Gonne Wilde for Tweed
Gonne Wilde is a hot new Irish brand, designed by Dubliner, Ruth C Mac Gowan. After fifteen plus years abroad, Mac Gowan has recently returned to her Irish roots to found the Made in Ireland brand, Gonne Wilde. Here, she describes what it is about Donegal Tweed that inspires her to use it so much. "I had never been to Donegal before working on this project. I wanted to source the best hand knitters and tweeds , still working in Ireland. Without planning it, I ended up spending most of my time in Donegal . Apart from the work side of my trip, I enjoyed the food and drink in Donegal more than anywhere and despite being on a work trip, unwound the most there.
Between Ardara, Buncrana and Kilcar , I can't decide which I liked most. There were pleasant surprises, by mistake just driving into kilcar and entering the first B&B we came along , ended up being like staying in a spa sanctuary with a view or the wild sea. Nancys's pub and food was the best night in Ardara , with playing cards and scrabble while away the evening. I hope the business continues and would love to make repeat trips to the suppliers in Donegal.
The craft is alive and well. The hand loomed tweeds are nutty and almost flavoursome in their texture. I love putting them next to the most delicate silk georgette to create a rustic glamour and contrast. I was surprised to see the strength of colour used by the weavers. Usually I would tweak colours in a plaid, not in Donegal. See our silvery grey herringbone in the 'Over the Edge' coat and gilet. To see the tweed in this light colour is so glamorous and unexpected".
Our Mantra: Irish design, inspired by the past, Living in the Future My Bio & Work: Ruth C Mac Gowan: Is originally from Co Dublin Ireland, left Ireland at 17 for a BA Honours Fashion Marketing Course in the UK. Excellent background for a career in fashion, the Uk colleges back in 1990 taught the business and marketing alongside pattern cutting and design skills. This stood to me when I entered the fashion industry. Have designed for International Heritage brands for extended periods, such as, Ralph Lauren in NYC( 8 yrs) Hackett, london( 2 yrs), Faconnable , South of France (1 year.) Before moving to London to move in with my Irish boyfriend . As I spent more time in London realised how well the UK promote the Brand 'British' , Made in England and the Union Jack were everywhere. it got me thinking about home and how I could promote Ireland. Press coverage about St Patricks Day around the world, was the final push: Kate Middleton in a green Orla Kiely coat, the Eiffel tower lit green , the water fountain in the Whitehouse running green water. Hence a month long trip , travelling around Ireland to source suppliers and review my options. After a lot of cups of teas and ham sandwiches, I was realising the potential of creating a coordinated collection, as long as I could logistically manage the development of multiple products with multiple suppliers.. It was important to create a head to toe look. I am used to working with Lifestyle brands and it is natural to me to consider the total look. The excellent and charming craftsmen of Ireland allowed me to create my vision. Why I set up site: A website gives you direct access to communicate with an International clientele directly My aims : Looking to change the perception of Ireland , one jumper at a time! To hopefully collaborate with established Irish brands , as I feel the Gonne Wilde concept is a strong statement of Ireland , which I would like to expand into other product areas, with the support of the irish fashion community. I would like to share the GW look and vision, where possible.