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PHOTOS – Sybil, the innovative career of 20th century Irish Fashion Designer Sybil Connolly at the Hunt Museum

The Sybil Connolly exhibition will be open from to the public from April 19- May 31, 2018. It will feature a collection of Sybil Connolly clothes, sketchbooks, swatches, glass and ceramics.

Sybil, the innovative career of 20th century Irish Fashion Designer Sybil Connolly at the Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum has chosen some of its collection of Sybil Connolly clothes, sketchbooks, swatches, glass and ceramics to explore the trailblazing design career of Sybil Connolly. Her fame outside of Ireland is shown in the magazines of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and her entrepreneurial spirit was ground-breaking for the period.

Chair of the Hunt Museum Friends, Kathleen O’Sullivan, who wrote her MA thesis on Sybil Connolly’s impact on the Irish Fashion Industry and currently works as Supervisor of Ladies Fashion at Shaw’s Department Store, Limerick says, “Sybil Connolly was a fashion designer who wanted to break the mould, persuading the sisters of the Order of St. let her dye their lace, pink instead of the regulation black or white. She is an amazing example of a woman working in 1950’s Ireland, pushing the boundaries of creativity and of the expectations of a woman’s role in the workplace and society”.




Sybil Connolly was a Dublin based fashion designer, renowned for creating haute couture from Irish textiles. She used materials such as finely pleated handkerchief linen, delicate Carrickmacross lace and durable Irish tweed to create designs inspired by Irish people, traditions and culture.

Dubbed by the media as “Dublin’s Dior”, Sybil Connolly was a pioneering designer and one of the first Irish fashion designers to have international success. She surprised and delighted the international fashion world with her creations, and worked with stores such as Tiffany & Co, Bloomingdales and Lord and Taylor, in New York.  Famous clients included Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Adele Astaire and Mrs Gregory Peck. Later in her career, she reinvented herself, turning her attention to interior and garden design, creating wallpapers, fabrics, glass and ceramics for companies such as Tipperary Crystal. 

The medium of Fashion makes art, design and science accessible to everyone.  Making it available online means new audiences can experience and learn in their own online spaces.  In parallel with the opening of “Sybil” as a physical exhibition on April 19th,  the Hunt Museum website launches on May 24th, an online exhibition of her work and story.  We encourage people to participate via #SybilInLimerick and actively add to our Tumblr and Pinterest boards about her and her work.  Keep an eye on our website for news on our Sybil related education workshops, lectures, and very excitingly the first Wikipedia Editathon in Limerick.

Exhibition open to the public from April 19- May 31, 2018, Mon-Sat 10 am – 5 pm, Sun 2-5pm.

For more information on the upcoming Sybil Connolly Exhibition, go here.

For more stories on the Hunt Museum, go here.

Pictures: Zoe Conway/ilovelimerick

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.