Cork International Film Festival was delighted to present the Cork Costume Trail in partnership with the Irish Costume Archive Project, proudly supported by Cork City Council Placemaking Fund and hosted by The Gate Cinema, the River Lee and The Metropole Hotel.

The Cork Costume Trail told the story of the relationship between the actor and their costume through an interactive city-wide trail of costumes from significant Irish films and major television productions, filmed in Cork or with Cork talent

This curated selection from the Irish Costume Archive Project included costumes from The Wind That Shakes the Barley, The Tudors, Little Women, Breakfast on Pluto and Frank. Each costume was specially selected to celebrate its connection to Cork and was displayed throughout the Festival in venue windows to allow for safe, socially distanced visiting. 

The Cork Costume Trail was easily explored across the city using the CIFF Podcast, featuring interviews with Cork Costume Trail curators Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh and Veerle Dehaene, Cork Public Museum curator Daniel Breen, and introductions by Red FM’s Dave Mac Ardle. Attendees tuned in to the CIFF Podcast at each stop for unique insights and behind-the-scenes stories.

Venues:  The Gate Cinema, the River Lee and The Metropole Hotel

Dates: 4 – 15 November

Click Here to Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

About The Irish Costume Archive

The Irish Costume Archive Project was initiated to collect, preserve and exhibit Ireland’s film and television design heritage and promote the collections by highlighting their importance as part of our national film culture. Find out more and browse the collection.


LITTLE WOMEN (2017), Angela Lansbury

The River Lee Hotel

This costume, designed by Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, was worn by Angela Lansbury in her role as Aunt March in the recent BBC television adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel. The multi-award-winning actor, famous for her 12-year-role in the popular television series Murder She Wrote, is a resident of Ballycotton in East Cork.  

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FRANK (2014), Michael Fassbender

The Gate Cinema

The iconic papier-mâché head designed by Suzie Harman was worn by Michael Fassbender in Frank in which he plays a fictionalised version of Frank Sidebottom, the comic persona of Chris Sievey. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and set in modern-day Ireland and America, the eponymous character combines elements of Sievey with Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart. The 2018 documentary feature Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story played at the 63rd Cork International Film Festival.

Picture courtesy of Element Distribution


THE TUDORS (2007-2010), Jonathan Rhys Meyers & Joss Stone

The Gate Cinema

The Tudors is a historical fiction television series set primarily in 16th-century England but filmed mostly in Ireland, produced for the American cable television channel Showtime. Cork-born actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers starred in the leading role of King Henry VIII. These costumes, designed by Joan Bergin, were worn by Rhys Meyers and Joss Stone in her role as Anne of Cleves.

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Picture courtesy of Jonathan Hession, Showtime Networks Inc.

BREAKFAST ON PLUTO (2005), Cillian Murphy

The Metropole Hotel

Breakfast on Pluto is a comedy-drama film written and directed by Neil Jordan and based on the novel of the same name by Patrick McCabe. This costume, designed by Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, was worn by Cork actor Cillian Murphy who stars as Kitten, a transgender foundling searching for love and her long-lost mother in small-town Ireland and London in the 1970s.  

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The Gate Cinema

The Wind that Shakes the Barley is a historical drama directed by Ken Loach set during the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War and shot in Cork. This costume was designed by Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh for Cillian Murphy in the role of Damien O’Donovan, a young doctor turned revolutionary. 

MICHAEL COLLINS (1996), Liam Neeson

The Gate Cinema

This costume was designed by Sandy Powell and worn by Liam Neeson in the role of Michael Collins in Michael Collins directed by Neil Jordan. Michael Collins is a 1996 biographical period drama film written and directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson as Michael Collins, the Irish patriot and revolutionary who died in the Irish Civil War. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Uniform made by Angels Costume House, London. Alterations completed by Denis Darcy, Dublin. Private Collection.

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Bonus Interview: Daniel Breen, Curator at Cork Public Museum 

Meet the Curators

Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh is one of Ireland’s most established costume designers, having worked with directors from Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan, Ken Loach and Reed Morano to actors such as Emma Thompson, Amy Adams, Brendan Gleeson, Mel Gibson and Jude Law.
Veerle Dehaene is a highly accomplished costume practitioner and has worked on projects such as The Tudors and Riverdance. Veerle also managed and curated Joan Bergin’s costume collection in The Costume Mill, Dublin, where she also ran an in-house costume rental business.