The launch of this year’s Oscar Wilde Festival will take place on Friday September 5 in the Harbour Hotel at 6pm, with RTE star and fashion designer, Brendan Courtney.
Courtney is a well known broadcaster, designer, and writer and is well known for presenting seven seasons of popular fashion show Off the Rails on RTE with his now business partner Sonya Lennon. Brendan and Sonya recently set up their own women’s wear label, Lennon Courtney, and their designs have been worn by Amy Huberman among other celebrities.
Brendan will launch Ireland’s only festival dedicated to Oscar Wilde, something he was delighted to be asked to do. Festival organiser, Sandra Coffey said: “It is fantastic to have someone like Brendan make the trip to Galway to launch the festival. This year, the festival has a strong fashion theme.”
The opening talk, which will take place right after the launch, will detail the life of Galway woman and milliner Eva O’Flaherty, a cousin of Wilde’s. The launch will also be attended by Vivian Nesbitt, actress from hit US tv show Breaking Bad. Vivian Nesbitt is a great great granddaughter of Eva O’Flaherty’s.
On Saturday September 6 at 4pm, there is a talk on Wilde and Dress and how Wilde was one of the first celebrities to realise the power of fashion. Other events include a talk on Wilde Today, which will look at how Wilde’s reputation has survived. This will take place at 12noon, also on Saturday September 6 along with an evening show on Lady Wilde, Oscar’s mother, who also had a great sense of style. All of Saturday’s events take place in An Taibhdhearc, Middle Street, Galway. The festival will conclude on Sunday with lunchtime theatre in the Harbour Hotel with a new show by Galway writer, Brendan Murphy.
Brendan Courtney began his career as fashion reporter on RTE’s live daily show, Open House. While working in fashion television and styling, Brendan returned to London’s Central St Martins College of Fashion where he studied fashion illustration and design. .
In 2012, Brendan and his business partner Sonya Lennon designed their first women’s wear collection Lennon Courtney.