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The Designers behind Race Day

June 21, 2010

Daily Digest

The Designers behind Race Day

By Linda Gallagher

Irish design talent came to the fore recently when promising young designer Heidi Higgins won the title of ‘Best Dressed Lady’ at the Punchestown Festival wearing one of her own creations.

Heidi looked resplendent in a turquoise wool crepe dress with matching jacket from her Spring/Summer 2010 collection which she accessorised with a customised blue headpiece by up and coming milliner Mark T Burke. The event attracted widespread publicity thus providing both designers with the perfect opportunity to showcase their work to a wider audience.

With bright futures ahead of them, let’s take a closer look at fashion’s rising stars.

Heidi Higgins

After graduating from NCAD in 2008, Heidi Higgins spent a year working with the doyenne of Irish fashion Louise Kennedy. Launching her own label ‘Heidi Higgins’ in May 2009 she described her style as ‘simple yet sophisticated, easy to wear but elegant, feminine and fun’. Last March, Heidi opened a studio/boutique in her native Portlaoise where she stocks her entire collection and offers a bespoke service for private clients.

She is passionate about colour, fabric and cut and has combined all of these elements to create stunning new looks for summer. This season’s collection consists of dresses in a variety of styles, textures and patterns. Sourcing her fabrics from the UK and Paris, the designer has used a beautiful selection of luxurious materials such as silk, silk jersey, crepe de chine and satin in a mouth watering colour palette of Lemon, Blackberry Purple, Hot Pink, Jade and Ocean Blue. With prices starting at €220 these top quality pieces are real investment buys.

Heidi Higgins’ Spring/Summer 2010 collection is also available from The Design Centre, Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin 2 ( and selected boutiques nationwide/

Heidi Higgins Boutique, No.27 Church Street, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
County Boutique, Ennis, Co. Clare.
Crowley Calnan, Bandon, Co. Cork.
Kabuki, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co.Leitrim,
Liberties, Westport, Co. Mayo.
Tui Boutique, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Mark T Burke

Galway born milliner Mark T Burke is a relative newcomer to the fashion scene but has already won awards for his unique and glamorous designs.

A final year student in Textile Design in GMIT, Mark was named ‘Accessory Designer of the Year’ at the Fashion Innovation Awards held last March. He impressed both the judges and audience with his winning collection that was inspired by Hollywood movies of the 1950s and 60s. 

For the competition Mark designed a series of pillboxes in a cinematic colour scheme of sepia and black and white. The talented milliner gave these prim style hats a sexy 21st century makeover by decorating them with sparkling glitter and sleek ostrich spines. This recent success has not only boosted Mark Burkes profile but has reaffirmed him as a ‘star of the future.’

Mark T Burke 

Mark T Burke Millinery on Facebook

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  2. Race Day Dresses – any tips?
  3. Shopwatch: Awear
  4. Studio 54: Red Carpet Gowns Recreated
  5. Go Buy Now: White Handbag
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7 Responses to “The Designers behind Race Day”

  1. mis jo-jo Says:

    Thank God.. Finally someone with real style who doesnt go to the every race meeting just to win the prize. Love the hats too.

  2. Claire Says:

    yes, i LOVE the tailored look on Heidi, very Jackie O

  3. Annemarie Says:

    The blue is so piercing, very cool colour.

  4. Elaine Scully Says:

    Heidi’s outfit is simple while making a statement, the colour is fabulous. I met Heidi at the opening of her Boutique in Portlaoise – she is lovely, sweet and v. friendly. Well done Heidi!

  5. catherine Says:

    just found a site called http://www.kadee .com/ie does alot of desiners wear thought id let u know

  6. Annemarie Says:

    Hi Catherine, Thanks for that! it’s a shop based in Athlone, the website is , for occasion wear mostly

  7. Annemarie Says:

    Elaine, you’re on the mark there. Have yet to meet Heidi but on email she sounds lovely too!

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