Visiting Us

opening hours

Wed - Saturday 10:00-18:00

contact

p. 086 3251635
e. lookgood@quackanddirk.com

location

Rear Marino Mart, Fairview, Dublin 3

Galleries

Summer '15

Summer '15

7 images

City Break

City Break Download (2.5MB)

This sky blue dress with city-chic print (€89) and statement neckpiece (€35) is ideal for those long weekends away. Team with flat sandals for sightseeing and killer heels for dancing and you've got two looks covered in one.

Credits

Model: Ariadna Casany
Photographer: Dena Shearer
Hair and Makeup: Edwina Akano
Style: Deirdre Mahon of q+d

Office Kitten

Office Kitten Download (1.8MB)

Berlin vintage pastel top with flair waist (€55) with sophisticated white pencil skirt (€29) will brighten up any office.

Credits

Model: Ariadna Casany
Photographer: Dena Shearer
Hair and Makeup: Edwina Akano
Style: Deirdre Mahon of q+d

Fairy Tale Wedding

Fairy Tale Wedding Download (2.9MB)

Perfect for that summer wedding, this Paris vintage fairylike dress (€95) is light and wearable with stunning encrusted bodice. For those looking to get the most out of their q+d wears, team with gladiator sandals and a floral headband, and you're festival ready to boot!

Credits

Model: Ariadna Casany
Photographer: Dena Shearer
Hair and Makeup: Edwina Akano
Style: Deirdre Mahon of q+d

Boho Beauty

Boho Beauty Download (1.1MB)

Long floral print kimono with seventies fringe detail (€39) and long necklace (€15) can be worn with jeans, leggings or frayed denim shorts to give a gorgeous, casual look for summer.

Credits

Model: Ariadna Casany
Photographer: Dena Shearer
Hair and Makeup: Edwina Akano
Style: Deirdre Mahon of q+d

Beach Pin Up

Beach Pin Up Download (1.3MB)

Vienna vintage cami top (€19) with handmade border anglais pencil skirt (€45) will give your beachwear a new glamourous edge.

Credits

Model: Ariadna Casany
Photographer: Dena Shearer
Hair and Makeup: Edwina Akano
Style: Deirdre Mahon of q+d

Summer Siren

Summer Siren Download (1.5MB)

If you are not ready to step away from your 'little black dress' just yet then why not consider adding just a splash of colour? This poppy print gives a daring skirt to q+d's back shift dress (€89) allowing you to take it from the office right to the dancefloor.

Credits

Model: Ariadna Casany
Photographer: Dena Shearer
Hair and Makeup: Edwina Akano
Style: Deirdre Mahon of q+d

PREPPY SEVENTIES

PREPPY SEVENTIES Download (1.5MB)

Beautiful white blouse with three quarter length sleeves and soft collar (€35) teamed with retro patterned pencil skirt (€39) gives office wear a vintage vibe.

Credits

Model: Ariadna Casany
Photographer: Dena Shearer
Hair and Makeup: Edwina Akano
Style: Deirdre Mahon of q+d

SS '14

SS '14

12 images

Mustard mini

Mustard mini Download (0.5MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Mustard mini 2

Mustard mini 2 Download (0.6MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Cobalt jewel

Cobalt jewel Download (0.5MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Cobalt jew 2

Cobalt jew 2 Download (0.4MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Kimono

Kimono Download (0.3MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Kim 2

Kim 2 Download (0.4MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Kimono 3

Kimono 3 Download (0.6MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Sky blue

Sky blue Download (0.6MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

sky blue 2

sky blue 2 Download (0.7MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Playsuit

Playsuit Download (0.8MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

playsuit 1

playsuit 1 Download (0.8MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Mint

Mint Download (0.5MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon of quack + dirk
Golf GTI: Ben Dromey
Hair and Make Up: Judy Wong and Amy Connolly
Model: Sophia Poltz Morgan The Agency
Location: graphic Studio Gallery & Temple Bar area.

