_ simplicity. I don’t like fussiness of any kind.’ Fitting in perfectly with the new

wave of British designers such as T Sonnentag Mulligan and Flyte Ostell, her pared down essentialism is coupled with an environmental J awareness. ‘Fabrlc is my starting point. For me the construction of a

garment begins with the weight and

With easy elegance and relaxed drape of the fabric. I use unbleached tailoring, Tara Johnston's debut cotton as much as I can.’

collection combined modernist Tara’s debut collection included a restraint with a classical sense of capsule range of knitwear for men; form and proportion. Graduating lrom painstakingly hand-knitted

Edlhhlflflh celleQe 0t Art in 1993. She fisherman’s jumpers and cardigans sold most of her collection to with a chunky, tactile emphasis. ‘What enthusiastic friends and is now I did was to look at old Arran stitches

working to order for a growing circle and the way they were constructed. I of admirers. ‘I want to make Clothes improvised and created new stitches

for people to feel comfortable in,’ from that basis:

5313 Tale 0t her deSinl ethos, ‘te Aware that working in Scotland does ilisllil'e confidence ill the weaiei-’ not bestow instant celebrity, financial "ei movoashel “lien extent bags, backers or much monetary reward on

bias cut A-line skirts and oversized a designer, tare views it as a good

drawstring-ruched shirts in petrol blue basis trom which to build her own and oatmeal P'aY till the use 0t cutting identity at her own pace. ‘My clothes

teehllitllles (and down the use Of aren’t about fads or trends. Living in

detail) to create the cleanest and Edinburgh I think suits the way I work,

purest ol silhouettes. Sharp vet producing hand crafted quality things

graceful her clothes do away with that are built to last.’ (Bethan Cole)

extraneous fastenings and superfluous Tara Johnston will undertake work to

embellishment. commission. She can be contacted on ‘I’m inspired by natural things, 031 5571228,

:- John Rocha

: When supermodel Ilaomi Campbell presented the notoriously shy John L Rocha with the Designer of the Year if Award at the conclusion of last year’s London Fashion Week, the Irish Export Board also gave themselves a quiet but deserved pat on the back. For it was this unlikely body that had encouraged the Hong Kong born Rocha to continue his career in Ireland after witnessing his graduation fashion show at Croydon Art College where he had come as a teenager to study in 1971.

What aroused the Export Board‘s interest and what has become a byword for his distinctive and ? consistently directional style is the ! Celtic influence that has permeated his work over the years. As Rocha E explained in an interview last year: ‘My design philosophy centres around the free spirit. It’s slightly gypsy- orientated with a focus on the texture of the fabric and material. You could call it Celtic-cum-contemporary, a traditional focus with a modern approach.’

The adiectives ‘timeless’, ‘romantic’ and ‘unconstrained’ are consistently employed by the fashion editors to describe his free interpretation of classically neutral coloured fabrics. . Indeed his recent Spring/Summer - ' collection was entitled Saoirse (the living in Mil

, t, . . .- 4 f .; \‘V . _ A“ an between 1988 and first menswear collection in 1991, the collection _ "'8 wow is that

Celtic word in! treedel'fl) and featured 1990. It was during this time that his current darling oi the fashion press distressed Sheepstiill leihtlls ill earth

coarse linen mixed With creased Silk. sllck, structural tailoring and sharp and over 400 retail outlets worldwide, hielllll and Puma" ankle Willem!

with highlights being hand-crocheted layering caught the eye of Irish Rocha can attord to be in dresses are what every Rocha slave is

knitwear emblazoned with the Celtic retailer Brown Thomas who took it philosophical mood regarding the wealan deehltllil- (Mil Donald)

cross. upon themselves to back the John future: ‘Fashlon ls moving towards Jehn fleehe is steehelt 8t Cruise. Although Ireland has been his home Rocha label in the intematlonal tempering creativity with Hentleld Sheet. tiles!“ and 3t M's

for the past fourteen years, the market. commerciauty,’ Street, Edinburgh and at Xile,

demand for his work In Italy meant With the successful launch of his As for the Autumn/Winter 94 Weller“! market. Edlllhlllfll-

The List 8—2! April 1994 83