Gallery 1

The overarching purpose of Second Skin is to raise awareness of Irish fashion designers and the fashion industry and to highlight some of the challenges faced in designing, making and manufacturing in Ireland. This gallery is repurposed as a fashion designer’s studio, an active workspace. Over the course of the exhibition we invite children, students and the general public to engage in workshops, learning how to cut patterns, sew, knit and upcycle. For those who participate, we hope it will evoke a sense of delight and pride and a renewed understanding and appreciation of the skill and time invested in making and designing a piece of clothing. Engagement in the active process of making highlights the importance of preserving and developing skills and underpins the impact of decisions we make in terms of what, where and how we purchase clothes.

Gallery 2

In Gallery 2, Second Skin showcases the work of four commissioned Irish fashion labels - JRothwell, Joanne Hynes, NATALIEBCOLEMAN and Lennon Courtney. The pieces on exhibit are accompanied by a narrative of images and text to give a sense of each designer’s process and the collaborations behind their development. The collaborators are representative of the many successful textile producers, textile designers and knitwear companies operating in Ireland today. The exhibition, while recognising Ireland’s assets, seeks to highlight the significant risks, opportunities and challenges to the future development of the sector.

Education & Outreach Events

Curator’s Tour in Conversation

Friday 7 Nov, 5.30pm
Join us for an introduction to Second Skin with curator Louise Allen, in conversation with some of the commissioned designers. This will be followed by the exhibition launch at 6.30pm by Eddie Shanahan, an international business and product development consultant for the fashion, craft and retail sectors and Chairperson of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers.

Saturday Sewing Sessions

8 Nov, 22 Nov, 6 Dec, 17 Jan & 24 Jan 10am-2pm
Make a garment from a pattern with Joan Brennan, fashion designer and educator. These guided making sessions will teach you the basics of working with a pattern, cutting, pinning, shaping, sewing and finishing your garment. This four hour intensive Saturday workshop session will equip you with the skills and give you the confidence to make your own garment from scratch. Participants are welcome to bring their own sewing machine or work from the shared machines. €10 per participant. Book by emailing

Family Day: Rip & ReMake with Dee Harte

Saturday 15 Nov, 10.30am & 12 noon
Re-imagine old T-shirts in this Rip & Remake workshop. Join textile artist Dee Harte to design and create upcycled sustainable wearables. Take apart your old T’- ripping, stitching, crocheting and embellishing to create inventive new wearable pieces. Taking inspiration from the Second Skin exhibition, children will learn about sustainability in clothing and learn new textile skills. Suitable for children aged 5 – 13 years old, all the family is welcome to stay and take part. Booking through 056 7796151 or email

Studio Floor: Access to Studio Space

7 Nov - 25 Jan
Throughout the Second Skin exhibition we offer Gallery 1 as a drop-in studio where fashion designers / textile artists / sewing enthusiasts can come in and make garments. Utilise patterns we provide or work on your own project. A suite of sewing machines, as well as overlockers and a buttonhole machine will be available to competent users. Take some time to learn more about ethical fashion by browsing our reading library and video tutorials. Full and half day studio slots are available throughout the exhibition run, to hold a slot please email with preferred dates and your level of experience in using the machines.

Kilkenomics Event: Second Skin - The Economics of Fashion

Saturday 8 Nov, 4.15pm–5.30pm
Venue: Cleeres, Parliament Street, Kilkenny
The global fashion industry is worth US$1.3 trillion. It is one of the biggest industries and employers in developing countries. It consumes an unimaginable and unsustainable amount of natural resources on an annual basis. It is addictive, sexy and subject to enormous advertising spending. Fashion gets into heads as well as into pockets but do ethics have a place in fashion economics? Is it the ultimately symbol of the gap between the rich and poor or is it a force for good? Contributors: Eleanor Tiernan, Peter Antonioni, Jennifer Rothwell, Margot Wasz and Joanne Hynes.
€15/€13 Event booking through