Winter '13

Winter '13

9 images

Style 5

Style 5 Download (4.3MB)

Green Vintage Dress : Size 8 €59
Grey Beaded Collar Jumper : Size S/M and M/L €59
Leather Belt €22

Credits

Fraser Model Agency: www.frasermodelsandactors.ie
Model: Ashlea Cox
Hair and Makeup: Edwina O'Carroll
Photography: Eoin Mahon
Styling:Deirdre Mahon
Location: The Joinery Arbour Hill

Style 9

Style 9 Download (3.8MB)

Angora and Cashmere Mix Jumper : Free size €45
Grey Gem Necklace €45

 

Credits

Fraser Model Agency: www.frasermodelsandactors.ie
Model: Ashlea Cox
Hair and Makeup: Edwina O'Carroll
Photography: Eoin Mahon
Styling:Deirdre Mahon
Location: The Joinery Arbour Hill

Style 8

Style 8 Download (4MB)

Black and White Cardi €69
q+d Original Skirt €39 : Size 8/10 or Made to Order
Gold and Cobalt Blue Necklace €45

Credits

Fraser Model Agency: www.frasermodelsandactors.ie
Model: Ashlea Cox
Hair and Makeup: Edwina O'Carroll
Photography: Eoin Mahon
Styling:Deirdre Mahon
Location: The Joinery Arbour Hill

Style 4

Style 4 Download (3MB)

Blue and Gold Dress €69 : Size S,M and L

Credits

Fraser Model Agency: www.frasermodelsandactors.ie
Model: Ashlea Cox
Hair and Makeup: Edwina O'Carroll
Photography: Eoin Mahon
Styling:Deirdre Mahon
Location: The Joinery Arbour Hill

Style 6

Style 6 Download (2.9MB)

Autumnal Dream Dress : Size 8-14 €75
Berry Necklace €45

Credits

Fraser Model Agency: www.frasermodelsandactors.ie
Model: Ashlea Cox
Hair and Makeup: Edwina O'Carroll
Photography: Eoin Mahon
Styling:Deirdre Mahon
Location: The Joinery Arbour Hill

Style 1

Style 1 Download (3.4MB)

Grey and Yellow Sleeved Dress : Size S,M and L €69
Leather Gloves : Size S,M and L €25
Black Office Bag €45

Credits

Fraser Model Agency: www.frasermodelsandactors.ie
Model: Ashlea Cox
Hair and Makeup: Edwina O'Carroll
Photography: Eoin Mahon
Styling:Deirdre Mahon
Location: The Joinery Arbour Hill

Style 3

Style 3 Download (3.3MB)

Oriental Blazer €79 : Size S,M and L
Sequinned Mini €45 : Size S/M and M/L
Quilted Bag with Chain Strap €55
Leather Belt €22

Credits

Fraser Model Agency: www.frasermodelsandactors.ie
Model: Ashlea Cox
Hair and Makeup: Edwina O'Carroll
Photography: Eoin Mahon
Styling:Deirdre Mahon
Location: The Joinery Arbour Hill

Style 2

Style 2 Download (2.7MB)

Cute Bird Blouse : Size 8-14 €35
Gold Twist Bracelet €15

Credits

Fraser Model Agency: www.frasermodelsandactors.ie
Model: Ashlea Cox
Hair and Makeup: Edwina O'Carroll
Photography: Eoin Mahon
Styling:Deirdre Mahon
Location: The Joinery Arbour Hill

Style 7

Style 7 Download (3.1MB)

Cobalt Blue Shift Dress : Size S, M, L and XL €65
Gold Fabric Collar Necklace €45

Credits

Fraser Model Agency: www.frasermodelsandactors.ie
Model: Ashlea Cox
Hair and Makeup: Edwina O'Carroll
Photography: Eoin Mahon
Styling:Deirdre Mahon
Location: The Joinery Arbour Hill

Summer '13

Summer '13

6 images

Style 1

Style 1 Download (3.7MB)

Body con dress €69
Necklace €35

Credits

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll

Style 4

Style 4 Download (3.5MB)

Paris pocket dress €65
Gold necklace €39

Credits

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll

Style 2

Style 2 Download (3.6MB)

Stripe pants €49
Coral tee €29

Credits

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll

Style 5

Style 5 Download (2.6MB)

