Overview of Kenmare Lace Festival for student brief

The Kenmare Lace Festival will run from Thursday 3rd – Sunday 6th October 2013 and is part of ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’. The festival will focus on the world renowned Kenmare Lace established by the Poor Clare nuns in post famine Kenmare. Good design and unique interpretation which was promoted by the nuns and has always been a trademark of Kenmare Lace, will be highlighted at the Fashionista Kenmare Event.

The Kenmare Lace Festival programme will include lectures, competitions, exhibitions, social tables
and workshops on traditional lace techniques run by internationally recognised lace teachers. The aim
is to share the beauty and techniques of various lace with experienced and beginner lacemakers alike.
The fashion and design aspect called Fashionista Kenmare will be a student collaboration promotion
of skill opportunity. It is an innovative aspect of the Festival which will highlight the creativity and
talent of ‘Designers of the Future’. A static exhibition displaying pieces created by design and textile
students will open on the evening of Friday 4th October and be judged on Saturday 5th October.

The overall winner will receive a paid trip to London to take part in a Prescott & MacKay corsetry
workshop. The trip includes flights, 2 nights accommodation, a 2 day workshop and £100 spendingmoney. There will also be a runner up prize of €250. In addition to the exhibition, there will be informative and inspirational speakers from the fashion and design world, fashion workshops for
teenagers and young adults in millinery, run by local expert milliners, and upstyling, provided by aqualified, leading edge designer.

This festival will attract hundreds of people. We have a comprehensive marketing programme
including a national and international PR, advertising and social media campaign. We have already
placed advertising in the Aer Lingus Cara Magazine for the April/May edition, followed by editorial
pieces in the lead up to the Festival. This magazine has a readership of 1.8 million, 250,000 of these
are from Ireland, the remaining being an international audience primarily covering Europe and
America. Kenmare Lace Festival has been chosen to feature on the American television network
NBC. The footage taken of an interview with Nora Finnegan, the acclaimed Kenmare Lace expert
and lacemakers in Kenmare is to be shown on three separate programmes across the NBC network
in March. The Fashionista Event will also attract high profile interest from national and internationalpress and media. Festival including the Fashionista event will be videoed by a well known and highly respected film producer who works with RTÉ and TG4. The quality of the video will enable us to broadcast across television, web and YouTube.

Brief for Fashionista Kenmare

The Poor Clare nuns came to Kenmare in 1861 to teach children in the locality, they gave them a
skill of lacemaking to earn a living. The nuns in Kenmare were talented artisits and through training
passed on their design ability. Kenmare Lace is a needlepoint Irish Lace and is made with a needle
and thread. It’s based on the detached buttonhole stitch. The nuns recognised that the technique
used for producing Kenmare Lace was very time consuming and so they introduced Limerick and
Carrickmacross Lace techniques to create pieces quickly and efficiently.
The Creative Challenge
We would like you to develop a static 2D or 3D piece that is based on your interpretation of
traditional Kenmare, Limerick or Carrickmacross Lace, their techniques and designs.
You can work to any size and scale, colour and with any material you wish.
One of the problems that the lace world encounters is that, in some instances, it is considered it
to be stodgy and old fashioned. We want you to break away from this idea and show that it can be
modern and unique.
Creative Considerations
Look closely at the techniques used to make traditional Kenmare, Limerick and Carrickmacross Lace,
the method, design and history associated with them.
Consider the area they originate from 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 do not need to be a complete garment or item of

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.
They are not looking for something that is sympathetic to traditional lace but something that will
make people view lace in a new and different way.


You are free to demonstrate your creative thinking in any medium or combination of medium yousee fit.
As this will be a static exhibition think about the space and environment in which the piece will be
There are no limitations on how you bring your piece to life

Deliverables, artwork and additional information

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


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