Open Circle Arts Workshops: Social Fabric, a collaborative embroidery project facilitated by Dee Harte

Thursday 20 Nov, 10am, 1pm & 6.30pm
Social Fabric: Portraits of Kilkenny Women is a project initiated by the women of Open Circle Arts, Co. Kilkenny. The Open Circle participants invited women from Kilkenny to join them in the creation of a collaborative embroidered artwork facilitated by textile artist Dee Harte in February 2014. Due to great demand Social Fabric has become an ongoing community project with thanks to Kilkenny Arts Office, the Department of Community and Culture (Kilkenny County Council) and International Women’s Day. The project is both collaborative and distinctly individual and has this far resulted in a collection of 60 portraits. The workshops create a space in the lives of all who take part to meet new people, chat, laugh, debate and create.
To find out more about Open Circle or to book a place on one of our portrait workshops email

LATE DATE: Meet the Tailor with Adrian Cashin, The Tailor’s House, Kilkenny

Thursday 27 Nov, 6.30pm
Adrian Cashin continues the family tailoring business set up by his father and uncle. With over 120 years collective experience The Tailor's House Kilkenny has created bespoke suits for the men of Kilkenny for the best part of a century. Adrian shows us some of this family archive of patterns dating back from the 1920s/30s and talks us through the process of a creating a bespoke suit. He explains what sets a tailored suit apart from the crowd and gives the gentlemen some tips to keep suits in great shape.

Family Day: Fairytales in Stitch With Caroline Schofield

Saturday 13 Dec, 10.30am & 12 noon
Join textile artist Caroline Schofield for a morning of stories and stitching. Caroline will share with the children how she collaborated with fashion designer Natalie B Coleman in designing fabric for the Second Skin project. Taking inspiration from this piece the children will collaborate to create a group textile piece that will stay in the gallery for the duration of the Second Skin exhibition. Suitable for children aged 5 – 13 years old, but all the family is welcome to stay and take part.
Booking through 056 7796151 or email

LATE DATE: Upcycle Jumper Jam

Thursday 18 Dec, 6.30pm
Bring along a jumper in need of a fresh look and put your stitching skills to good use to upcycle it into the ultimate festive accessory – a hand finished Christmas jumper. Learn embroidery and appliqué techniques that will help you make your jumper stand out from the crowd. Make a date with a friend, bring an old jumper to re-design and we will supply the sparkle, threads, festive music and refreshments.

Family Day: Second Skin Children’s Studio Session with Carrie Lynam

Saturday 10 Jan, 10.30am & 12 noon
The Second Skin Studio Floor is throwing open its doors for the morning and inviting children to become designers and makers. Taking inspiration from the exhibition, children will design their own unique wearable garment from an old piece of clothing. Add, subtract, stitch, rip or twist to create a one-of-a-kind piece of fashion. Children will be supervised in using the tools on offer on the Second Skin Studio Floor. Suitable for children aged 5 – 13 years old, parents are encouraged to stay for this session.

Designer Masterclass: Twisted Layers, Translating Origami Techniques in Fabric

Thursday 22 Jan, 2pm | €25
Award winning Irish Fashion Designers Natalie B Coleman and Ana Faye will lead a skills based intensive workshop for emerging fashion designers. Twisted Layers Masterclass will focus on translating origami techniques into 3d fabric forms. Using these new origami inspired skills, participants will be guided through transforming a plain bodice/dress shape into various intricate finished design pieces. Each participant will gain familiarity in a number of cut and sew methods as well as several different pattern-drafting approaches, which will be mastered on the day. Full details here
Places limited, to book contact | 056 7796151

Family Day: Pop Prints with Mella Cahill

Saturday 14 Feb, 10:30am & 12 noon

Join printmaker Mella Cahill from Blackstack Studios for a morning of printmaking at our Pop Prints workshop. Learn new and exciting techniques which are guaranteed to impress all your friends and family. Suitable for children aged 5-13 years old, but all the family are welcome to stay and take part. Booking through 056 7796151 or email