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Stylists watch out - 'Irish wannabes return dresses filthy and torn' warns designer

Ireland's biggest celebrity designer Jennifer Rothwell is refusing to lend her couture dresses to homegrown stars after too many "disrespectful" fashionistas destroyed her gowns.

The award-winning designer launched a scathing attack on Ireland's "wannabe celebrities" who often return her gowns unwashed and torn.

Rothwell has been a regular fixture on the style scene in recent years, and everyone from Rosanna Davison to Lisa Fitzpatrick have been snapped in her designs, having shelled out big bucks for their gowns.

Blag

But that doesn't stop brazen fashionistas from trying to blag a frock, and returning it in a filthy and sweaty condition.

Rothwell told the Herald that she had had nightmare experiences with some of our most famous faces, and would no longer dish out garments for free.

"When you dress celebrities, a lot of them send it back damaged," she revealed. "Now if I was trying to get Angelina Jolie, there'd be no problem, but not for wannabe celebs in Ireland.

"Every single person thinks they are a celebrity in Ireland, and they want these very expensive dresses, which come back damaged. They'd be brought back in terrible condition without anything being said, not even dry-cleaned.

"I just can't do it. You wouldn't go into a petrol station, and ask for your petrol for free. If you have a reputation for giving things for free, no one will buy anything. These are the same people who will go in and get stuff off a young designer, and then spend €3,000 on a bag.

"It's just not something that I can do now, I can't afford to do it, I have to pay my bills.

"It is disrespectful, people just think they can get something for free."

Having trained in New York, Jennifer's designs are among the most coveted in the country, and she established herself as a style star when she appeared as a guest judge on Norway's Next Top Model earlier this month.

Culprits

Although she was remaining tight-lipped about naming the culprits, she revealed that even models at photoshoots have tried to get free dresses from her.

"At photoshoots, I've heard models hinting about getting dresses, but I pretend not to hear it," she said.

"They wreck them as well. Once, I had to get one dry-cleaned twice just to get the smell of the sweat out and the stains.

"That cost €40 and it didn't get anywhere, there was no mention of it anywhere.

"A lot of times, it would be in the paper, but there would be no credit. Another person for a TV programme didn't even list the designer for the credits, so there's no point really."

cmcbride@herald.ie