After a long awaited, tumultuously busy few months, the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards arrived!
Months, weeks, days and hours of fabric sourcing, designing, pattern cutting and garment construction were induced to produce my Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, of which I was to showcase 4 pieces in the “Ones To Watch” category of the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards. The only category that was a non-judging category, it was sponsored by Brown Thomas and included the emerging Irish designers regarded to have great potential for the fashion industry. I was honoured to be a part of such an elite event, also referred to as the “Irish Fashion Oscars.”
Other categories included, Fashion Designer of the Year, Milliner of the Year, Student Designer of the Year, Accessories Designer of the Year and Jewellery Designer of the Year, all of which had an abundance of overwhelming talent and held great reverence to the skill of Irish Design.
After a 5 hour drive the previous night, I arrived at Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Galway, for fittings on the morning of the awards. Thankfully no alterations were needed as I forgot my pins!! A wave of anticipation resonated backstage among the designers, models and producers, who were swept adrift in the Irish sea of collections.
Adorned in my own label, I was ready for the show. Just before the first half of the show came to a close, the Ones To Watch commenced, which included a former university classmate, Fintan Mulholland and a fellow resident designer of the Fashion & Textile Design Centre, Etain Grant, both of whose knitwear collections blew me, and most likely every other audience member, away!
With adrenaline flowing, heart pumping impatiently to the beat of the music and eyes dancing to the lure of the models, my collection was next! Inspired by diamonds, it would stage a production of strong protagonists: contrasting textures, metallics and geometric patchwork shapes in materials of foiled leather, silk and wool.
My collection evoked a dark, bold edge and left a subtle trail of drama in its shadow. It confidently presented wearable, sellable clothing (which doesn’t always translate on the runway) while also being innovative and original.
It was fulfilling to share a runway with immense talent and I am beyond privileged to have been a part of this event!