Totally Dublin catches up with fresh talent Aoife Dunne, who is known for mixing multimedia with zany visuals in her fashion work. The Dublin-based creative has earned herself the title of creative director and fashion stylist to international magazines all while still an undergraduate at NCAD.
Hi, can you tell us a bit about what you do?
I work as a visual artist, a creative director and a stylist and I try and combine everything into one. I’m studying, I’m in my final year at of Fine Art Media at NCAD and outside of college I work on photoshoots, editorial work, I work with some bands and companies. I work on a lot of different things but I try to mix in the different pieces that I do, so that’s it’s not so straightforward.
What is it about fashion that you like?
I think I’ve always been interested in the idea of being able to manipulate how you look or how you dress, or giving yourself a character was always really interesting to me. How I started in styling was that my friend who was a photographer when we were quite young, around 15 or 16, had asked me to style a photoshoot. I had never done anything like that before but it turned out really well and I got picked up by a few people and it went on from there. I had no intention to do styling, it kind of just happened for me and I’m very grateful as it’s been wonderful. It’s happened quite naturally as I never had the idea to work in fashion or be a designer but it’s been really great.
Who or what are your points of visual reference? Do you have any style heroes?
I think because I want to be an artist most of my inspiration comes from my video practice, the work that I produce in the studio would be the driving force for my shoots aesthetically. The artists I’m really into at the moment are Erwin Wurm, Shana Moulton, the video work of Cindy Sherman would also be a huge influence for a lot of people, and Yayoi Kusama – they’re all very performative artists who would really inspire me. In terms of style heroes, that would really be people I see day to day, or things that I would find – it’s more about a gut feeling for me.
How do you do your research?
What I do is really broad, right now I’m creating big installations including sculpture, video, sound, performance, and I really start off by a feeling or an underlying concept. At the moment a lot of my work is based on fabric, feeling and identity, so it’s a lot about how we manipulate our characters through clothes and I use the body and create lots of fun shapes on the body, which links back to my styling work but is more abstract.
Could you tell us about Superhero magazine?
I started contributing on Superhero about three years ago and have been doing lots of stuff for them like editorial work, and I became the digital arts director seven months ago which has been amazing because I get to collaborate with lots of creative people and share my work through Superhero as a platform.
How do you put together everything for a shoot?
I would usually pitch an idea to a photographer for a shoot, we would sit down together and go through the mood of the shoot. I would put together a mood board with images of clothes, images of locations, pieces of fabrics, colours, different textures. I’ll normally prep the night before and pull all of the looks together so that on the day I normally know exactly what I’m going to do.
Favourite project you’ve worked on?
I have two! One of them is Jump From Paper and the styling editorials that I did and that was also using my illustrations. The editors asked me to draw on top of the pictures after they saw my Instagram, they wanted me to combine my skills and that was definitely one of my favourites I’ve worked on. The other was for NYLON Japan and WIA clothing with Joanna Kuchta, who’s got a massive following on Instagram, that was really fun.
For more, check out Aoife’s excellent website www.aoifedunne.com
Words: Honor Fitzsimons