A FASHION collection inspired by the relationship between humans and the spirit world has helped a student from Clare win the prestigious Limerick School of Art & Design graduate fashion show.
Michael Stewart, 24, from Kilkishen, was announced the overall winner of the fashion show in the Milk Market, where it was held for the first time.
Nineteen final year students showcased their awe-inspiring collections at the event, sponsored by Bord Gáis Networks, drawing on a myriad of themes ranging from Barbie dolls to the East End gangsters The Kray twins
With his Totem collection, Michael won the award for the best overall collection based on use of fabric and concept development.
The award includes a bursary of €2,500 to help kick-start his fashion career and a year’s mentoring programme with retail expert Eddie Shanahan.
Michael, who carried out his work placement in Giles in London and with Irish designer Natalie B Coleman, said his collection was inspired by worship, pagan rituals, shamanic ceremonies and the relationship between humans and the spirit world.
The winner of the AIB business development award for the collection showing the most commercial potential, which includes a bursary of €2,500, and a year’s mentoring programme went to Svitlana Andryiets whose collection was influenced by the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo using diverse materials including neoprene cord.
The Blarney Woollen Mills knitwear graduate design award went to Lauren O’Reilly which includes a bursary of €2,000 and an internship for one year at the company. Her vibrant collection was based around frivolity of childhood play focusing on her own adoration of Barbie dolls as a child.
The show marked the first of a two year partnership by Bord Gáis Networks which includes key fashion events and a number of initiatives designed to nurture and support home-grown talent in the fashion design sector and promote Limerick as an international educational and enterprise centre.
A fashion incubator centre, the first of its kind in Ireland, is to be established next year by the Limerick School of Art & Design to nurture homegrown talent with plans to source EU funding for the enterprise.