Celia Holman Lee: Limerick was transformed by awards

WHAT a week we have had in terms of fashion and the promotion of our young designers here in Limerick!

WHAT a week we have had in terms of fashion and the promotion of our young designers here in Limerick!

After months of organising, the Limerick International Fashion Student Awards 2013, supported by the IPB Insurance Gathering Fund and the local authority, took place on Thursday night in the former Franciscan Church, Henry Street. The church was transformed on the night into a spectacular setting for one of the most amazing fashion presentations ever held in Limerick, which attracted several hundred fashion enthusiasts and featured on RTE’s Nationwide programme on Monday night.

A total of 18 fashion colleges and universities were represented from across Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and over 50 fashion students participated in the prestigious competition for the €10,000 prize sponsored by the Brown Thomas Group, Specsavers, Adare Manor Hotel and Thérapie Clinic.

There was also a much coveted three-month internship with Don O’Neill up for grabs. Caroline Mulhern, a student at the University of Salford in the UK was selected as the overall winner by the panel of renowned judges. The panel was chaired by Don O’Neill - who has designed for Oprah Winfrey and is creative director of THEIA Couture in New York - and also included Constance Harris, fashion editor of the Sunday Independent and Life magazine, John Redmond, creative director of the Brown Thomas Group and Leanne Moore, entertainment correspondent for TV3’s Xposé and Ireland AM. The judges were so impressed by the standard of entries that they created two special runner-up prizes.

The winners included Nuala McCarthy and Joanna Jankowska, jointly representing Mallow College of Design and Tailoring, along with Mary Fitzpatrick from the National College of Art, Dublin. The awards were organised by the Holman Lee Agency as part of the Limerick International Fashion and Design Festival and John McNamara, coordinator of Limerick IFSA. We would like to thank all the sponsors (mentioned above), the Shannon Airport Authority, The Savoy Hotel, The George Boutique Hotel, No 1 Pery Square hotel, Castletroy Park Hotel, Clarion Hotel, Greenhill’s Hotel, Munster Minerals, Padraic Frawley of The Cornstore, Pat O’Sullivan of Masterchefs Hospitality, Bonaventure Trust and everyone else who supported us for this event.

We are extremely grateful!