Our high streets are dominated by UK retailers, but River Island stands alone in it’s continued engagement and support of young Irish design talent. The River Island NCAD Fashion Design Bursary is now in its 14th year, and yesterday the 2017 winner was announced. Twenty-one-year-old Caoimhe Hill from Cork will receive €3,500 and a paid three-month internship at the River Island design studio in London.
From left to right: River Island Design Contoller Lucy Moller; the winning dress; Bursary winner Caoimhe Hill
River Island Design Controller Lucy Moller, herself a bursary winner back in 2006, judged the design portfolios and says the company is thrilled to “embrace the emergence of some of Ireland’s brightest new stars in the fashion industry.” Angela O’Kelly, Head of Design for Body and Environment at NCAD, describes the bursary as “a superb launch pad into the fashion industry”.
Hill’s design was created for the “adventurous city girl who wants comfort and glamour”. The nylon dress has gathered sections with a macramé strap and a front slit and seeing it up close and personal, it was a well considered piece that was both stylish and wearable. The dress reflected Hill’s obvious eye for detail and her understanding of how to take a classic silhouette and imbue it with freshness through subtle design details and innovative use of fabric.