Original handmade dress €120

Credits

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll

Style 5.2

Style 5.2 Download (2.2MB)

Original handmade dress €120

Credits

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll

Style 3

Style 3 Download (3.3MB)

Vintage dress €59
Vintage leather belt €15

Credits

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll

Winter '12

Winter '12

7 images

Best Friend

Best Friend Download (1.8MB)

Navy button through dress €69
Gold chain necklace €35
Red bracelet €12

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll
Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Coral Call

Coral Call Download (1.8MB)

Leopard cowl top €39
Bright coral cardi €59
Studded bracelets €12
Necklace €49

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll
Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Biker Chick

Biker Chick Download (2.1MB)

Rust graphic dress €99
Biker jacket €95

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll
Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Gold Goddess

Gold Goddess Download (1.9MB)

Oatmeal knitted top €45
Lace and pearl collar €35

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll
Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Denim Debut

Denim Debut Download (1.7MB)

Organic cotton stripe top €38
Denim studded shirt €55
Organic cotton skirt €62
Vintage belt €12

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll
Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Parisian Chic

Parisian Chic Download (1.8MB)

Parisian green mac €75
Silk scarf €39
Skirt €39
Shoes €39

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll
Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Black Beauty

Black Beauty Download (1.7MB)

Studded dress €65
Vintage belt €15

Model: Laura Hitchings
Stylist: Deirdre Mahon
Hair and Makeup: Edwina French O'Carroll
Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Electric Picnic '11 and '12

Electric Picnic '11 and '12

11 images

EP

EP Download (1.8MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

the team

the team Download (2.1MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

Groupies

Groupies Download (2.9MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes Download (0.9MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

Laura

Laura Download (2MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

Niamh

Niamh Download (1.9MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

ava

ava Download (2MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

Niamh 2

Niamh 2 Download (1.8MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

Sinead

Sinead Download (2.1MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

Line up

Line up Download (2.1MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

Hil

Hil Download (2.1MB)

Hair: Edwina Akano

Make Up: Susan Carroll, Nadine Farren

Sixth Sense '11

Sixth Sense '11

7 images

Memory Lane

Memory Lane Download (2MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy

 

Love In A Time Of War

Love In A Time Of War Download (2.3MB)

Original Navy Top €39
Original Long Lace Skirt €59

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy

 

Lovely In Lace

Lovely In Lace Download (2.1MB)

Original Navy Top €39
Original Long Lace Skirt €59

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy

 

Cosy Country

Cosy Country Download (2.7MB)

Original Tweed Dress €65
Gold Necklace €15
Fur Coat €70

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy

 

Journeys End

Journeys End Download (1.8MB)

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy

 

Misty Romance

Misty Romance Download (2.8MB)

Vintage Net Prom Dress €55

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy

 

Blue Beginning

Blue Beginning Download (1.9MB)

Original Blazer €65
Vintage Blue Dress €39
Vintage Leather Belt €15

Photographer: Ruth Maria Murphy

 

AW '11

AW '11

5 images

Versailles Vixen

Versailles Vixen Download (3.5MB)

q+d original gown €120

Photoraphy: Eoin Mahon

Hair and MU: Edwina Akano

Maison Minx

Maison Minx Download (4MB)

Vintage green print dress €49
Vintage white leather belt €12
Brownie camera €15

Photoraphy: Eoin Mahon

Hair and MU: Edwina Akano

C'est La Vie

C'est La Vie Download (3.8MB)

Vintage sheered top €35
q+d original skirt €45
Vintage leather belt €8

Photoraphy: Eoin Mahon

Hair and MU: Edwina Akano

Eiffel In Love

Eiffel In Love Download (3.3MB)

Vintage mackintosh €59
Houndstooth dress from London €39

Photoraphy: Eoin Mahon

Hair and MU: Edwina Akano

L'amour Du Jour

L'amour Du Jour Download (3.6MB)

q+d original gold dress €65
Vintage gold belt €15

Photoraphy: Eoin Mahon

Hair and MU: Edwina Akano

Mount Prospect '10

Mount Prospect '10

5 images

Hallen Angel

Hallen Angel Download (3.1MB)

