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Marissa Carter, founder of Cocoa Brown, wearing one of Bríd’s beaded collars.
Marissa Carter, founder of Cocoa Brown, wearing one of Bríd’s beaded collars.

Collars up for Brid

By Carol Byrne

CLARE milliner, Brid O’Driscoll, who is now based in Kinvara, with a further studio just opened in Ballyalla, has been working on a new craft of late, which has managed to catch the eyes of Hollywood celebrities.

Beaded collars and headpieces she designed were worn by Cocoa Brown tanning range founder, Marissa Carter, to this year’s Oscars, and were also seen by a number of Hollywood talents at a pre-Oscars event held in Beverly Hills.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, she has been the inspiration for a new novel based on two milliners which has been released by Irish bestselling author, Colette Caddle.

Speaking about how this new craft has developed in a few short years, Bríd said she has only been making these new beaded bespoke headpiece and collar designs in the last year. Her millinery work began in October 2011 but her passion for art and design has always been there.

“I’ve always had a love of fashion. Pottery and fine art are my background and I was always very creative and I have always had a love of hats. I could never really find a millinery course until Ennis Creative Arts Centre did one. That was the first place I did a course. I’ve since done training in London and in Belfast – you are always training with millinery, to be honest, but it took off quicker than I thought because there is a fascination with hats at the minute. I got into the beaded collars and headbands this year really. I’ve always been interested in bespoke design,” she said.

Bríd and Marissa met by chance at a trade show a number of years ago, when they were just establishing their brands, and they have become close since then.

“I was wearing one of my own collars and she happened to admire it. At that stage, Marissa was on Midday and Exposé quite a lot and I said I would send her something. I sent her one and she wore it quite a lot. Then, when she was asked to go to the Oscars, she sent me an email to see if I would be interested in doing something for it. Pink is the Cocoa Brown colour and she asked would I be able to do her up some pieces that she could take along while she was working out there. She was invited to quite a lot of parties.

“Also, there is an event that happens prior to the Oscars, where they set up a suite in the Beverley Hilton Hotel. If you are a celebrity, you can go there and pick your jewellery, your tan, your accessories. She was asked to slot into the tanning spot so she tans a lot of the celebs coming up to the week. She wore a lot of my stuff that week and to some of the parties, including the Elton John party, which is the invite everyone wants. She was delighted to be asked to go over to that,” she said.

Bríd said she was amazed by the opportunity and subsequent reaction, when she provided a number of beaded collars and headbands. On the back of the trip, Bríd has had a few enquiries from Hollywood celebrities.

Meanwhile, as an aside, Bríd met up with Dublin-based author, Colette Caddle, who was researching her latest book, First we Take Manhattan, which she was basing on twin milliners who head off to the States, where they try to make it as hat designers. Bríd was delighted to contribute.

About Colin McGann

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