A young Culdaff designer had the eyes of Europe on one of his creations last night.
A neckpiece designed and handcrafted by Oliver Doherty Duncan adorned Ireland’s Eurovision entrant Kasey Smith as she performed at the semi-finals of the competition.
The Ballyharry man’s star has been steadily rising over the past year and TV presenter Laura Whitmore recently wore one of his designs to host the Irish Television and Film Awards.
Oliver’s ‘day job’ is as a costume designer for the worldwide TV hit ‘Game of Thrones.’ He is also currently working in London on the new Warner Brothers film, ‘Pan.’
Speaking to the ‘Journal,’ Oliver, who is a former student of North West Regional College in Derry and University of Ulster, said he can’t quite believe how fast his career has taken off.
He said: “I finished University in Belfast on the Thursday,had the interview for Game of Thrones on the Friday and started on the Monday. It has been an unbelievable experience and a brilliant first job out of university. I was then asked to work on ‘Pan,’ a remake of Peter Pan, which is all very exciting.”
Oliver’S fashion collection is on sale in Dublin and it was through this that Eurovision came calling.
He said: “It started off when Laura Whitemore saw my stuff and wore it to the IFTAs. Kasey then went to the Design Centre, where my collection is based and liked what she saw. I was then asked to create a specially commissioned piece for her Eurovision costume. It was totally unexpected.”
Oliver had three weeks to create the piece. His remit was ‘Warrior Princess.’
He said: “It’s made from leather cord and macrame. It was all created by hand. Kasey loved it and is really happy with it.”
Oliver is no stranger to television, as he won the RTE show ‘Craft Master’ while still a student. He disclosed how his mother Sarah Duncan is “very proud” of him and admitted he is “excited” about the future.
He said: “It has just been a whirlwind so far. It has all been very exciting. I’d never really lived away from home before, except for a year in Belfast. So, when I moved to London, it was straight into working on ‘Game of Thrones.’ That’s a dream job really, the costumes are unbelievable. I’m able to work on that show, as well as the film and also have my own fashion label on the side. I’m happy with how everything is going so far.”
Unfortunately, Ireland didn’t qualify to go through to Saturday night’s Eurovision final, but Oliver’s design was showcased to millions of viewers watching across Europe and the world.