Sunday, 17 April 2016

Little Gem: Launch of 2nd Space

Om Diva is one of Dublin's fashion institutions. It was always foremost on the list of places to go when Dublin was a place I only visited on summer days or weekends with friends. When it moved outside George's Arcade to its slightly larger location and added the wonderful Atelier 27 to the upstairs, mixing Irish design with its vintage offerings, it only bolstered its position as a Dublin store that was doing cooler, fresher, more innovative things. Then, before Christmas, their newest venture was announced: 2nd Space.

Located around the corner on Upper Stephen's Street, the store was established by Om Diva founder Ruth Ni Loinsigh to sell the same eclectic mix of cute accessories and vintage garments that the brand found its success in and to promote the talent of undergraduate designers in Ireland. This is a unique concept and platform for up-and-coming designers and, if the stock I spotted at the launch during the week is anything to go by, they are more than ready for the challenge. These designers will also benefit from mentoring and support from established industry leaders and get the platform to sell their designs and the exposure the store can offer. Furthermore, the space will also be used to host events and talks from said leaders. This symbiotic relationship between the young designers and the established seems like an interesting way to foster creativity and support the increasingly bright future of design in our beautiful little isle.

Two particular designers whose work caught my eye and I might recommend checking out are Jack Roche, who offers a SS16 collection that seems utilitarian or normcore-ish at first but is more complex, pretty and rich than that, and Isbel Gray, who offers cute accessories that are just the right amount of sassy and rough-and-ready.

Between floaty vintage nighties, adorable kitschy earrings, prim and proper bags and exciting and bold youthful design ventures, there is a lot to see in this small but lovingly curated and arranged space. If you're a fan of the Om Diva brand or Irish design or are simply looking for something other than the high street that is still affordable, check 2nd Space out.

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