Paris fashion week and an invitation to attend the presentation of THEIA’s AW 2012 collection at Le Meurice Hotel and to meet with the creative director, Don O’ Neill.

Don, an Irish designer who started his journey attending the Barbara Burke College of Fashion Design in Dublin. With fashion dreams in Paris, he then took his talent to the couture studio of Christian Lacroix (charmingly addressing Monsieur Lacroix by tu rather than vous), moving onwards to New York City with high success for Carmen Marc Valvo and Badgley Mischka, and this season reaching a fashion high with his spectacular debut runway collection for THEIA at New York Fashion Week.

From the beautiful west coast of Ireland. Tall, picture perfect looks with a sublime smile. Dressed in a tailored jacket and self designed t-shirt (the design based on celtic illustration from the book of Kells). Don’s celtic charm and collection of stunning dresses deeply resonates elegance and a modern sophisticated style.


Having viewed the show online and been awe-inspired watching each dress on the runway, the first question on my mind for Don was where did he find inspiration for this collection? He explains that he finds inspiration everywhere: exhibits, books, prints and for this collection he turned to the Greek Goddess Athena for reference.

“Athena, the Goddess of wisdom and courage, was a valiant warrior, who fiercely protected her people. In 2012 as we face challenging times, I want to imbue the THEIA woman with this sense of power and confidence that will help her stride forward, feeling brave, beautiful and strong” (Don O’ Neill, 2012)

THEIA 2012 Runway Collection

                                        “this season I want to truly empower women” (Don O’Neill 2012)

THEIA/Chercher La Femme

The mood is certainly empowered with this collection. I was truly blown away with the feminine elegance and beautiful couture and detail in each dress; structured shoulders, embellishments and striking colours. However, what struck me the most about Don’s dresses is how they flow beautifully. The fit and fabrication of each dress is developed to perfection and flows beautifully around the body. Illustrated by one of my favourite dresses from the Runway collection. Coup de coeur! (Above & Below)


THEIA/La Petite Robe Noir

When it comes to dresses, and little black dresses in particular, it’s not easy to find the perfect one?  What I found interesting about  Don’s collection for THEIA is the unique style and detail of each dress. This collection offers a contemporary forward play on La Petite Robe Noir.  If, like me, you are still searching for the perfect chic one, it’s definitely worth looking to THEIA for a LBD with a modern twist.


A Midas Touch

What you have to love about Don (apart from the fact that every dress he creates turns to gold and that he is Irish) is that his story to success is extraordinary. A story of determination, risk, guts and exceptional hard work in fashion design. A story of a designer whose work and mark in the world will be legendary and inspiring. Don O’ Neill.  A celtic trésor.

Try a THEIA dress in Paris

Little Black Book
Societe Helene K 198 Saint Germain 75007 Paris, Tel 0142860266 
Societe Eva K 107 Rue de Courcelles 75017 Paris, Tel 0627758678

Photographs and interview by TP at Le Meurice Hotel, Paris. Runway images courtesy of THEIA


  1. I also had the opportunity to meet Don and found his story inspirational. A real life example of someone who has had the conviction, courage & determination to pursue their dreams. The results are evident. JA.

  2. Great to read about an Irish designer making it huge in Paris! It goes to show that the market is not saturated by just local designers. I love the detailing in his creations, and the black lace dress in particular is my favourite.

  3. Pingback: A Coffee with Don O’ Neil | TresorParisien

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