For those of you who are not from Ireland, you may not know of The Rose of Tralee International Festival. The festival as it is today, celebrates young women from all around Ireland and also from other countries, who all have some Irish heritage. It is based on the love song “The Rose of Tralee” written in the 19th century by William Mulchinock, a wealthy merchant who was in love with Mary O’Connor, a maid in his family’s house. Their love story was a tragic tale of their circumstances and the society in which they lived. The ladies, or the “Roses” as they are known in the festival, reflect the intelligence, compassion and independence of modern Irish women. The festival has gone from strength to strength since it began in 1959. This year is the 53rd Rose of Tralee International Festival. You can read all about the it here.
I have always loved the Rose of Tralee. I watch the live finals every year on TV, but I have always wanted to experience the festivities around Tralee town. This year I finally got the chance. My friend Claire invited me to her home in Tralee to see it! Unfortunately due to work, I could only stay the one night, so we chose last Sunday night which hosted the Rose of Tralee fashion show. A lot of local shops from Tralee featured in the fashion show, some of which I liked, others which were not my style. Bridal wear was also a feature of the show. They were all gorgeous! The best part of the show however was definitely the last collection from native Kerry designer, Don O’ Neill. His Autumn Winter 2012 collection, from his label “THEIA”, was stunning. The designs combine sophisticated and elegant styling with luxurious silks, European brocades, laces, and prints. It was so dramatic, perfect red carpet dresses! You can check out the website here.
Here is some of his collection:
(I took the pictures on my small digital camera so you will have to excuse the quality)