Day-to-night work clothing has been revolutionised by fashion students at LyIT, and we had an exclusive look at the designs that have been shortlisted for prestigious awards.

Irish Fashion Innovation Awards on Thursday March 30th is set to be a defining day in the careers of three young designers from Donegal.

Second Year LyIT Fashion Students Niamh Porter, Eimear Bradley and Lauren Doyle have been shortlisted for the award of Student Designer of the Year 2017, and can’t wait to see their creations come alive on the catwalk at the Galway Fashion Week event next week.

The Irish Fashion Innovation Awards is a contest for fashion designers and fashion students, showcasing the highest expression of creativity from the most innovative designers in Ireland.

Recognised as a launching pad for Ireland’s most talented, the event attracts entries from promising fashion creatives competing for the prestigious awards.

Niamh, Eimear and Lauren were asked to design and make a contemporary dress or suit for the modern multi-tasking woman whose busy life requires a wardrobe that works through the day and beyond.

We caught up with the designers as they were preparing their pieces for delivery to Galway ahead of next week’s show. Once the entries were safely shipped out, the women took time out to share their influences and look back on their creative journies.

R-L, Niamh Porter, Lauren Doyle and Eimear Bradley with their shortlisted designs

L-R, Designs by Niamh, Lauren and Eimear

Niamh Porter from Raphoe drew inspiration from Michelle Obama’s statement style to create a three piece ensemble that is both modern and eclectic. She united contrasting colours and fabrics into a preppy co-ord set. A sheer pink organza shirt is given a defining edge with a leather collar. Feminine ribbons tie in the yellow top with a vintage print tweed skirt.

Lauren Doyle Buncrana has designed a two-piece look for a true powerwoman. A detachable cape makes the statement that this woman is strong and daring. Lauren specially created her own graphic print and had the fabric shipped from London for the marbled velvet detailing in the centre. A fitted bodice with elastic panelling cuts a clear figure with added comfort, while an extraordinary flare cut at the bottom of the legs brings a high-fashion element to this futuristic piece.

Eimear Bradley from Cloghan will be showcasing a bold blue dress with a fabulous asymmetric cut. The piece is reminiscent of 1960s style and has a daring cutout at the waist to bring a fun element for when the work day turns into night. A brilliant dash of red fabric lifts the blue tones to make this working woman stand out from the crowd.

LYIT finalists in Irish Fashion Innovation Awards with lecturer Sharon Maxwell (left)

In just one week’s time, the students will be in Galway to prep their models backstage for their defining moment at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards.

Sharon Maxwell, LYIT Fashion Lecturer, said: “This is only the second year of LyIT’s BA Fashion with Promotion course and already our highly creative and talented students are making waves in the fashion world, nationally and internationally! Two of our students had their work shortlisted in December for ‘’ – Chicago’s famous t-shirt printing site.

“The students just completed a design brief for O’Neill’s Sportswear in Strabane and now they are competing in the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards. It’s fantastic to know that students who are determined to excel in their design field don’t have to leave Donegal to get the education they want!”

The BA Fashion with Promotion degree is a unique course that addresses the skills required to succeed in today’s fashion design industry, which has drastically evolved over the last ten years.

Students learn about the traditional skills of pattern cutting and garment making alongside illustration, photography, film, marketing, graphics, sourcing, social media promotion, e-commerce and the business of fashion – it’s the only course of its kind.

For those considering a career in fashion, why not check out the BA in Fashion with Promotion online at