Irish Dance Costumes

Celtic Dance Designs Dress 2001

This bright and colourful dress was featured in The Céilí Company’s Catalogue for Irish Dancers, Fall 2001 edition. It was listed as ‘Handmade Dresses By Celtic Dance Designs’. Both companies were based in the USA but unfortunately I can’t find any information about them. If you know more about either company, or even the dress, please do get in touch with me! Thank you!

The main colour of the dress is pink, with underlying dark purple bits. I wish there was a photograph of the sash on the back. 

Embroidery is very colourful in teal, orange, pink, green and white/silver. The colours are bright but not really like those luminescent neon colours any more. Small pieces of fabric are embroidered along some of the colours to create more shapes. Some of that fabric appears to be silver, or mirror-like. The embroidery looks machine-made and rhinestones decorate selected areas to emphasize the structure of the Celtic knots and shapes. There are no rhinestones on the cuff designs. 

There is a silver or white seam that lines the front panel of the skirt, the collar, and divides the purple and pink areas. This design and setup reminds me a lot of Miss Orange, and I wonder if they might have been made by the same designer, although this front panel is less broad than the orange dress, and does not seem to have side panels as well, making the side of the skirt stick out less rigidly.

Some type of dark blue or purple ribbon with a silver ribbon on top seems to line the side of the sleeves until it’s interrupted by rather large cuffs. 

There is a matching headpiece that comes along with that dress. Size wise it would have been made for a young girl of perhaps 9-12 years.

A champion dress is listed to have a base price of 750 US Dollars at the time of the issued magazine in Fall 2001.

Do you own a similar dress or know more about the Céilí Company or even the Celtic Dance Designs? I would love to hear from you with more info!

This catalogue was discovered in a box and saved out of the recycling bin upon my request to send it to me. I will pass it on to the National Dance Archives of Ireland in time for proper storage. I am very grateful to Ina Wong for going through troubles to send it to me and thus help preserve a lovely piece of dance history from 2001. Thank you so much, Ina!

If you are decluttering and finding dance-relevant paraphernalia related to dancing in Ireland or dances of Ireland that you consider throwing away, please do get in touch with me. I am a private collector who is very much interested in preserving these little treasures for further research and heritage preservation purposes.

S.S.K. Marbach, 2020

 

Photo Credit:

  • Original photograph: unknown
  • Photograph of magazine: courtesy of Ina Wong

If you have any information about the original photographer, do let me know please.

(2020-010)

 

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