Dublin Fashion Festival: Young Designer of the Year Show

DFF 2015aLast night I attended the third annual Young Designer of the Year fashion show as part of Dublin Fashion Festival, held in its traditional spot in the outdoor area of Bank of Ireland at College Green, and it was magnificent! This is my favourite fashion show of the festival, because it’s very grand and very fashionable. But I also love it because it emphasizes our country’s love for supporting Irish fashion designers, and especially our youngsters. The calm & quiet skies provided for the perfect evening, which was attended by many of Ireland’s finest from bloggers to VIPs and had many passers-by stopping & spectating from the gates. The runway was built up in the middle of the grounds with a straight catwalk for the models to strut their stuff, smoke machines & lights and DJ Steve Cooper on decks for extra fun. The style of those attending was also beautiful, with many of the trends floating about from both the ladies & gents. I attended with my darling besties Filomena, Lorna and Kassi, and met up with many more lovelies including Teddy & Alex Coptil, Rachel Farrell, Hannah Hawkshaw, Jessika Banaghan, Gareth Matthews and Marta Solka. Later some of the girls and I headed to Jo’Burger for a bite to eat and many, many chats! I had a really enjoyable evening with the girls!

The Young Designer of the Year award is a prestigious one, as Ireland’s young designers showcased their creative & inspiring fashion pieces to win the coveted prize. Last year’s winner, Ciaran Gormely, now works at Art on Fashion as a Womenswear Print Designer and is for sure an ever-rising star of our nation’s design talent. The 2015 contenders were:

  • Ailbhe Doyle – NCAD, Dublin
  • Aime O’ Shea – Mallow College of Fashion and Tailoring, Cork
  • Ally Nolan – NCAD, Dublin
  • Anne Cantillon Linnane – Mallow College of Design and Tailoring, Cork
  • Emma Curtis – St Angela’s College, Sligo
  • Helen Hayes – Grafton Academy of Fashion Design, Dublin
  • Katie Donohoe – Griffith College, Dublin
  • Lamis Goumaa – Griffith College, Dublin
  • Marcelo Rodrigues – Dublin Institute of Design, Dublin
  • Roisin Lawrence – Griffith College, Dublin
  • Siri Mattsson – University of Ulster, Belfast
  • Stephen McLoughlin – Limerick School of Art and Design, Limerick

As well as the Young Designer of the Year award, there was a new award for this year’s show; the Canon Ireland Young Fashion Photographer of the Year. This new element to the festival searched for the best newcomer in fashion photographer around Ireland, with a big prize in store thanks to Canon Ireland. The winner will receive €500 worth of Canon products and fly out to attend London Fashion Week, courtesy of City Jet, to have the chance to photograph a fashion show featuring some of the best known labels and models in the fashion industry! 

This year’s finalists in both contests sure were in stiff competition with one another, but in the end über talented Katie Donohoe was crowned as Young Designer of the Year 2015 and Lisa Griffin won Canon Ireland Young Fashion Photographer of the Year – congratulations!

Wilst the judges made their decision on who would win the competition, we were treated to another fashion show with pieces from Irish designers across the city including designers from Brown Thomas, Powerscourt Centre and Dunnes Stores, as well as a look at the City Jet uniforms, when they also announced they’re holding a competition to redesign the brand new City Jet uniforms! I’ll post once the competition entry is live!

Many thanks to the Dublin Fashion & Dublin Town teams for all of their hard work, to Sadhbh and the Elevate PR team, Jules Fallon and all of the 1st Option models, the Dublin Fashion Festival volunteers, Naked Coconut Water, 37 Dawson Street, Evoke.ie for the snaps and tote bags and anyone else who worked hard to make this night so fantastic!

Nirina xx

Images © Nirina Plunkett, Lorna Duffy, Andres Poveda, Jerry McCarthy, Dublin Fashion

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