Good Tunes

Good Tunes Download (1.9MB)

Suppers Ready

Suppers Ready Download (2.4MB)

Navy Floral Dress: €45
Navy Belt: €10

The Intellect

The Intellect Download (3.2MB)

Grey Floral Sun Dress: €39
Coral Cardi: €25
Necklace: €15

Resident Royal

Resident Royal Download (2.2MB)

Vintage 'Auntie Maureen' Maxi: €69
Bracelet: €15

AW '10

AW '10

5 images

Turn it on

Turn it on Download (1.5MB)

Tangerine halter dress from Paris: €39, Parisian bag:€35

Model: Aoife Rogers

Make Up: Aoife Mullaly

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Stars in Stripes

Stars in Stripes Download (1.3MB)

q+d original stripe top: €39, Denim shorts from Paris:€25

Model: Aoife Rogers

Make Up: Aoife Mullaly

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Pick your favourite

Pick your favourite Download (1.6MB)

q+d original stripe mini: €39, q+d original stripe bag with silk ties €29. Cotton jersey top with frill detail:€8

Model: Aoife Rogers

Make Up: Aoife Mullaly

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Behave

Behave Download (1.5MB)

Apple dress from Paris:€65, red belt:€15, Dog: models own!

Model: Aoife Rogers

Make Up: Aoife Mullaly

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Caution- hot!

Caution- hot! Download (1.3MB)

q+d original cowl neck dress:€69

Model: Aoife Rogers

Make Up: Aoife Mullaly

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Horse Shoot AW '09

Horse Shoot AW '09

1 image

Trainer in Tweed

Trainer in Tweed Download (1.5MB)

Model: Aoife Rogers

Make-up: Aoife Mullaly

Kennedys Shoot and show

Kennedys Shoot and show

7 images

Gold Backless

Gold Backless Download (2.4MB)

Model: Sinead Dunne

Black Backless

Black Backless Download (1.7MB)

Model: Sinead Dunne

Mushroom Cowl neck dress

Mushroom Cowl neck dress Download (1.6MB)

Model: Sinead Dunne

Orla white vintage lace

Orla white vintage lace Download (0.1MB)

Model: Sinead Dunne

Sinead cream vintage

Sinead cream vintage Download (0.2MB)

Model: Sinead Dunne

Orla gold

Orla gold Download (0.1MB)

Model: Sinead Dunne

Hilary floral

Hilary floral Download (0.1MB)

Model: Sinead Dunne

Epicentre Fashion Show

Epicentre Fashion Show

5 images

Sarah Stewardess

Sarah Stewardess Download (1.5MB)

Orla Show stopper

Orla Show stopper Download (1.3MB)

Orla Stripe

Orla Stripe Download (1.4MB)

Kate body con

Kate body con Download (1.5MB)

Orla Green

Orla Green Download (1.4MB)

Krystal Fashion Show's '09

Krystal Fashion Show's '09

10 images

Designer

Designer Download (2MB)

Purple vintage

Purple vintage Download (2MB)

Silk Maxi

Silk Maxi Download (2MB)

Green Jungle

Green Jungle Download (0.5MB)

Jungle skirt

Jungle skirt Download (1.9MB)

Karolina Shoots '09

Karolina Shoots '09

7 images

Shipwrecked

Shipwrecked Download (2MB)

Model: Karolina Shlager 

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Office Kitten

Office Kitten Download (1.6MB)

Blue dress - €60 (vintage, Anne Bullitt collection)
necklace - €35
belt - €12 (vintage)
bag - €28 (a q+d original)

Model: Karolina Shlager 

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Vintage Moment

Vintage Moment Download (1.4MB)

Wool dress - €50 (vintage)
belt - €15 (vintage)
pearls - €15

Model: Karolina Shlager 

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Olive Dream

Olive Dream Download (1.1MB)

Dress with olive tie - €45 (a q+d original)
necklace - €38
bracelet - €25

Model: Karolina Shlager 

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Cottage Chic

Cottage Chic Download (1.2MB)

skirt - €39 (a q+d original)
bag - €35 (a q+d original)
bracelet - €35

Model: Karolina Shlager 

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

On the rocks

On the rocks Download (1.8MB)

