Watch: Dublin Fashion Fest - what Ireland's insiders are wearing

Video: Dominique McMullan goes backstage at the Dublin Fashion Festival during the search for the Young Designer of the Year

Spectacular outfits at Dublin Fashion Festival lit up the courtyard of the Bank of Ireland on College Green last night. But the catwalk wasn’t the only place to admire and admonish sartorial choices, as Dublin’s fashion set mingled, sipped and sparkled under the columns of the bank.

September is hailed as “fashion month” around the world as fashion weeks kick off in New York, London, Milan and Paris. While Dublin remains lamentably fashion weekless, Dublin Fashion Festival compensates somewhat for the “frow” lovers among us, and last night’s show was pretty much as fabulous as Dublin gets. From small Irish boutiques to steals from Penneys, we saw them all: faux fur, dusters, sequinned bags, full skirts, art prints and lots and lots of winter white.

The festival is now in full swing and the Young Designer of the Year show is one of the highlights of the schedule. Last year’s winner, Claire Lynam ‑ an NCAD graduate and now design assistant at River Island London – was there to extol the virtues of the title. A shortlist of 12 young designers from all over Ireland showcased their talents on the Bank of Ireland catwalk and it was then up to the judging panel to pick a winner. The outfits presented were above and beyond what you might expect from recent fashion graduates, with most displaying technically skilled fabrics and cuts. The winner,  22-year-old Ciaran Gormley from Belfast, showed a beautiful knitted dress;spot on trend for the coming season.

The festivities will continue across the city until Saturday and include fashion shows on the Luas, a beauty runway in Clerys and a fashion bus making stops all over town. See

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