My Kildare Life interview with fashion designer Laura Jayne Halton

Maynooth designer has designed three dresses for the Oscars

Sarah Peppard

Reporter:

Sarah Peppard

Email:

sarah.peppard@leinsterleader.ie

My Kildare Life interview with fashion designer Laura Jayne Halton

Laura Jayne Halton

Laura Jayne is the daughter of Laurence and Rita. She is one of five siblings. Laura Jayne has designed two dresses for Oscar-nominated director Nora Twomey, and Irish film producer Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly.

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST KILDARE MEMORY?

Weekends going with my mum, Rita, and my sisters to garden centres followed by tea and cake. I fondly remember being brought to the Art & Hobby shop in Naas to stock up on art materials! I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a child.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT KILDARE?

Its proximity to Dublin and access to the major motorways whilst also being “in the countryside”. There’s a marvelous food culture in Kildare, as well as some of Ireland’s finest examples of Georgian and Palladian architecture.

I am lucky enough to be situated near both Carton House and Castletown House — perfect for a walk around the grounds and a nice coffee, a great way to spend a Sunday!

WHAT'S AN IDEAL DAY SPENT IN THE COUNTY?

If I am not away or visiting Co Clare, where my husband is from, the aim is to relax and there are great ways to do that in Kildare. An ideal day would be spent going for a walk with Ronan and our lovely dogs, Poppy and Daisy. Tea or lunch in the K Club is always a treat, you can pass the time so easily there with some of the friendliest staff around. When the weather isn’t ideal, it’s usually a great excuse to take a trip to Kildare Village. I often try to attend the races as its a great opportunity to see the style on Ladies Day as well as see the work I create for clients and race sponsors.

FAVOURITE RESTAURANT?

I am a chocolate fiend so you can imagine my delight when L’Art Du Chocolat opened in Maynooth, their hot chocolate menu is second to none. Dinner at Turners Restaurant at Killashee House has been consistently beautiful.

WHAT IT IS LIKE TO WORK ON AN OSCARS DRESS?

So far I have created three gowns for the Oscars and they have been some of my proudest moments to date. It comes with a certain weight of pressure, but sometimes that brings out our best work.

The end result is worth the time and work that goes into creating the finished piece, the buzz of seeing it on the most famous and most viewed red carpet in the world is priceless.

I love creating pieces for my clients, it’s a really enjoyable and unique experience for both the client and for me and I love that they put their trust in me for the most special of occasions — from walking the red carpet to walking the aisle on their wedding day.

I have created pieces for the ambassador to the US, for film producers in LA and DC and another recent highlight would be dressing the wonderful Vicky Phelan for the Tatler Women of the year awards.

Illustrations are also a large part of my work. When I worked in New York I created the artwork for the Sarah Jessica Parker fragrance campaign and I have continued to work on an amazing range of artwork for both brands and private clients since.