Sybil Connolly (1921-1998) was born in Wales of an Irish father and she was educated in Waterford, Ireland. In 1938 Connolly studied dress design at Bradley’s dressmaking establishment in London, where she attended fittings for Queen Mary.
She returned to Dublin at the beginning of WWII and joined the Irish fashion house of Richard Alan. She quickly rose through the ranks to become Director at the age of 22. From 1953, she designed her own couture line under her own name, Sybil Connolly for Richard Alan. This was launched at Dunsany Castle and Connolly was the star. Thus she became an overnight success story and well known in Ireland, the USA and later Australia.
She left Richard Alan in 1957 and established her own fashion house. She gained much publicity and attention for her unusual adaptations of traditional textiles such as Irish linen, crochet and lace, redesigning them into delicate blouses and dresses.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Connolly helped popularise hand-woven woolens, tweeds, and mohair as fashion fabrics. She also worked in interior design and gained a huge reputation, writing books on Irish homes and designing crystal and pottery for Tiffany & Co.
Written by sarasattic.co.uk