Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2017 – My Top 3 Designer Crushes

Last Thursday the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards took place in the Radisson Hotel as a part of The Galway Fashion Week. Even though I attended the Galway Fashion Trail last year, it was my first time attending the Awards! I was blown away by the production and fashion standard and so many of the designs had me either gasping or jumping for joy.

What I Wore

You might have seen in my recent style post here that I was lucky enough to get a chance to select an outfit for the occasion from Standun. I narrowed it down to three options (you can see the other two here) and in the end I went with this combination of knit & print. As you may know, I have a huge fondness for the Aran jumper and I love seeing it styled in contemporary ways. I paired it with the Irish-designed Ella Boo skirt, that’s beautiful quality, has pockets and twirls like a dream.

My jumper & my skirt are both Standun

You can find this exact jumper here | The skirt is Ella Boo and can be purchased in store in Spiddal | Shoes are New Look (similar here)

Standun were also sponsoring the Accessory Designer of the Year category and a lot of the lovely women from the company attended the night in style. It was so nice to hang out with this lot and represent the store with my outfit!

With the lovely Cliona & Laragh Standun, all decked in spring florals!

My Top 3 Designer Crushes

I can’t even begin to tell you how many photos I have from the night and how many of the designs I fell in love with! It pains me to narrow it down, but otherwise we’d be here all night!

So, in no particular order, I present to you my top 3 designer crushes – creations that gave me heart palpitations, had me swooning and bursting with Irish pride.

Surprise, surprise, my top 3 picks also feature knitwear in some imaginative way!

1. Aisling Duff

My inner child was beaming looking at Aisling’s designs. I’ve seen the over-sized wool stitches before but never in this high fashion context. The way the loose playfulness meets structure just works so well! Her works conjures up imagery of dolls, sweets and all things fun and soft. Aisling uses both hand and machine knit, with innovative fabrics and yarns. Inspired by Syliva Plath, she is fueled by the idea confessional writing, the values of heritage and female identity.

2. Sarah Murphy

I was truly enchanted by this collection and if you know me even just a little, it will be blatantly obvious why. Sarah’s new line is inspired by the Fé in Irish mythology and she uses Aran stitches in innovative ways to create this modern collection. I couldn’t believe how seamlessly the knitwear panels blended into tulle fabrics. The collection is hand embellished with thousands of glass beads and sequins and each piece is hand knit and hand loomed in her studio in the Wicklow mountains.

Find Sarah on LinkedIn

3. Deirdre Duffy

Looking at these over-sized yarn scarves, I felt a sense of home and comfort. Deirdre is a hand-weaver and uses 100% lambs wool for her creations. She operates under the very fitting name Wild Cocoon, which is exactly what one of her scarves, cowls or blankets would feel like. The colours are wonderfully rustic and the design patterns up close are incredibly intricate and flawlessly weaved.

Cliona Standun joined Patricia Crossan on stage to announce the Accessory Designer of the Year winner and I was so delighted it was Deirdre and her Wild Cocoon!

I was mid posting a photo online to congratulate her when they announced her as the overall winner of the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards! So well deserved and her reaction was just the cutest!

It’s such a fantastic feeling to be in a room with people who are all following their creative pursuit and doing it with such class! I love seeing the Irish fashion industry in such vibrant light and I would love to attend the event next year too.

I’m also thrilled to announce that I’ve recently joined the team at The Couch as a style contributor. I will have a special & different blog post on the IFIA there also, so keep an eye out for that!


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