News & Runway

One Minute With … Theia Designer Don O’Neill

Theia Designer Don O'Neill

Image: IMaxTree

It’s no secret that celebrity stylists love Irish designer Don O’Neill. In just five years, he’s dressed everyone from Taylor Swift to Oprah Winfrey, proving that he has more than just the luck of the Irish on his side. During Bridal Week, we checked in with O’Neill to get his two cents on everything from Fall 2015 trends to essential bridal must-haves.

theFashionSpot: What was on your mind for Fall 2015?

Don O’Neill: For this show, we’re going to Mongolia in the winter. I mixed my own Irish heritage with the heritage of the tribes of Mongolia, blending in cashmeres and the exotic fur of the Mongolian lambs, chunky embroideries and heavy laces. The whole idea is to be cozy, warm and luxurious.

tFS: What’s the number one trend for Fall 2015?

DO: Our brides want to be sexy more than ever. 

tFS: What’s the one essential every bride needs?

DO: You need to enjoy your big day. No more fretting about the details, the place cards, the photographer, the flowers, the food, the music or the cocktail sauce that just dripped on your skirt. What will be will be. You are surrounded by those that you love, so let it go and enjoy!

tFS: What’s your favorite celebrity wedding of all time?

DO: Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate. How often do we get to see a real fairytale wedding with royalty, cathedrals and palaces and golden, horse-drawn carriages? I love magic, and that day was truly magical.

tFS: You used to be a chef. What pastry would you compare your dresses to?

DO: A puff pastry! It’s light and airy yet can be piled into layers. It can be reinvented endless ways with light mousse fillings for summer or with added richness in winter with rich, pastry cream fillings and luscious, syrupy fruits.

tFS: What was your first breakout moment as a bridal designer?

DO: My sister Deirdre’s bridal gown in 1987. I was only 24 years old, and she was my first muse. It was a three-piece gown, a simple ivory silk charmeuse slip with a detachable, hand-beaded silk train. I also designed a silk organza jacket that had a nine-layer peplum that was short in the front and below-the-knee at the back. That’s now become my signature, dramatic style. Deirdre walked down the aisle to Ennio Morricone’s theme music from The Mission. I cried my eyes out because it was all so beautiful.