Sunday 23 October 2016

Alanagh's well-heeled style credentials on show

Alanagh Clegg (right)
Alanagh Clegg (right)

When it comes to making it in the fashion industry, 21-year-old Alanagh Clegg is a shoo-in.

The fourth-year student at the National College of Art and Design comes from a family of renowned cobblers and she said the family business has inspired her own designs.

Alanagh, who specialises in textiles, will be one of several students show- casing their work at the Knitting and Stitching Show next month.

Clegg's Shoe Repairs has been in business since the 1930s, and Alanagh's dad, Alan, has been repairing shoes since he was a boy in the family shop in Naas, Co Kildare, which he now owns.


Alanagh uses the 50-year-old Singer sewing machine that Alan puts uses every day in his shop.

"The method of repairing valuable shoes is a sustainable approach to consuming, in contrast to buying cheaper materials and having to throw them away," said Alanagh.

"This is a concept I wish to carry across when I am designing garments.

"A problem in today's fashion world is the speed at which we consume materials.

"There has definitely been a decrease in repairs being made.

"With the fast fashion industry allowing us to buy new at such a cheap price, it portrays a disposable outlook on our goods.

"From coming from a family where we've always valued our materials, repairing to re-using the wasted scraps, this has been my drive and inspiration for my work."

For her collection, Alanagh combined machine embroidery with hand applique to the garments, along with scraps of leather found in the shop.

"Having my own brand I think would be the dream," she said.

"I think it's achievable if you work hard enough and you love it, which I do, and you have an original idea."

The 21st Knitting & Stitching Show will take place in the RDS from November 12 to 15.

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