26 February 2021
Dolores at Arcare Parkinson was drawn into the world of fashion as a young girl and started her career at the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design – Ireland’s first fashion design college.
Over time, Dolores became well known among her community for her skills in making beautiful wedding dresses.
“I’ve made dresses all my life and many people would ask me to make their wedding dresses,” she said.
At the academy, Dolores loved being one of the first to see the luxurious materials flown in from France.
However, lace has always been her favourite material.
Dolores’ own wedding dress was something out of a fairytale as she designed a fitted lace bodice and a skirt with layers of lace and tulle.
After getting married in 1959, Dolores left the academy but continued to pursue her passion for fashion.
A few of the ladies in her neighbourhood got together to design and sew customised wedding dresses.
She even designed a dress for Irish soccer player Johnny Giles’ wife.
“Mum could make her own patterns just from a photo of a dress,” her daughter Celine shared.
After moving to Australia in 1971, Dolores kept up her sewing skills by knitting baby jumpers and booties.
And when Celine needed a dress for her high school formal, Dolores was the person for the job.
“On the day of my formal, I was at the hairdressers getting ready and I heard that mum had just finished making my dress,”
“It was a ballerina length dress with shoestring straps, with a lace bolero and pulled in with a pearl belt,” Celine shared.
From her butterfly brooch to her matching outfits, it is clear that Dolores’ sense of style and her interest in fashion carries on today at Arcare Parkinson.
“Mum loved everything about making dresses. From choosing the right fabric for the dress design, to designing and cutting the pattern, and of course wearing a new dress and receiving lots of compliments,” Celine said.
“I never got tired of it, I just love making dresses,” Dolores shared.