Ailish McElroy is a skilled artisan and self taught Milliner producing bespoke hats and accessories handcrafted in her studio in the beautiful hills of East Clare, Ireland.
About the Designer
Born and raised in a large family in Rathfarnham, Dublin, Ailish developed an early love for the arts in childhood where creativity was embraced and encouraged in the family. She travelled and worked abroad for several years before moving to East Clare in 2008 after she received an Hons degree in Electronic Media and a Masters in Digital Media Technology while pursuing her former career as a Graphic Designer for a wide variety of industries across Ireland.
A visit to the vibrant scene of Ladies Day at the Galway Races initially sparked Ailish’s interest in Millinery which she instantly perceived as a beautiful and unique art form for self expression. This marked the beginning of her immediate efforts to learn the craft and after her days work as a Graphic Designer was done, Ailish began to teach herself new skills in Millinery late into the night.
She embraces what she sees as the whimsical, structured and romantic potential of this craft as both an art and a science and her exploration in new design techniques led her to discover the rewarding experience of hand made. As a result her own line of beautiful bespoke handmade hats evolved and she started to receive enquiries from interested women for her quality creations.
This interest soon became her joy and led to the establishment of her own Millinery and fashion accessories business in 2015 where she imagines, designs and produces her bespoke collections using the highest quality materials. Ailish McElroy seeks to create her pieces using traditional millinery techniques which have been around for centuries as well as embracing modern materials for their creative potential.
Her clients have described her studio as a sweet shop for adults and is a riot of colour and creativity where she works closely with her clients on a one to one basis by private appointment to create beautiful headpieces that they feel happy and confident to wear.
Private appointments enable Ailish to give her full attention to her clients enabling them to browse and try shapes to suit them in a relaxing environment. She encourages her clients to bring their outfits to appointments to ensure the right headpiece is chosen to beautifully compliment the entire ensemble and the woman.
Ailish’s designs are based on the specifics of the occasion. She studies the height, face shape, hair color and personal preferences of her clients to ensure that the final creation is as marvelous and unique as each woman she designs for. Her aim is to magically capture the essence of a special occasion for her clients helping them feel beautiful and empowered in her couture designs.
Inspiration and Recognition
Ailish takes her inspiration from many sources including history, fine art and the beauty of the Irish landscape in her work. Her unique designs have been celebrated and worn all over the world to special events, weddings in Ireland and abroad, the vibrant Irish racing scene, the Melbourne Cup and Royal Ascot. Her work is regularly showcased at fashion shows across the country.
She has been featured in the Sunday Times, the Irish Independent and nominated as Irish Milliner of the Year at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards. She is a member of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers. Ailish is passionate about sharing her knowledge of her craft and enjoys teaching students of all ages traditional millinery and sewing techniques in universities, schools and associations across Ireland.