Newbridge girl Rionnagh Condon is in the running for one of the top prizes for young fashion designers in this country.
She is one of the eight students in the running for a E10,000 awards in the Persil Irish Fashion Awards 2011. The winner will be announced on TV3’s Xpose in April, and Rionnagh’s outfit will be displayed in Marks and Spencer stores around the country this spring. The theme for the competition is ‘Red Alert’, and the students had to design a spring outfit in red machine washable fabric.
Rionnagh is currently a final year student at the Limerick School of Art & Design.
“For me, fashion wasn’t necessarily embedded in my blood. I have two brothers so I was always much more of a tomboy. From a young age though, I always adored art and being creative,” she said.
She first became interested in fashion when she lived in Israel aged eight, as her father was serving with the army in the Lebanon.
“One of our neighbours was a lovely Swedish lady called Yanny. She was incredibly talented at drawing people and I would spend hours in her house plaguing her to draw for me. I would describe characters and what they would wear and she would create them. From then on I was always drawing people and clothes. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in art and design but felt vague as to what that meant. I never realised I could actually be a fashion designer until my first year studying in Limerick.”
Rionnagh has interned with the womenswear label Ellery in Sydney, and she says she is attracted to slightly quirky yet feminine fashion with attitude such as Luella, Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy and Sass & Bide.
“After I graduate I hope to go back and work in Sydney. I completely fell in love with the city and the Australian fashion industry is incredibly vibrant. My dream would be to study textiles at the University of Sydney, as manipulating fabrics and textures is something I’m very interested in,” she said.