Fashion-Able Brief


Brief for Fashion-Able Kenmare


The Poor Clare nuns came to Kenmare in 1861. They were brought here to open a school in Kenmare. They soon realised that the girls had no way of earning living once they left the school so they gave them a skill. That skill was lacemaking. The sisters studied art and so developed original designs for lacemaking. As Kenmare Lace was very slow to make and therefore very expensive, other quicker less expensive laces such as Limerick, Carrickmacross, Irish Crochet Lace and Bobbin lace were also made.

The creative challenge

We would like you to develop a static 2D or 3D piece based on your interpretation of Kenmare Needlepoint, Carrickmacross, Limerick Run and Tambour, Bobbin, Tatting, Battenburg Lace and at the method, design and history associated with them. You can work to any size, scale or colour and with any materials you wish.

This is a very exciting time in the lace world. Artists and craftspeople are beginning to see lacemaking in a very new light. It is no longer considered stodgy or old fashioned. Break the mould and produce something unique and beautiful or maybe even daring.

Creative considerations

Look closely at the techniques used to make the afore mentioned traditional Irish laces. Consider the limits and advantages of the techniques and the imagery used within them. There is no limit to the size, shape and colour you use. The piece should relate to the body – but does not need to be a complete garment. However it should be suitable for inclusion in the Fashion Show during the festival as well as for the static exhibition.

Target Audience

There is no specific target audience, this is a very open brief so use it your advantage. The judges will be looking for unique interpretations of lace, techniques, methods, design and history. Break the mould and create something that is unique and creative.



You are free to demonstrate your creative thinking in any medium or combinations of medium you see fit.

Think about the space and environment in which the piece will be showcased. (Indoors in a large, open plan, modern secondary school assembly area), but remember that as well as being displayed in the static exhibition the winning pieces will also be included in the fashion show, so although does not have to be a complete garment, it must be possible to show it on the catwalk.

There are no limitations to how you bring your piece to life.

Deliverables, artwork and additional information.

Along with your finished piece there must be instructions on how the work should be viewed, a rationale of 200-300 words, a sketchbook to back up the research and development of the piece and any additional supporting information you feel is relevant.

Entry form submission;

Competition entry forms must be received on or before 5pm on Friday December 12th at The Kenmare Lace and Design Centre, The Heritage Centre, The Square, Kenmare, Co. Kerry.

All entry forms must be accompanied by a sketch of the proposed work and must include approximate dimensions.

Entry forms can be downloaded here (Fashion-Able Entry Form 2015) and sent by post, or you can email a scanned copy/good quality photo of the completed form to¬†‘’.

Lace Interpretation Submission Deadline:

Deadline for submission of final entries;

Completed entries must arrive at The Kenmare Lace and Design Centre, The Heritage Centre, The Square, Kenmare, Co. Kerry on or before 5pm on Thursday March 12th.

Ph. 087 2346 998, or 087 764 9004, or 064 66 42978