Irish designer Peter O'Brien on a career path that has taken him from Finglas in Dublin to some of the leading fashion houses in Paris.
Irish fashion designer Peter O’Brien left O'Connell Secondary School in Dublin on the completion of his Intermediate Certificate. At the age of 15 he got his first job at Superquinn in Finglas before moving into visual display at Best Menswear and Arnotts. When he was 19 years old Peter O'Brien visited Paris and realised,
There’s a big glamorous world out there.
This spurred him to move to London where he worked in visual display until he was 25 years old. Peter O'Brien applied and was accepted into Saint Martins School of Art as a mature student, where he attended for four years, graduating with a degree in fashion design. He then completed a post-graduate course at Parsons School of Design in New York.
Peter O’Brien returned to London to get a portfolio together before seeking his fortune in Paris. He got his first break at Christian Dior in a junior post under Marc Bohan,
Picking up pins, literally.
He then spent two years at Givenchy before moving to Chloé as an assistant to Guy Paulin. When Guy Paulin left the fashion house, Peter O’Brien stepped into the role and has since completed two seasons for Chloé. He admits designing a collection is,
The very high end embroidered evening dresses Peter O’Brien creates are prestige pieces and act as an advertisement for the brand. He earns his living from simpler items such as silk blouses and straight skirts. The designer admits he cannot sew on as much as a button,
I have a nervous breakdown if I look at a sewing machine, I hate it.
Peter O’Brien obligingly models his own wool suit teamed with yellow socks for 'The Late Late Show’ audience. He is aware that with a price tag of £400 the suit seems ridiculously expensive,
The thing is when you pay for it in francs it doesn’t sound too bad.
This edition of ‘The Late Late Show’ was broadcast on 4 April 1986. The presenter is Gay Byrne.