Model: Karolina Shlager 

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Blown Away

Blown Away Download (1.4MB)

Model: Karolina Shlager 

Photographer: Eoin Mahon

Grand Opening Night '09

Grand Opening Night '09

12 images

Niamh, Deids and Orla

Niamh, Deids and Orla Download (0.8MB)

Sarah and Ted

Sarah and Ted Download (0.6MB)

Lucy and Eoin

Lucy and Eoin Download (0.8MB)

Deids, Hil, Eddie and Jil

Deids, Hil, Eddie and Jil Download (0.1MB)

Sue, Quacks and Ciara

Sue, Quacks and Ciara Download (0.8MB)

Deids and Ann Marie

Deids and Ann Marie Download (0.8MB)

Hil, Eddie and Orla

Hil, Eddie and Orla Download (0.8MB)

Lena and Eileen

Lena and Eileen Download (1MB)

Press

The Irish Independent - The Hot List

The Irish Independent - The Hot List

9 May 2015

Treasure Trove

Tucked up a laneway in Marino Mart, Fairview, Dublin 3, quack + dirk is a go to for those seeking out vintage and handmade finds. This season it's all about the beautiful dresses from Paris and Spain as well as the brightly coloured leather satchels for a stylish colour pop that at €39 won't drain your current account. Don't niss the immensley flattering dresses by Egerie, Paris which work as well in the office as they do for weddings.

SEE quackanddirk.com

Irish Times - Vintage Treasures

Irish Times - Vintage Treasures

May 2014

Up a laneway in Fairview, quack + dirk is a treasure trove of vintage finds and handmade items founded by Deirdre Mahon, a sports science grad who went on to study fashion design, followed by a stint in retail.

Her shop is a converted garage and it is open from Wednesday to Saturday, leaving her time to source accessories and fabrics (in London and Paris), so there is always something new for her regular 'quacker' customers. This look, 'Endless Summer Take ME There', is photgraphed by Ruth Maris Murphy and comprises a striped skater skirt €55, a leather look top €35, and sunglasses €12. quack + dirk, Marino Mart, Fairview, D3

Deirdre McQuillan

 

Irish Times - Marino Smart

Irish Times - Marino Smart

March 2009

Go to original web article

This a perfect story for the times we’re living in, full of gumption and style

LAST WEEK a new shop opened down a laneway in Fairview, Dublin 3, selling a mix of vintage and handmade clothes designed by the enterprising Deirdre Cantwell in what was once a storeroom beside her father’s former garage business.

A graduate in sports science from the University of Limerick who went on to study dressmaking and fashion design at NCAD and Larkin College, Cantwell first set out her stall when she was 18, during her summer holidays. She then learnt the business side of fashion as a buyer for a large Irish retailer, before taking the leap at 25 to open her own boutique, offering keenly priced, one-off clothes. The garage doors are gone and the small space that once housed car engines and tyres has been insulated and freshly painted. She gives full credit to her parents for their support; her mother, an architect, taught her how to sew.

The shop is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, allowing her to spend Mondays and Tuesdays tracking down fabrics and accessories – in London, mostly – to ensure she is offering novelty. She makes most of her own designs in the shop. “I hope Quack Dirk will offer its customers items that will match their individuality,” she says. “People can see how I work and the whole process in action.” She says “vintage” has taken on a new meaning for people who might once have sneered at second-hand clothes. “Now they say, ‘ooh look, it’s vintage’.”

QD is off the beaten track, to be sure, but already has a keen local following. It’s not far from Clontarf Dart station, beside the Bank of Ireland in Marino Mart. And the curious name? Nicknames for herself and her best friend that go back a long way. These photographs were taken by Eoin Mahon and the clothes modelled by a Polish friend, Karolina Schlanger.

