His current AW wear is centred around his trademark themes of luxury and opulence. “I’m working on a few floral ideas and a very Victorian look in the dresses. Very opulent and rich,” says Ruedi. “There’s no particular theme, but I’m working with a lot of gold and black for Autumn/Winter.”
Former Miss Northern Ireland-turned TV presenter, Joanne Salley has scooped a Best Dressed title wearing one of his dresses, but don’t be too surprised if you see an even more famous figure wearing a Ruedi design in future.
On spec, he created a dress for Rihanna the last time she was in Belfast, and after lots of talking to the right people and waiting around in the VIP area at the Odyssey, he was able to hand it over to her tour manager to pass on to her.
So if you ever see the Barbadian babe in a dress with a black leather corset and yellow skirt, it’s an original Ruedi by Ruedi Maguire design.
The talented 27-year old works on each of his designs from start to finish, from creating the pattern to finishing the embellishments. But rather than playing it safe, he’ll add twists such as the structural elements that have become his trademark, including corsets and stand-up collars.
The clues that this Cookstown boy would have a career in fashion were there all along – he talked his school, Holy Trinity, into staging a fashion show while he was doing his GCSEs.
“At school I liked doing art and design, and seeing the list of GCSE options I saw that fashion was a module. I’d always loved designing dresses, though I’d never actually made any.”
After graduating from Belfast Met, he worked for an Irish dancing costume company, Elevation Design in west Belfast, for six months, to get experience in sewing. He then moved on to work for designer Mary Rose McGrath for a year, on her House of Fraser collection.
“I really wanted experience in the technical aspects such as finishing and sewing,” says Ruedi. “The Belfast Met fashion course is amazing, and they’re great when it comes to marketing and the technical side of things too, but you never really know until you’re out there doing it.”
Now he’s set himself up as a full-time designer, working from home on occasion and bridal wear. He recently worked on a summer style show at Andrew Mulvenna’s hair salon in Belfast; he’s in talks with Victoria Square about future fashion events there and he wants to plan his own pop-up catwalk show for this Autumn.
Ruedi combines his catwalk work with his occasionwear and bridal gowns. With three different aspects to his work, he’s busy, but happy.
“I would be devastated if I woke up one morning and didn’t want to design anymore. I can be creative in so many different ways and because I work from home, I have the freedom to do it.”
Inspired by everyone from Alexander McQueen – as well as the label’s current creative director Sarah Burton – to Dior and the avant-garde designer Hussein Chalayan, Ruedi is also a fan of fashion-as-performance-art British designer, Gareth Pugh. “He does some really amazing things, especially in black and white. Very simple but striking.”
The same could be said of Ruedi’s work. “I love colour but I’ve been working with black a lot recently. I love structure and I love balance on the body.”
Structure, balance and lots of leather – sounds just perfect for a certain Miss Ri Ri.
* For bridal and occasionwear commissions, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 07710 464274 or 028 9581 1895.
Top left: Ruedi Maguire corset top dress with dip hem skirt and long-sleeved bolero jacket by Ruedi Magure. Cocktail hat by Grainne Magher, Embelleshed belt from Jacob Street, Studded shoes from Kurt Geiger at Victoria Square. For full photoshoot click here
Top right: gold dress by Ruedi Maguire on the catwalk at Belfast Fashion Week SS12.
Bottom left: Ruedi Maguire couture on the catwalk at El Divino Fashion.