Catch up on our full photo special from the DEFINE fashion showcase in Convoy:
A new wave of fashion and textiles is coming from the designers of Donegal.
How to define that talent is difficult, because the tradition, diversity and progression are ever-changing and ever-growing.
Donegal had carved a name for itself in the textiles industry of the 80s and 90s. But the closure of clothing factories left a lot of untapped potential behind in towns and villages across the county.
Energy is rising again in the local fashion and textiles world as designers create again with the support of Local Enterprise Donegal, the Creative Coast initiative and LYIT.
Saturday’s DEFINE Donegal fashion showcase put local talent under the spotlight to celebrate the innovation and the up-and-coming names which should be on all our radar.
Couture, contemporary, retro and activewear looks were featured on the runway, alongside one-of-a-kind handmade accessories and crafts. It was clear to see that Donegal’s landscape and coastline are as influential as ever for inspiring many creations.
The setting of DEFINE at Convoy Woollen Mills was perfectly apt for paying homage to Donegal’s past industries. The edgy surroundings of the former mill contrasted well with the new productions on show.
Collections from established designers included: Bernie Murphy, Hannah McGuiness, April Murphy for Studio Donegal, Joan Carey, Una Rodden, Weaver & Wilde, Margaret Gillespie, Eimear Bradley, Valerie Taylor and Michelle McCarroll.
The new LYIT Fashion with Promotion degree has played a big role in cultivating the new crop of designers in Donegal. DEFINE Donegal showcased collections from six current students: Aoife Nolan, Niamh Quigley, Leah Love, Chloe Murtagh, Helen Murray and Amy Devlin.
Helen Murray was announced as the 2019 winner of the McElhinney’s Fashion Design Award.
Helen created a collection of bright and boldly coloured Irish linen pieces inspired by her hometown of Termon. Helen designed her womenswear garments with sustainability in mind at every part of the process.
Dana McMahon, buyer at McElhinneys, said choosing the winner was a difficult task, but Helen’s work had the whole package.
“We had to be true to what we believe in. What we believe in is offering a story to the customer, a product that they want to buy, something that is complete, well-finished and sustainable,” Dana said.
The DEFINE Donegal showcase was followed by a ‘Meet the Designers’ exhibition for buyers to connect with all the creative entrepreneurs.
See more photos from the event below: