Ib Jorgensen – A Fashion Retrospective
From the 1950s to the 1990s, Danish born Ib Jorgensen was one of Ireland’s leading fashion designers.
From the 1950s to the 1990s, Danish born Ib Jorgensen was one of Ireland’s leading fashion designers, attracting a clientele from amongst the wealthiest and stylish women in the country. A graduate of Dublin’s Grafton Academy of Dress Designing, Ib was only twenty two years old when he set up his own salon and his name was to become synonymous with elegant, glamorous clothing. He displayed a relentless attention to detail in his work, and the hallmarks of his classic clothing were fine tailoring and perfect finishing.
One shouldered Grecian style evening dress
of black and white printed silk, 1967
On loan from Sonya Lennon
© National Museum of Ireland
Ib was at the forefront of Irish fashion throughout his career; in 1962 he was a founder member of the Irish Haute Couture Group and later, the first chair of the Irish Designers’ Association, which was established in 1982. During the 1970s his designs were stocked in the International Designers’ Room in Harrods and in Liberty of London and this international success led to the opening of a London salon and workrooms in 1979. He designed two uniforms for Aer Lingus, in 1975 and 1986, and the first uniform for the new Irish Army Women’s Service Corps established in 1980.
The exhibition looks back at Ib’s long career, displaying a selection of some forty garments including day, cocktail and evening wear from across three and a half decades, supplemented with original fashion photography and illustrations. His first wife Patricia, a textile designer, created designs for extravagant hand beading, appliqué and embroidery, and these techniques were frequently used to great effect on Ib’s evening wear. The exhibition includes several lavishly embellished garments and highlights include a beaded gold silk evening dress and matching coat made for Harriet Donnelly (née Harris), for the 1967 London première of the film Camelot, which starred her brother Richard; and a beaded velvet evening coat made in 1988 for Anne Heseltine, the wife of former British MP, Michael Heseltine. Garments for the exhibition have been kindly donated by former clients such as Lady Heseltine and the late Nyda Prenn, to name just two, while other pieces have been lent by their owners, including a black and white printed silk evening dress from the 1960s lent by Sonya Lennon, who acquired it as a vintage piece. An entirely hand beaded cocktail dress with silk organza coat created for Anne, the late Countess of Rosse, who was a great supporter of Irish couture, has been lent by Lord and Lady Rosse from the collection at Birr Castle.
This exhibition will continue throughout 2015 / 2016.
Download the information panels from the exhibition.
Explore a gallery of some of the elegant and glamorous clothing of Ib Jorgensen
Download the exhibition poster and flyer as PDF: