Stuck for something sensational to wear to the races? Stand out from the crowd with eyewear that won’t leave you in the shade
Jen Nollaig (aka Jenny Wilson) a self-styled “Christmas purist” was billed as Ireland’s most Christmassy woman last December and it made her name worldwide. Her 12 madcap Christmas looks based on tree decorations published in The Irish Times Magazine went viral and in the space of a week she found herself Googling translations about her collection in Chinese, Korean, French and Arabic. “The response was overwhelming”, she recalls “and when people contacted me inquiring if I did custom orders for non-Christmas pieces, I challenged myself to move out of my Christmas comfort zone to see if I could create eyewear”. And so a sunny new collection called In Bloom was created “from the unlimited beauty in nature”.
The collection is made from upcycled frames, fake flowers, pieces of old jewellery and a few bits of Christmas decoration as well. “For me fake flowers are a natural choice as they are rather tacky which I love. Tacky excites me. What thrills me most is the challenge of pushing the boundaries of the conventional eyewear aesthetic,” she says. “Upcycling is part of my creative process. I love the idea of taking something old and giving it a new life and I love the fact that a garment or a piece of jewellery had a past life or story to tell.”
The Limerick School of Art graduate who interned with Joanne Hynes had a corporate career in London before returning home to another life of marriage and motherhood. The birth of her second child unleashed a long dormant freewheeling creativity and that Christmas collection.
She works on her pieces at night. “When it is 3am and the kids and my husband are all asleep, there are fake flowers and glitter all over my kitchen floor. I look in the mirror to see what the shades look like on and sometimes I ask myself ‘am I mad?’ Once I have sourced the materials, I begin. In most cases I don’t have a set idea of what the end piece will look like. It is very organic – the materials I use dictate the finished form and each piece is a one off.” For further information and prices contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram.