March was a busy month for Irish Design with the annual Irish Fashion Innovation Awards, as well as a celebration of Irish Design on International Women’s Day. As you know Irish Design is something that really interests me and features regularly on my blog. The IFIA was an event I’ve always wanted to attend and I was so excited to finally have the opportunity this year. To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th of March eight Irish designers came together to showcase their SS16 Collections in the Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin. I was thrilled to be invited along to the event to speak to each of the designers about their respective collections.
Jill De Búrca, Lisa Ryder, Maria Dorai Raj, Mona Swims, Alison Conneely, NATALIEBCOLEMAN, We Are Islanders and Sligo’s very own Rebecca Marsden hosted a sample sale of current and past season stock with fantastic discounts. A mere glance at their designs and I’m sure you’ll agree that Irish Design is one of promise and it’s only getting better.
Read my interview with Rebecca Marsden (pictured below) here.
The seventh annual Irish Fashion Innovation Awards took place at the Radisson Hotel in Galway on 10th of March. This prestigious event has been coined ‘The Fashion Oscars’ and forty-two young designers battled it at this year’s awards in six categories: Jewellery, Accessories, Millinery, Student Design, Ones to Watch and Designer of the Year.
Six colleges around Ireland were represented including NCAD, LSAD, University of Ulster, Griffith College, Galway Technical Institute and, for the first time, our very own St Angela’s College. A trio of talented young designers from St. Angela’s College Sligo: Jade Reidy, Emma Curtis and Roseanne McNamee wowed the crowd with their designs. Read my interview with Emma Curtis here.
The Irish Fashion Innovation Awards was the highlight of Galway’s first official Fashion Week, founded by Patricia McCrossan of Galway Now Magazine and Golden Egg Productions. It is a key platform for young designers in Ireland.
Competing for the top award Fashion Designer of the Year, were the following competitors: Giovanna Borza from Dublin, Kabira Allain from Wexford, Caroline Mitchell from Limerick, Carla Johnson from Dublin and Tissue, a new ready-to-wear label from Hannah Mullan and Grainne Finn. Carla Johnson of Mona Swims scooped up the coveted top prize and was named Fashion Designer of the Year. She also won the Overall Innovation Award at IFIA.
Accessory Designer: Dee Mangan (Kinsale Leather)
Jewellery Designer: Emma Bourke
Millinery Designer: Elaine Keogh
Student Designer: Colin Burke (NCAD)
Fashion Designer: Carla Johnson (Mona Swims)
Overall Innovation Award: Carla Johnson (Mona Swims)
Check out Carla Johnson’s stunning designs at MONA SWIMS.
Be sure to pick up a copy of Sligo Now or Mayo Now if you’re in the area. As always, there are some great articles from other writers and columnists.
Here’s the front cover for this edition:
Thanks for reading,