“I have to buy my diamonds and mink myself – and that’s the way I like it” – Sybil Connolly
Sybil Connolly (1921-1998) was a fashion designer who is renowned for creating haute couture from Irish textiles. She used materials such as finely pleated handkerchief linen, delicate crochet lace and durable Irish tweed to create designs that were inspired by Irish people, traditions and culture.
Dubbed by the media as “Dublin’s Dior”, Sybil was truly a pioneering designer and was one of the first Irish fashion designers to have international success. She surprised and delighted the fashion world with her creations in the 1950s, and worked with department stores Bloomingdales and Lord and Taylor, NYC. Famous clients of hers included America’s First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and actresses Adele Astaire (musical Funny Face) and Julie Andrews (film Sound of Music). Many of Sybil’s designs featured in fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in the 1950s.
Sybil worked from Ireland, employing many people in a country still finding its feet after independence from the United Kingdom. Later in her career, she turned her attention to interior and garden design, creating wallpapers, fabrics, glass and ceramics for companies such as Tipperary Crystal and Tiffany & Co, NYC.