September 24, 2023


We Do Shopping Right

Harry Clarke’s St Brigid gets UN outing as ambassador wears new fashion design

When renowned Irish stained-glass artist Harry Clarke set out to create a church window in honour of St Brigid in Co Mayo, his attention to detail was precise.

Ireland’s female patron saint was dressed as a nun with a long, fringed turquoise stole, purple cloak and green shoes.

The window at St Mary’s in Ballinrobe was one of Clarke’s final works and it has a new iteration thanks to fashion designer Jennifer Rothwell.

The Dubliner was inspired by the vivid jewel colours in Clarke’s windows and created a series of original prints which form the basis of a clothing and accessories range in silk, wool and cotton.

This week her interpretation of Clarke’s St Brigid was centre stage at the United Nations in New York when Irish ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason was photographed wearing a dress, and a face mask, in the print.

Monday was the saint’s feast day and, marking the day, Ambassador Byrne Nason said: “We celebrate Saint Brigid in part because of what she represents about Irish women – their tenacity, their creativity, and their capacity for healing, among other skills.”

“Often at the Security Council I feel this can be applied to women everywhere.

“Even though we aren’t all celebrating together, I wanted to show my support for the women who use their skills to work for peace and healing around the world every day.

“Not to mention, it’s a great moment to showcase the creativity of Irish designers like Jennifer Rothwell,” she added.

Rothwell said her print (above) “honours St Brigid, the goddess of fire, whose manifestations were song, craftsmanship and poetry”.