The LSAD graduate’s work pivots between tradition and innovation.
Natalie B Coleman – the Monaghan native who established a design studio and launched her eponymous label in 2011 – this Sunday showed at London Fashion Week and played along the line of feminity with her newest collection SISTERS.
Historically, Coleman's collections have been notoriously women-led, with a focus on feminine silhouettes with humorous and sometimes subversive illustrative prints and motifs.
For Autumn/Winter 2019 the label has partnered with the United Nations Population Fund on the collaborative SISTERS collection, which aims to portray the powerful bonds that exist between women and girls in our contemporary global society.
The partnership also wishes to emphasise the importance of sisterhood in times of rapid and turbulent social change.
The collection symbolises the collaborative power of sisterhood: the coming together of women to mobilise and build support systems – to fulfil the promise of rights and choices for all.
10% of all profits go directly to the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency (UNFPA) which works to meet the critical need for family planning, to prevent maternal deaths and to end harmful practices against women and girls.
Current Irish Tatler cover girl Amber Jean Rowan walked the show for Coleman, taking to the catwalk wig-free for the very first time.
Today, the UNFPA mandate is more relevant than ever, and fashion will help to bring it into the homes and hearts of people.
Managing Editor Sarah Macken had the opportunity to speak to Coleman ahead of her show, who informed her that the strong feminist consideration was no accident.
"[The show's inspiration] is a collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund celebrating the 25th anniversary of Sexual and Maternal health becoming a right.
"It is important to highlight these issues and to support sisterhood and empowerment of women."
"The collection consists of a mainline collection featuring 20 looks all made in our Dublin based studio, featuring traditional female-centric skills such as lace making, embroidery hand knit, heading – these are skills that connect women all over the world, a way for women to have equity independence and raise families.
"The female reproductive system is made in Carrickmacross lace on the sleeves of the wedding dress, one ovary took 32 hours to make. It is then replicated on the bodice of Irish linen in embroidery and beading. The heart flower has petals falling down going from white to pink to a river of red petals along the hem."
When asked about a potential dialogue running between the pieces in the show, Coleman championed the importance of sustainability.
"The is a more commercial line supporting the mainline collection. I worked with the amazing John Slade on the motifs for this. The hoodies, sweaters and t-shirts are all sustainable and made from organic cotton, 10% of all profits go to the United Nations Population Fund so the consumer gets to actively engage in the narrative and make a conscious purchase."
She also revealed that her collaboration with the UN came about off the back of her last collection GUARANTEED TO BLEED in New York in 2018.
"They felt that my messaging was in line with theirs and approached me about a partnership."
According to the designer, the supporting collection will be stocked in Dublin from May and internationally from July.