A Kilkishen man has been named student designer of the year at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards and has also reached the final of the Persil Irish Fashion Awards 2013.
Limerick School of Art and Design fashion student, Michael Stewart was named among the eight shortlisted finalists for The Persil Irish Fashion Awards. He was also named student designer of the year at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards.
His winning design at the innovation awards in Galway was a long, column-shaped dress.
The 23-year-old was chosen by a judging panel that included some of the top names in the Irish fashion world such as Eddie Shanahan, chairperson at the Council of Irish Fashion Designers, Lisa Brady, Sunday Business Post fashion journalist and Patricia McCrossan, managing director of Golden Egg Productions
Other winners included Ger Breslin, who was selected as jewellery designer of the Year, Lisa Ryder, who was named Accessory Designer of the Year and Martha Lynn, who was awarded the millinery designer of the year.
The overall top prize of designer of the year was awarded to Dublin-based designer Niamh O’Neill.
All prizewinners win a specially commissioned trophy and will have their designs stocked by leading boutiques in Galway City.
Eight rising stars, including Laura Jayne Halton who has designed the Oscar red carpet dress for Kerry short film producer Fodhla Cronin O’ Reilly, showcased their latest collection in the ‘ones to watch’ category. All designers nominated in the Ones to Watch category will have a Pop Up Shop in Brown Thomas, Galway.
For the Persil competition, Michael’s look comprises of three separate garments and his entry is one of eight in with a chance to win a prize of €10,000 at the competition final in early June.
Now in its 14th year, the Persil Irish Fashion Awards provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to young, aspiring fashion design students to make their mark in the fashion industry. The prize fund is directed towards kick-starting one of their fashion careers.
The awards have once again teamed up with the celebrated Irish fashion designer Peter O’Brien and Carolyn Donnelly from Dunnes Stores.
This year’s theme is about encouraging the students to embrace and celebrate their Irish heritage, roots, ties and family. The competition entrants were not restricted with colour but the designs needed to be machine washable and made for ladies’ wear, Irish summer 2013.
Michael, whose design was inspired by three sources related to Irish heritage, has grown up with influential grandparents.
“My grandfather is a wonderful painter and taught me from an early age how to draw and paint. He saw I had ability so he took a keen interest in nurturing my talents. He taught me many skills that I still rely on today to communicate in my design work. My grandmother worked as a seamstress and I remember being totally fascinated by her working on her sewing machine when I was a child,” he said.
Should Michael be successful in July, he hopes to continue his education with a Masters in fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London, a world-renowned course that has produced many successful designers.
The eight finalists’ outfits will be showcased in selected Dunnes Stores throughout June 2013.