The 12 files in this series primarily documents the fashion and knitwear collections that were sold in the Kilkenny Shops, in Dublin and Kilkenny, over the period from 1984 to 1988. One file at the beginning of the series showcases a collection of Irish poplin clothing from circa 1970 that was designed by KDW staff, Jenni Green and Stephanie Bary. The documentation is in the form of slides, photographs, negatives, typed documents and handwritten notes/memos. The items depicted in this collection include women's and men's and children’s clothing and accessories such as earrings which were also sold in the Kilkenny shops.
This small series is not an official KDW archived collection and as a result there are no accompanying records sheets. The similarly themed files were compiled by NIVAL into a series which primarily documents the Spring or Autumn collections of men’s and women’s clothing that were on sale in the Kilkenny shops over the period from 1984 to 1988. Most of the clothing ranges were designed by non-KDW designers, however some files reveal how the KDW staff were influential in the choice of clothes and accessories that were sold in the shops and promoted in magazine editorials. A collection of handwritten memos and typed documents relating to an autumn photoshoot for Image Magazine in 1984 for example, reveals the decision making process involved when organising a photoshoot in Ireland at this time, down to details such as the 'colour story', choice of models and costs of the make-up artists, models and hairdressers per day. The KDW staff involved with organising this particular photoshoot included Roderick Murphy, Jenny Trigwell, Mary Dowling, K. Murphy and R. Turner. Some of the non-KDW designers whose clothes were showcased include; Brian Tucker, Richard Malcolm, Beibhin Marten and Mark Lennon.
A substantial number of photographic prints and slides accompany each file in this series, illustrating the change in fashion styles in Ireland at this time. However, throughout the years the emphasis is on natural indigenous materials, such as pure wool and linen, and designers who represented high standards in design. One file in the series relates to the 'Kilkenny Knitwear Collection' which was released in Spring 1988 and featured a wide range of pure wool fabrics made by the designers from the Irish Knitwear Exporters Guild. This was a group that was formed in 1986 'to improve the quality and reputation of Irish Knitwear'. Members of the guild included Beacon Designs, Carbery, Carraig Donn, Falcarragh, and some KDW clients such as Gaeltarra Irish Linen.
Researchers interested in fashion and knitwear should also look at files in the Non-KDW Products series which contains files relating to fashion shoots and related products that were on sale in the Kilkenny shops.