Dublin Fashion Festival 2016





The winning outfit. Model Thalia Heffernan with YDOY Winner 2015 Katie Donohue






Dublin Fashion Young Designer of the Year  
Search Begins to find the 2016 Young Designer of the Year  



Without a doubt we have a wealth of talented innovative designers, textile, fashion and craft here in Ireland and entwined in every corner of the globe.  It’s really inspiring to see so much diversity of design come from such a small Island.  As you know I have always been a big advocator of Irish Design and have been featuring my favourite Irish designers, milliners, jewellers and artists in my columns, social media sites and blog for years.  Read about some of my favourite Irish designers HERE, HERE, HERE HERE and HERE.  As a lover of Art, an artist and art teacher I feel is it important to increase awareness of the immense diversity and wealth of Irish creativity. After all it is our future.  Today I wanted to let you know about an exciting initiative which does just that – Dublin Fashion Festival.

Dublin Fashion Festival, brought to you by DublinTown, returns to the streets of the capital this September from the 5th – 11th.  The search has now officially begun to find the 2016 Young Designer of the Year as applications for entries opens today (Monday April 4th).  Now in its fourth year, young designers from across Ireland will have the chance to showcase their vision for fashion, and compete for the title of Young Designer of the Year at Ireland’s largest fashion event.  The 2016 judging panel, made up of Ireland’s leading fashion commentators, icons, designers, and buyers, are in search of the most creative and innovative designs that can own the runway. The panel includes the Irish Independent’s Fashion Editor, Bairbre Power (head judge); renowned fashion photographer, Barry McCall; TV3’s Head of Day Time, Debbie O’ Donnell; owner of the Design Centre at Powerscourt Centre, Aisling Kilduff and Director of Fashion & Beauty in Arnotts, Deirdre Devaney.

Last year’s winner, Katie Donohue, (pictured above) is preparing to pass on her Young Designer 2015 title after a very successful year. Katie is now in the final two months of the Honours Degree course in Fashion at Griffith College Dublin, where she is halfway through completing a six-piece graduate collection. When Katie finishes her studies she plans to begin the process of launching her own label and making her mark in the Irish fashion industry.

From all entries received the judges will choose 12 finalists to take part in a spectacular outdoor fashion show on the grounds of the Bank of Ireland on College Green, Dublin on the evening of Wednesday 7th of September. The designers’ pieces will be showcased in front of an invited audience of key fashion influencers including fashion media, fashion buyers and established designers.  Speaking about the open call for applications for this year’s Young Designer of the Year, DublinTown’s Director of Marketing & Communications and  Dublin Fashion Festival Director, Clyde Carroll commented, ‘’Through the past three years of this competition we have showcased 36 finalists and crowned three exceptional winners. The designs we receive from the young Irish designers get better and better each year.  All of us here in DublinTown, along with our judges, are very excited to see what comes through the process this year. We’ve a huge amount of talent in this country for fashion design and we’re delighted that the festival can be used as a platform to showcase and support our young designers.  There is no cost to enter this competition so I would encourage any young designer to enter.”







Winner 2015 Katie Donohue pictured with Dublin Fashion Young Designer of the Year judges. L-R: Fashion photographer Barry McCall (judge); TV3’s Head of Daytime Debbie O’Donnell (judge); YDOY Winner 2015 Katie Donohue; Customer Experience Manager at Brown Thomas Caroline Hanratty (judge); Owner of the Design Centre Aisling Kilduff (judge) and Leslie Ann Horgan standing in for Head Judge Bairbre Power. Missing from the photo is Ladies Fashion Director at Arnotts Deirdre Devaney (judge)







Model Thalia Heffernan wearing young designer Katie Donohue’s winning outfit during the YDOY fashion show on the grounds of Bank of Ireland, College Green.












Details for Young Designer of the Year Applicants: 

Closing Date for applications is 12 noon on Friday May 27th 2016.

Garments must be available for judging session in Dublin City on Wednesday June 15th 2016.

Applicants must be available for the Dublin Fashion Festival week of Sept 5th – 11th 2016.

FINALISTS: The Young Designer of the year final will be hosted as part of Dublin Fashion Festival at The Bank of Ireland, College Green at 8pm Weds, 7th Sept, 2016. Winner will be selected on the night by the panel of judges.


The application form for Young Designer of the Year can be found on dff.ie 

To keep up to date with the full festival programme and for the latest updates on Dublin Fashion Festival 2016, follow Dublin Fashion on Facebook facebook.com/DublinFashionFestival, Twitter @DublinFashion and Instagram @DublinFashion_ or visit Dublin Fashion Festival’s website www.dff.ie

This sounds like it will be a really exciting event and it is a fantastic opportunity for new emerging Irish talent to showcase their work.



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