Patsey Murphy

Sunday Tribune - Style Map

Sunday Tribune - Style Map

Valerie Shanley
Ireland’s coolest addresses

Down a laneway in Fairview, Dublin, something interesting is going on – especially if your interest is in innovative fashion to fit a credit-crunched purse. Quack + Dirk is a workshop-cum-boutique where designer Deirdre Cantwell creates clothes and bags with a retro look, interspersing them with one-off vintage pieces. 

quack + dirk

SBP : An understated style

SBP : An understated style

July 2009

Sunday Business Post

Sunday, July 12, 2009 – By Elaine O’Regan

there’s something of the fairy tale about Quack + Dirk, a tiny boutique on Dublin’s northside, which stocks vintage and handmade clothes and accessories. Tucked down a narrow laneway behind Marino Mart, Quack + Dirk is one of a new breed of micro businesses offering customers a thoroughly personal experience.

It is a tiny wonderland of quirky fashion that has as its ‘Alice’ Deirdre Cantwell, a 25-year-old Howth native who launched the boutique just four months ago.

Alongside carefully-selected vintage pieces, Cantwell stocks edgy styles sourced from low-key London labels and her own range of handmade clothing and accessories.

All of this colour and creativity is on a miniature scale, housed in a converted garage once used by Cantwell’s father as a rough-and-ready storage space.

“I knew that the space could be useful, and I love the area – it has a great community feel and I am friendly with a lot of the people here,” says Cantwell. “So I started using the garage to sell bags during the summer when I was 18. I was basically tired of seeing the same thing on the high street the whole time and I wanted to try something different.”

For shoppers in this country, where street markets are rare and boutiques are often expensive, Quack + Dirk offers an affordable alternative to the homogenous high street. The shop is pretty and personal, with a bright red Quack + Dirk logo adorning the back wall, behind which Cantwell sews her designs while shoppers browse.

“I could never see Quack + Dirk on the high street,” she says.

“I’d like to open more shops like this, but I wouldn’t go much bigger with any individual store. I prefer small and personal, where the person running the shop gets to know their customers and is also involved in sourcing. It is really nice to have a story behind the pieces – to know their history and origin.”

A graduate of sports science, Cantwell came to fashion in a roundabout way. Taught to sew as a child by her mother, she considered a career in art, but opted instead for a qualification that she thought might offer more long term security.

“I studied sports science in Limerick and, in some ways, I regret not going to art college,” she says. “I would bring my sewing machine to college and sew all the time. Everyone there thought I was weird -they were completely different.”

When she graduated, she applied to an Irish retailer for a job as a fashion buyer, an experience that was invaluable in enabling her to set out on her own.

“I bought accessories and I learned about everything from dealing with suppliers to getting shipments in on time and working out selling prices,” she says. “I got to travel to the Far East and all over Europe to various fashion shows.”

The emphasis in Quack + Dirk is on colour, pattern and, above all, individuality. For buyers on a budget, prices start at just €9 for a pair of pretty antique button earrings.

“I want to give the shopper a unique experience,” Cantwell says.

“They can come in here and see me sewing, tagging a garment and putting it out on the rails straight away. I am giving them something different, and at good prices, because I’m not adding on all the extras. You can pick up the dresses I make myself from €29 to €49.”

Quack + Dirk had its official launch in April, with a tiny startup budget of just €5,000. Its opening as a full-scale, bona fide fashion store is something of a personal triumph for Cantwell, who scrimped and saved to finance the venture herself.

“I put the money away, bit by bit, while I was at college and in the two years after, when I was working,” she says. “Until we started to gut the place six months ago, I was basically selling bags out of a garage with no flooring or insulation, but I knew all along that I would have to do it properly at some stage.”

Cantwell describes her own style as quirky with a vintage edge.

Her inspiration, she says, comes from everyday life: “I don’t really look to the catwalks for seasonal inspiration and I don’t have any style icons. I just love watching people, and I am always looking to see what people are wearing. I really love it when people mix old and new -modernising old clothes and making them funky and wearable.”

Cantwell travels weekly, on Mondays and Tuesdays, to source new and vintage stock for the shop, which opens from 10am to 6pm from Wednesday to Saturday.

“I wouldn’t get much in Ireland,” she says. “Usually, I go abroad to the flea markets in Italy, where my sister lived for years. Antwerp is really good as well, although it is expensive. In Berlin, you can just pay by weight. They know a lot more about vintage there and tend to have more vintage spots.”

