Brendan Courtney on his new designer range

By Mary Dennehy

TALLAGHT native, designer and fashion guru Brendan Courtney has come along way since designing his first dress at the age of nine.

Growing up in Kingswood, Brendan, who has been branded Ireland’s most influential fashion journalist on Twitter, is half of design house Lennon Courtney, which he set up with his friend and Off the Rails co-presenter, Sonya Lennon.

The pair recently launched their new SS16 line for Dunnes Stores which, sophisticated yet playful and wearable, is inspired by the women who have influenced their designs – with muses including their mothers, friends and celebs like Amy Huberman.

Personable and down-to-earth, Brendan, who is a former student of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin, took five to speak with his local paper.

LIFE Lennon Courtney

What has inspired Lennon Courtney’s second collection with Dunnes Stores?

Actually this collection is titled Inspired and is named after the women who inspire us, our mums , sisters, friends, artists, just all amazing women who are inspirational on every level.

LIFE Lennon Courtney 1

Navy and black are a trademark feature of your collections, any other colours appearing for SS16?

Yes, lots and lots of colour, bubble gum pink, marigold, white - we are always evolving. Print next!

Tailored sophistication is the words that come to mind when thinking of Lennon Courtney. However, you do manage to create pieces that are wearable and comfortable – is this something you strive to achieve?

We always set out to create a collection that our stylish girl uses as her carrier and styles in her own personality. We keep everything clean so there are easier shapes to work with - that is the aesthetic we [Brendan and Sonja] are both drawn too, we don’t like fussy. Our mission is that every morning, the Lennon Courtney girl opens her wardrobe and is greeted by clothes that are friends.

What’s your favourite piece in the new collection for Dunnes?

The Marigold trapeze dress, inspired by a mental image of my mum is a yellow dress in our yellow 1970’s kitchen.

We’re currently in red carpet season, is there any celeb or designer who has caught your eye this year?

I don’t really like the OTT of red carpet style but I do think Amy Huberman wins for her white Jump Suit at the Oscar Wilde Party in LA this month, oh did I mention it was a Lennon Courtney at Dunnes Stores jumpsuit?!

LIFE Lennon Courtney Amy H

If people had to pick up three must-have items that would keep them on trend this spring, what would you recommend?

Firstly I recommend NEVER shop for trend, it’s a losing ticket, look at the garment and imagine its uses, always have at least three. I would say our white tailored Jacket is light and the perfect throw on for all occasions.

Do you have a muse when designing?

Yes, Sonya.

Any tips for young designers wanting to get their label out there?

Cash Flow is king, learn how to manage your business, then the world’s your oyster! So many greats have gone bust many times, Galiano etc.

If you had to pick one fashion trend of recent years that you didn’t like, what would you say?

It’s really important to say there is no right or wrong when it comes to personal style, we all have different taste. I really try not to judge. I don’t like top knots on boys, they just look vain.

What are the plans for the rest of 2016? What’s in the pipeline for Lennon Courtney?

A/W16 is designed and being sampled. We are working on SS17 and would you believe, we would love to do shoes, bags maybe even men’s.

Where can people get their hands on your full SS16 collection?

Dunnes Stores, in store and online. Visit www.dunnesstores.com 

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