Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Fashion Innovation Awards 2016

This past weekend, I found myself in Galway once more for days filled with good food, nerding about clothes and kind and supportive peers.

Into The West Blogger Network asked if I'd like to attend the Fashion Innovation Awards as one their selected bloggers and I jumped at the chance to see everyone again and spend time in Galway, as much as to attend the awards.

As delighted as I was, as light and airy and joyous, to be in such beautiful surrounds and company, I forgot all else when the lights dimmed and a parade of Irish design talent marched in front of my eyes, for my first time at the event but the seventh year of its existence. Before any awards were actually given out we were treated to a dizzying taste of work by established, student and up-and-coming designers from all over the country, all on one stage. Milliners, swimwear designers, knitwear, experimental, pretty, challenging; a wide array of aesthetics, demographics, backgrounds and skills all came together on a single runway.

Personal highlights of the show have to be the dreamy Westwoodesque work of Colin Burke from NCAD, the winner of the Student Designer of the Year prize; the pretty leather bags of Dee Mangan of Kinsale Leather (Accessory Designer of the Year); Fintan Mulholland's dramatic knitwear inspired by ballet dancers; and the showcase of the clean, cool pieces and girl gang of Irish design legend Mariad Whisker.

The overall winner of Fashion Designer of the Year was Carla Johnson of Mona Swims, whose swimwear is sensual, sleek and conjures images of somewhere glamorous and a lot sunnier than Irish shores - which is, perhaps, why Johnson captured the hearts of the judges, customers and the crowd as well as two awards.


Colin Burke

Colin Burke

Dee Mangan of Kinsale Leather accepting her award

Mariad Whisker

Mariad Whisker

Kinsale Leather


I just want to thank ITWBN, Golden Egg Productions and Galway Now for having me along and being so kind. For more info about the night, be sure to check out Saibh's post and beautiful photos!

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