Although Cantwell does not cite the downturn as a major driver behind her price-friendly venture, her make-and-do sensibility is the perfect antidote to the überconsumerism that has held sway in recent years.

“I try to keep it nice and budget friendly,” she says. “People can buy what they want, but without a big hole in their wallet. “I am always looking for something different and I never buy in big quantities -I would buy six pieces, max. Girls in the area know that they won’t end up buying the same thing as their neighbour, which is important because their friends shop here as well.”

Although she describes herself as a “one-man band”, Cantwell draws inspiration from her family and friends – all of whom have an integral link to the Quack + Dirk venture. Her boyfriend, an industrial designer, was heavily involved in designing the shop’s hip boutique interior, while Cantwell cites her mother and older sister, both architects, as major design influences.

Her father was roped into helping out at a recent swap-shop event, and then there is the shop’s name, which was inspired by the childhood nicknames Cantwell shared with her best friend, Caoimhe. And her great-aunt, Maureen Murphy, who ran a clothes shop on Patrick Street in Cork when she was Cantwell’s age, was the inspiration behind her newest collection.

Called Auntie Maureen, it includes bags, tailored dresses and accessories priced from €9 to €49. Cantwell is clearly relishing her new role and already has plans to host a fashion event on the laneway outside the shop sometime in September.

“I don’t have a big business strategy, but I do reckon that you have to work harder now if you have your own business,” she says. “It can be rewarding, though – I just got an e-mail from a girl who bought a vintage dress from me.

She dropped me a line to tell me that she had worn it to a wedding and got loads of compliments. It was so nice that she bothered to e-mail at all. Things like that make the whole thing really worthwhile.”

For more information, visit www.quackanddirk.com

Herald : Her Dirk And Drive

Herald : Her Dirk And Drive

Oct 2009

Go to original web article

By Emma Blain
Thursday October 01 2009

Deirdre Cantwell’s outfits are modelled by friends, even girls from her hockey club, says Emma Blain

Quack and Dirk has been open for a few months. How are you enjoying running a new business in these difficult times?

I opened the shop in Fairview last February and it’s outdone all my expectations. My dad owned a mechanics business and my shop used to be his store. Now he’s retired, so he comes in and helps sometimes. He likes to tell the girls to wear their skirts longer. Sometimes I have to kick him out!

You are a designer but your background is unconventional.

I studied sports science in Limerick and then did dress-making classes in NCAD and with a teacher from the Grafton Academy. I was an accessories buyer in Sasha for two years and that’s where I got all my buying experience. I learned to sew when I was about nine when my mum taught me.

You featured girls from your hockey team in your fashion show and pictures of customers on your website; is the idea of portraying ‘real women’ in your clothes important to you?

All the girls who were models in my show were really good friends. They are all beautiful and not stick insects. I had a combination of the hockey girls and other friends modelling, all around a size 10-12. I have pictures on my website of customers wearing my clothes because I want to see my clothes on real people, to see how people wear the clothes in the cold and in the rain and not just when the sun is shining like in pictures. I think my customers are so stylish and on the ball, I’m putting something back for them and they love to see their pictures.

You sell vintage pieces as well as your own designs: where do you source the clothes?

I go all over Europe to buy for the shop. I go to Antwerp, Berlin, Poland, Italy, Paris and London. I’ll be on my holidays when I can stumble across a market or a shop and I’ll have my boyfriend carrying around bags like a mule! My mum has come on the last couple of trips with me, she calls it her ‘holidays’, even though last week we went on a trip where we left at 6am and returned at 11pm.

How has your family helped with your business?

My sister, who is an architect, helped me design the shop. Now that my dad is retired he helps out, but the guys who used to work for him in the mechanics shop around the corner still look out for me. My little brother was the DJ at the fashion show last week.

The main focus of the pieces that you sell in Quack and Dirk is individuality, but who do you look to for style inspiration?

I really looked up to my mum’s sense of style and I used to love playing dress-up with her clothes. Once she told me she gave away an amazing pair of boots that I had seen in a photograph. I was so mad with her! I never really looked up to any designer, I take inspiration from normal people.

www.quackanddirk.com

- Emma Blain

What's hot