Your Personal Stylists
We are a Cork based mother and daughter style team with a strong passion for what we do. After many years of living and working in separate countries, we finally got together and set up The Art of Style as a way of doing something that we love, which happily combines our practical knowledge and experience in fashion and the arts. We pride ourselves on our unique approach and we aim to offer our clients an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
I have had a love affair with clothes for as long as I remember. I started out as an art student and completed a two year Graphic Art course at the Crawford School of Art in Cork. I then moved to Dublin and began working in a fantastic vintage store, Jenny Vander, where I collected some amazing pieces as well as deepening my appreciation of the vintage genre and how style and fashion transcend through the decades. I have always been inspired by the opulent glamour in the old Hollywood movies and still am today. A few years later when my daughter Jessica was born, I became a freelance window display artist for various boutiques in Dublin, one of them being John Rocha.
Relocating to Surrey in the U.K. when Jessica was four and loving all things “arty” and creative I did a course in special paint finishes in K.L.C. Interior Design College in London tutored by Kevin McCloud. I worked in this area for a couple of years, but it wasn’t long before I was drawn back to the fashion world.
A fantastic opportunity arose for me to work in an amazing Boutique called Bernard in Esher, Surrey (well worth looking it up online). Incidentally this boutique has scooped numerous prestigious Drapers Record fashion awards to date.
Here I became manager and assistant buyer and worked for this inspiring husband and wife team for over a decade, which proved to be an invaluable experience for me. Among our regular clients were many celebrity and high-profile customers which we dressed for various red carpet events. We would often put together a capsule wardrobe or a combination of key pieces for them at the start of the season, and this is where my interest in helping customers organize their wardrobes at home began! Now I am really lucky to have my wonderful daughter as my partner in The Art of Style.
“Martha worked for our store for many years and was an extremely precious commodity. She had an amazing sense of style very edgy yet intuitive to peoples fashion needs. Her own personal taste filtered through to each client of which she had many. She’s extremely creative which made every client look individual and therefore feel very special.”
Helene Rappaport Proprietor, Bernard, Esher, Surrrey, U.K.
My very cool and stylish mother introduced me to fashion at a young age. Although we didn’t have money to burn she was living proof that you can be stylish on a budget. Always creative and individual, she mixed select designer pieces with vintage and clever second hand finds and was doing this long before it became “trendy”. Her influence of course led me to develop my own sense of style and love of fashion. I recollect my joy and excitement when she brought me gifts home from work; in particular a pair of Patrick Cox jelly shoes with the Eiffel Tower inside a snow globe style heel!
During this time I would often hand sew my own dressing up clothes: I was always making bit and pieces. Later, I customised items of clothing I was bored with, turned them into something cool and unique and frequently received compliments on my creations! Looking back, it seems odd that I didn’t go straight into studying fashion design.
My love of the arts led me to study Theatre Production, and it was then that I discovered my talent for costume design. Since completing the course in 2003 I have worked in professional theatre in Cork and around the country as both wardrobe mistress and costume designer and maker. As I am mostly self-taught, I decided to further my skills a few years ago and studied Pattern Cutting at the London College of Fashion which was truly invaluable. When my mother and I decided to go into business together, I studied Image and Fashion Styling with Limperts Academy of Design and received my diploma with distinction.