Galway designer dresses Oscar nominee

A Galway designer had the honour of dressing an Oscar nominee at the recent awards. Jane Kearns reports…


Oscar Nominee Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly wearing her dress designed by GTI graduate, Laura Jayne Halton. Photo via Philip Bromwell’s Twitter, @philipbromwell.

A fashion design graduate from the Galway Technical Institute (GTI) dressed Irish Oscar nominee Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly for the 85th Academy Awards which took place on 24 February.

The designer, Laura Jayne Halton who also studied Furniture Design and Manufacture in GMIT Letterfrack got the commission to design the Oscar gown after listening to an interview with Cronin O’Reilly on RTE1’s John Murray Show last month, where the producer spoke about her Oscar-nominated Best Short Animated Film, Head Over Heels, and her desire to wear an Irish dress on the red carpet.

Laura Jayne, was listening to the interview and heard the West Kerry native say she hadn’t settled on a dress yet.

The Maynooth native was very surprised after sending some of her designs to Cronin O’Reilly to get an email from her London-based stylist, Selina Mills saying that she absolutely loved her work.

“They said ‘could you do up a few sketches?’ and I did that and sent it off. By 8.30am the next morning, Selina Mills was on the phone to say ‘these are exquisite and we’d be delighted to have you as the designer’.”

A week of sleepless nights followed for Laura Jayne as she embarked on the task of making a couture gown in five days in order to have it ready for Fodhla’s departure for Los Angeles.

Up until the ceremony Laura Jayne kept quiet on the design of the nominee’s dress.  In the lead up to the awards she did reveal that “it’s very classic and feminine, it’s an approach I take with all of my design and it suits Fodhla down to a T, well hopefully!”

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