Born and raised in Limerick, a city in Ireland known for its strong history of great architecture, Ciara Sheridan has learned to harness the architectural detail into a source of inspiration. How could she not? She was surrounded by stunning Romanesque, and sometimes Gothic, style churches with colorful stained glasses that beautifully decorate the windows. Her experience and inspiration expanded when she became a frequent visitor of New York City. The Manhattan skyscrapers put her in awe, and she became obsessed with observing the light reflecting off those skyscrapers. Ciara didn’t stop there, she followed up her experience and obsession by exploring silk and digital printing, and later applied digital printing on the first collection of her Cia~Marie label.
Inspired by her endless nights of insomnia while in college, Cia~Marie’s first collection feels like a beautiful nightmare. It looks like the extended insomnia brought Ciara to a place where colors, lights, and geometric shapes intertwine – and inspired her to design and produce this eccentric yet stunning collection.
Ciara currently has her label on hold and works as an assistant designer in Brooklyn, New York. She wants to gain a better understanding and increase her experience on the business side of fashion. She says that she has found a new obsession on top of admiring the modern architecture in Manhattan, which is New York’s endless street art. Since her inspiration is growing, we can’t wait to see what she has to come for Cia~Marie’s future collections.
Englave: Tell us more about your inspiration behind Cia~Marie’s first collection.
Ciara: This is my first full collection. Prior to this collection, I made random pieces and a mini collection. This collection was inspired by endless nights of insomnia that I had while I was in college. This quote from Poppy Z. Brite made so much sense to me back then; “The Night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets”. Every night my brain would be bombarded by countless Ideas and I could never sleep. A lot of the shape and print inspiration came from the eyes, for not being able to close them and the insanity that would happen afterwards. The crazy colors and shapes show a lot of this. I created two prints one was of the iris with blurred out ramblings of insomnia, the other was a view of what you would see if you never were able to close your eyes. The restrictive property of the oversized shapes also represented being stuck in the moment and not being able to sleep or wake, a kind of dream purgatory.
Englave: Did you study fashion design or are you a self-taught designer? What is your background?
Ciara: I studied Fashion at Limerick School of Art & Design in Ireland. In my final year the fashion department was named one of the top 50 Fashion Colleges in the world, so I was proud to have received a degree from there. It was a great learning experience, very tough but it definitely prepared me for the fashion industry.
Englave: What is your favorite part of the design process?
Ciara: Seeing an idea develop from the first thought to something real, solving a problem that was making you tear your hair out for weeks. Also seeing your final pieces walking down the runway! That is the best feeling in the world and at that moment, all the blood, sweat and tears were worth it.
Englave: Which design principles are most important for you?
Ciara: Creating a line through my collection which tells a story, a connecting line which ties everything together. Also what I find works for me with design is working in 3D, it helps my ideas flow more. Some people can design in 2D on paper but I need to make it real to brain storm. Then I work faster and more productively.
Englave: Where did you source the material for this collection? How about for your upcoming collections?
Ciara: I got my prints from spoonflower, they are quite vibrant and at a good price. I used to source my fabrics from London but now I am in New York I have the whole fashion district at my fingertips.
Englave: What is your proudest moment?
Ciara: When I was published in the book of “Europe: Rising Fashion Designers Vol 2” by Patrick Gottelier.
Englave: What is your biggest challenge as an emerging designer?
Ciara: Finance is my biggest challenge. Fashion is expensive and you need investors and guidance.
Englave: Where can we purchase your beautiful collection?
Ciara: I am not selling online but if anyone wants to pre order any piece of this collection they can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would have to re-order the prints so it would take a bit of time to produce.
To learn more about Ciara’s work: Website