Found Fashion in the Dome

January 20, 2016 – Culture

As part of our Found Fashion series, we sent Olen our stylist and Kirstyn our photographer into the dome with five looks styled from second hand clothes shops. The clothes were generously lent to us by Debra Ireland and Irish Cancer Society.

How do you feel about this kind of upcycled/second hand clothes styling for a photoshoot?

Kirstyn: I was amazed at how easily Olen seemed put together all the looks for this shoot from second hand clothes. It goes to show there are beautiful finds in second-hand shops. I wonder if you showed someone these photos without informing them the clothes were second-hand, would they notice anything exceptionally different about the shots? Maybe not. I also feel that undertaking a shoot with these second-hand garments results in looks that are actually attainable by the people consuming the images. It’s not another high-end designer shoot, where you admire the beauty of the images, but know you’ll never wear clothes like that.

Olen, what drew you to Kirstyn’s photography style?

I liked the series of shoots she did maybe two years ago with final-year NCAD fashion students. She adapted her approach to fit the concept of each student’s collection, but all the photos retained an ease that seems distinctly her own.

Kirstyn, could you describe your photography style? 

I’d describe my style of photography intuitive and raw. I am interested in the way the analogue camera can imitate how the human eye sees the world. I shoot in natural light, on film and I shoot on a 35mm fixed lens because it’s the closest to the focal composition of the human eye. I want my photographs to come out resembling the scene I saw with my naked eye. I like to spend time taking a good photograph, rather than spending a lot of time editing an image afterwards. I learned my photography from Richard Gilligan so his photography has had a big influence on me. My background is in graphic design which I think helps me compose a shot.



How do you find Olen’s style?

I love how Olen invents ways of doing things that I would never ever think of doing! I like his sense of experimentation. I find his style very forward-thinking. He doesn’t just get a model to wear something bizarre or wear something in a non-typical way for the sake of it. It all seems considered, not random. He’s also very open-minded which makes him a great person to collaborate with. He’s atypical, unpredictable and fun!



How was the dome?

Olen: It was raining on the day of the shoot but you couldn’t tell that from Kirstyn’s photos!

Kirstyn: It was brilliant. I was a bit concerned about how the light would be inside beforehand but actually we had no problems with lighting. It was somewhat other-wordly! Given that it’s a confined space, we had to frame the shots carefully. It’s quite chaotic in there, with a lot of stuff lying around, so instead of trying to tidy everything up and out of the shot, we just left it in. It definitely made for an interesting location to shoot in. It was cool to be able to shoot in natural light but in an interesting indoor space with one large surrounding light source. There were definitely restrictions associated with shooting in the dome but I quite enjoy a challenge.

Where do you want to see this project go? What kinds of looks and shoots are you excited about doing with this?

Kirstyn: I want to see this project inspire people who never wear vintage/second hand clothes to go out and dress themselves in someone else’s clothes. I want to see a more circular and sustainable fashion industry. I watched a documentary about fast fashion called True Cost and realised that the way we buy fashion is not sustainable, nor is it remotely ethical (for the most part).

 I find it interesting working with non-model models. There’s a certain energy, it’s not just another shoot for them, it has the potential to be a fun new experience. Maybe there’s even more room for giving direction because there’s no default, go-to poses or faces. It’s ‘what do you want me to do, how should I stand/sit?’
Olen: I’d like to do more  menswear shoots.

  • Stylist: Olen Bajarias
  • Photographer: Kirstyn Byrne
  • Model: Sophie Mitchell

Special thanks to Niall at the Grow Dome for letting us in to mess around as usual.

You can find Kirstyn online at

And you can stay tuned to our website to see more of Olen’s work.