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North American Nationals 2012

CLRG NANs and BNs – Overall Trends (Part 1)

First of all, I’m sorry for the radio silence in July after NANs! The move back was much more draining than I thought it would be so I had to take a step back for a bit. However, things are settled in (besides the few boxes that are still in my bedroom…) and the posts begin as usual this week! So, let’s start things back up where I left off. Here are the overall trends from NANs and BNs. I’m also following up on my loose ends this week or next week so if you’re still waiting on something from me, stay tuned!

1. Sequin bodice and skirt. This dress style was by and far the biggest statement at both NANs and BNs. This look started at the Worlds with Julia O’Rourke’s Gavin dress and has been very much adopted by the Irish dance community at large. Gavin is leading the way with this trend, but other designers (Kerry Designs in particular) are close behind. This version shows off the two-toned sequin look that is a great way to differentiate your look.

Gavin Doherty

2. Color Edging. This is another trend that has been slowly but surely emerging. At NANs, it was so popular it was almost deriguour on new dresses. The possibilities are endless, but almost all dresses rocking this trend feature a loose skater type skirt and a strong contrast accent color that is used somewhere else in the dress. This Gavin is a great example.

Gavin Doherty

3. Bold, varied colors. While the typical colors we’ve been seeing recently remain popular, this year’s NANs saw a wider variety of colors. This was especially true of the U13-U17 age groups with colors ranging from bright pastels to bold primary colors. This Siopa Rince dress is a great example of how to create a bold dress with unique colors.

Siopa Rince

4. Strong edging on bodice. This is another trend that emerged at Worlds but really  came into its own at NANs. Bodice/corset designs have been popular in the Irish dance world for the past few years, but this year the edging on the bodice took center stage. Popular designs include knotwork or similar type applique and is mirrored around the collar. This Gavin (featuring an excellent shot of Gavin, no less) is a perfect example.

Gavin Doherty (Clearly!)

5. Motif accents. We’re seeing more and more themed dresses this days. Sometimes the theme is obvious, but sometimes, like in this Gavin dress, the motif is more subtle and worked into the overall design of the dress. Celtic Star is really phenomenal at this as well, especially with a more unique theme like the Wizard of Oz or Minnie Mouse!

Gavin Doherty

6. Geometric fillings. No, this isn’t a new delicious cupcake flavor. This theme features geometric patterns being used to fill in large segments of dresses. This is a trend that comes from real world fashion – geometric prints (especially chevrons, like in this dress below) are very on trend this fall. Sounds perfect for a new fall solo dress, just in time for the Oireachtas!

Gavin Doherty

7. Skater skirts. Like I mentioned above with the ribbon skirts, skater skirts were all over the place at NANs. Some were looser, some were more pleated, but the overall look was the same across many designers. Here’s a fun, sparkly Gavin version!

Gavin Doherty

8. Subtle collars. Collars emerged in a big way last year and they’re still around. However, they feel a bit subtler than they did around the 2011 Oireachtas season. A little lower, a little less in-your-face. I really like the updated version. It looks much chicer. This Siopa Rince perfectly combines a pop of color with a classy collar design.

9. Halter effect. This is another trend that we saw somewhat at Worlds, but really came into its own at Nationals. Gavin in particular is leading the way on this trend. I’d be willing to be that other designers will latch on for the Oireachtas. This design features a knotwork or embroidery rope around the collar which continues down the bodice. This Gavin dress is a classic example.

10. Preppy colors. As a Connecticut native, I’m thrilled to see this trend. Preppy pinks and green color combinations have been very popular recently. Love it. Keep the design simple to avoid looking like a Lilly Pulitzer dress gone wrong. This Siopa nails it for a little girl. Older dancer looking to embrace your inner Ralph Lauren chick? Take out the sequins and keep the design simple with white embroider accents.

11. Swooping asymmetrics. Asymmetrics, though not as popular as they were last year, are certainly not going anywhere. They probably represented about 40% of all dresses. The 2012 versions are swooping, featuring a strong flow across the dress. They also heavily utilize geometric appliques compiled an overall design. This Doire dress is a great example.

Doire Designs

12. Lampshade type skirt. I’m not sure what to call this skirt, so I’m going to go with lampshade. It’s a loose skirt that’s just lightly flared out at the end. It’s a very cute look on younger dresses. I love this Gavin version with black trim!

Gavin Doherty

13. Ruffle, cupcaky skirts in little age groups. I can’t tell if this is a function of the little girls buying more used dresses (a trend I completely support and encourage) or if they’re staying with the skirts, but there were a good deal of cupcaky, ruffled skirts in the U8s and U9s. It’s a trend that’s easy to design and, if not overly ruffled, will have a pretty solid resale value for the near future. It also looks adorable on a little girl. While not a little dancer, this dancer rocks this updated Doire ruffle!

14. Asymmetric that goes onto skirt and expands. Siopa has been really big on this trend, but other designers  have been using this design as well. The best way to explain this is to show it, so check out this Siopa below. Other iterations include a bold swatch of color rather than a design.

15. Celtic knotwork. This trend continues to dominate in the older age groups. It’s less popular in the younger age groups, but really is making a mark on the older ones. Celtic Star really continues to lead the way with this trend, pushing it forward. Can’t wait to see the Oireachtas versions!

Celtic Star

16. Colored Accents in Rhinestone Tiaras. Rhinestone tiaras have taken over the Irish dance world – no question about that! But, like any trend, it continues to evolve. This year’s trend is to add color accents – ribbons or colored rhinestones into the tiara. Check out the pink/white dress above for a good example!

17. Gold accents. Call it Olympic fever, but gold is the accent color of choice this year! I love this look, especially among the older girls. It’s such a classy, regal look. Check out this Celtic Star dress for an example.

Celtic Star

And we’re just beginning! Stay tuned this week (should be tomorrow!) for part 2 and 3 and so much more. What do you love? Anything you’re looking to rock at the Oireachtas?

Stay Fashionable, Feisers!



5 thoughts on “CLRG NANs and BNs – Overall Trends (Part 1)

  1. I love the look of sequins but would be concerned over maintenance. Rhinestones you can just glue back on, but what do you do when your arms and bodice rub together and knock all of the sequins off? Other than that concern, they are gorgeous and have a fantastic stage presence.

    Of course, as always the celtic knotwork is my favorite trend. Here’s to hoping that it becomes a permanent fixture and not a passing design style!

    Posted by Caitlin K | August 14, 2012, 12:11 pm
  2. agreed on the celtic knotwork!!!!

    Posted by Tarah | August 24, 2012, 3:32 am


  1. Pingback: CLRG NANs and BNs – Overall Trends (Part 1) « Feisonista « @intdaily - August 14, 2012

  2. Pingback: 2012 CLRG Irish Dance NANs and BNs Overall Trends: Part 2 « Feisonista - August 22, 2012

  3. Pingback: 2012 CLRG and BN Overall Trend Recap – Part 3 « Feisonista - August 24, 2012

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