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River Island Fashion Designer Bursary in Ireland

May 26, 2010

I always liked River Island for their variety of clothes in all kind of different styles. The store is a teenager’s heaven but there always will be something for those who love a more understated and sophisticated look as well. The common thing all River Island clothes share is they are quirky, edgy, and very contemporary.

But the reason I like River Island even more is their keenness to reach out to the streets and establish a rapport with their customers. I have recently discovered their quite decent online magazine called River Island Style Insider, that is full of look books, street style tips, competitions, and fashion gossip.

Another of River Island’s mission statements is sourcing and supporting young talent. By getting involved in Fashion Weeks, competitions, and keeping a sharp eye on Fashion School graduates, they try to pick the best to join their extensive designer team. One of the major events organised by River Island is the annual Fashion Bursary held in Ireland since 2004. This year the winner of the competition is the NCAD graduate Sile O’Shea (see at the picture below sitting proudly next to her model).

When I saw her designs, it was no secret to me why she won the competition. Her pieces were intricate yet wearable and bore the colourful, quirky and chic signature style of River Island. I am sure Sile’s internship at the store’s London office, that was part of her prize, will be a fruitful agreement indeed, as Sile interprets River Island’s vision perfectly while staying unique.

Her designs were inspired by the 1975 documentary “Grey Gardens”,  and “demonstrated a modern translation of the iconic style of the 1970s and championed the idea of classic pieces being transformed into something off beat and new.”

I absolutely love the jumpsuit, and even though I am not fond of bold patterns, the harmonious colour palette made this piece a must for me. And, of course, the combination of the yellow blouse with the monochrome coat gave me a real ”wow” experience! This design reminds me of a cupkake, without being too girly or sweet.

Professor Angela Woods, Head of the Faculty of Design at NCAD said, “We’re delighted that River Island continues to support young up-and-coming Irish designers. This is the seventh year of the River Island bursary – we’re delighted that it has been such a success for all involved. This bursary will give one of our final year students a great start in their fashion design career.”

Ben Lewis, CEO of River Island said, “Our record seven-year sponsorship of the NCAD Bursary has given us invaluable access to emerging young Irish talent and, as a direct result of our involvement, we welcome another promising Irish design graduate to join the River Island team this year.”

A match made in Heaven :)

Sile O'Shea Fashion Designer wins the River Island competition

Sile O'Shea Fashion Designer wins the River Island competition

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mathilde permalink
    May 27, 2010 10:40 am

    Good to have you back online for always some great insight into fashion :-D
    Keep up the good work, this is fab.

  2. May 31, 2010 12:08 pm

    That jumpsuit is really stunning. Very talented lady.

  3. White Rabbit permalink*
    June 1, 2010 8:43 pm

    I agree with you Liv, she is very talented!

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