – which I’ve already started.”
For more information on Colin Horgan’s work, see colin-horgan.com or go drool over his designs on his Instagram, @colinhorgan.