Art Scene

Zara McDaid

Art Scene: Creative Couture takes Patrick Gildea’s by storm


COUTURE hair comes alive in the North West with a stunning display at Patrick Gildea Hairdressing. What started as an in-house Couture Competition between apprentices and junior stylists, turned into an evening filled with talent and creativity resulting in six stunning styles, each of them worthy winners in anyone’s eyes!

This is a new direction within the industry in the North West to create an in-house competition that allows up and coming hairdressers to become more Avant Garde to express themselves in their work that otherwise would not be created on an everyday basis for clients.

Preparations began over the past few months as the apprentices and junior stylists were given their brief from the event organiser and artistic team director Elaine McKean.


Their brief was “be as creative as you want, choose a theme and go with it but please note that everything you use must be recycled or handmade”.

I was delighted to be invited to this event where I was asked to judge their ‘In- House Couture’ competition alongside Aoibheann Walsh, popular owner of ‘Glow N’ Go’. The competition involved six all of the salons apprentices creating a unique look to a theme of their choice.

On arrival we had a chance to meet the models and take a closer look at all of the individual creations in the competition. We also had the opportunity to view their mood boards which featured their designs, research and inspirations for their makeup, hair and styling choices for their each of the themes. After that the models took to the runway to showcase their creations to an audience of friends, family and colleagues.


I was blown away by the level of creativity and skill that each apprentice put into their creations. It was evident from their mood boards and designs that they had thoroughly researched their chosen themes and the outcomes were stunning. From the creativity on display last Monday night it is evident that the brief was fully embraced.
First up was Polestar, a creation by Megan Callaghan, visually stunning with the theme executed perfectly.

Inspired by the Polestar Roundabout in Letterkenny, Megan crafted the hair into a boat shape and carried her theme through to the handmade clothing which represented the steel in boats.

Next up was Miss Nature, created by Irene Meehan, another beautiful execution which brought light to the competition.
Being a nature lover Irene wanted to portray the seasons in her creation, while injecting colour and warmth through the use of flowers, butterflies and birds, the end result was gorgeous.

The Mad Hatter

Model 3 was Sasha Fierce a stunning creation from Roisin Coyle. Roisin wanted to step out of her comfort zone and portray an alter ego look that was edgy and unique. From the wonderful hair creation to the styling of a newspaper ruffled dress, the whole look was flawless.
Next up was Spring Queen, beautifully executed by Eimear Whoriskey. Eimear really wanted to brighten things up with her theme.


She loves being creative and wanted to step out of her comfort zone by creating an unpolished up-style. Her fishtail plait and styling brought youthfulness to her overall look.

Model 5 was Splash, inspired by Daryl Hannah’s 80’s film. The theme was beautifully executed by Jen McCormack, with every small detail accounted for.

Jen has a love for the beach and outdoors so felt that this theme suited her perfectly. The finished look all handmade from shells, fishing net and fabric certainly captured the imagination the audience as the beautiful mermaid glided down the runway.

Last up was The Mad Hatter, beautifully executed by Rachel Ferguson. The handmade hat, the hair, the styling and the make-up were all visually stunning within a theme that was perfectly executed from head to toe.

Rachel moulded the hat from wire and carefully crafted the hair around it; the simple monochrome styling and make-up finished the look.
The theme was unmistakable and the hat was the stand out piece, a stunning creation that deservedly earned 1st place from the judges.
Overall the night was a resounding success with an amazing showcase of local talent and creativity. Patrick compare and judge commented on the night’s success ‘when people open up and express themselves Couture Hair comes alive in the North West’.

I would like to thank Patrick for inviting me along to judge this wonderful event and to congratulate the apprentices, stylists and models on their beautiful creations, as well as artistic team director Elaine McKean for organizing such an inspiring event.

Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’, or e-mail is

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