Textiles student wins top Design Award at DIT Show Final

Friday, August 23, 2013 Press Office
Press Release

Mona Sweeney's 'Morphic Opulence' wins overal design award

Mona Sweeney from Achill Island who studies in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) has won the overall Vodafone Student Design Award 2013 at the Vodafone DIT Fashion Show in Vicar Street Dublin last night (17th April 2013) from an impressive shortlist of ten designs. Mona picked up a cash prize of €2,500 for her winning design which was worn by Alannah Beirne from Naas who studies Visual Merchandising in DIT.

Mona says her design, entitled “Morphic Opulence”, is centred on the dual theme of vulnerability and protection and fashion as armour. She says, “When we choose our clothes we choose how the world perceives us.”

The theme of this year’s Vodafone DIT Fashion Show, now in its 10th year and attended by 1,000 people, was “House of Chaos: A Twisted Tale". The judging panel consisted of Ireland's top stylist Maria Fusco, broadcaster Brendan Courtney (who was also MC at the show), fashion editor at the Irish Independent and Weekend Magazine Bairbre Power, Arnotts marketing manager Lou Conlon who started the first show with fellow DIT students, and designer and previous winner of the student design element of the Vodafone DIT Fashion Show Umit Kutluk.

Mona, who is in her third year of a BA in Art & Design (Textiles) in GMIT's Centre for Creative Arts and Media, added: "I'm absolutely thrilled to have won this award, having seen the unbelievable talent on show in this year's DIT Vodafone Fashion Awards Final. It's been an amazing experience to go through the whole design process from sketch to catwalk. I got fantastic support from GMIT and all my lecturers in the GMIT Centre for Creative Arts & Media and truly wouldn't have been able to do it without them".

Tony Magner, lecturer in Textiles, GMIT Centre for Creative Arts & Media, says: We are absolutely thrilled for Mona. All of us in the Textile Design programme in GMIT endeavour to bring out the best in our students, and help them realise their vision and compete successfully on a national and international platform. Mona has done us proud".

Speaking at the show last night, Robert Hyland, Sponsorship Manager at Vodafone Ireland said: “Vodafone Ireland is proud to be associated again with this truly inspiring event, which showcases the future of Irish design. The Student Design competition has developed a strong reputation over its ten years for recognising young fashion talent and it’s evident from the creativity that was on show this evening that the future of Irish fashion is safe in the hands of these talented designers. We commend Mona Sweeney, who was a worthy winner of the Vodafone Student Design Award, and extend our congratulations to all finalists for the exceptional high standard of their designs.”

Second place in the Vodafone Student Design Award went to Louisa Howard from Tallaght who is a student in IADT (Institute of Art Design & Technology) and whose outfit was modelled by Chloe Geraghty from Lucan who studies Marketing at DIT. Louisa says that she hit on the memory of the board game Cluedo in designing her outfit entitled “One suspect, one weapon, one room”. She adds, “This murder mystery game is quite obviously set in a ‘house of chaos’ in which a murder takes place every time, but the tale is always twisted.”

Third place went to Edel Traynor from Moylagh in Meath who studies at the Grafton Academy. Edel says that her inspiration for her design entitled “Surreal and confusing” which was modelled by Britania Gago “comes from the rapid eye movement (REM) and non rapid eye movement stages of sleep and how our images or dreams during REM are quite sporadic and confusing.”

The popular annual show, now in its tenth, is organised by 70 students from DIT. One of the most rewarding elements for the organising students is the charitable aspect of the show. This year, the net proceeds from the show will be presented to Reachout.com The DIT Fashion Society is one of 80 societies in DIT involving 6,000 student members. The societies place heavy emphasis on the management of and participation in productions and campaigns such as the Vodafone DIT Fashion Show, with a view to the practical education of the students involved.