Kildare's Kate McGowan crowned winner of Kildare Village Racing Colours Competition

€2,000 prize and internship with top designer

Leinster Leader reporter


Leinster Leader reporter


Kildare's Kate McGowan crowned winner of Kildare Village Racing Colours Competition

Kate McGowan

Kildare native and NCAD graduate Kate McGowan has scooped first prize at the Kildare Village Racing Colours competition.

She won the award for her design of the iconic international racing colours jacket.

The winning entry

“I was thrilled to be chosen as the winner of the Racing Colours competition. The prize is amazing and such a great opportunity for me as a recent graduate. I am so grateful to Kildare Village and to all the judges – it’s great to see support for students and graduated. I’m really looking forward to my internship with Richard. His work is so exciting and innovative, and it’s brilliant to see an Irish Designer doing so well internationally,” said the Clane girl.

This exciting national design competition tasked degree-level fashion students from NCAD, LSAD, Griffith College and Ulster University with creating a contemporary interpretation of the International Racing Colours jacket, an iconic element of the Jockey Silks attire worn during racing event. 

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The Racing Colours competition marks a new collaboration between Kildare Village and The Curragh to launch the 2017 Summer Racing Season.

Kate has been awarded a sum of €2,000 as well as a prestigious internship with celebrated womenswear designer and judge of Racing Colours competition, Richard Malone, in his London studio.

The Kildare designer drew inspiration for her creation from the photography of Spencer Murphy and his portraits of Katie Walsh, AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh, which illustrated the reality of a post-race scene.

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Old diagrams showing how to dress wounds and apply bandages inspired knotted sampling which formed the silhouette.

Lengths of fabric were twisted and sewn together, wrapping the wearer in a protective garment. Kate’s winning piece also included a delicate silk underlay, a nod to the venerable side caught by Murphy's portraits.