Irish graduate cuts a dash to take prestigious €10,000 design prize


AMANDA GROGAN, an honours fashion graduate from the National College of Art and Design, has won this year’s top Mittelmoda prize of €10,000 at the international finals in Gorizia, Italy, over the weekend.

The 23-year-old from Malahide, who was one of the 24 finalists selected by the jury from over 600 fashion, art and design schools all over the world, is the first Irish fashion student to win this international design competition which was founded in 1993.

“The competition is a challenge to help young talent grow as creatives and fashion professionals” said Mittelmoda president Matteo Marzotto.

Grogan’s winning outfits, graceful, unconventional, bouncing dresses in wool, cashmere and leather sealed with liquid rubber will be exhibited during Milan fashion week in September.

“I was so shocked when it was announced I could hardly speak,” she said yesterday in Venice.

Having been taught to sew by her mother as a child, Grogan completed her fashion degree in June with this collection called Cut, Sealed Cauterized inspired by the crime-scene installations of US artist Barry Le Va.

“I think of myself as an arts rather than a fashion person. I am not into looking at trends,” she says.

“My style is very precise and clean. I am the ultimate perfectionist.”

Unlike many of her fellow graduates who want to work abroad, Grogan intends to use her prize money to stay in Ireland and launch her own label next year, a decision in part influenced by her internship with Irish designer Eilis Boyle last summer.

“I want to be associated with the Irish fashion industry and I think there should be more state funding as there is in London to allow Irish graduates a bridge between leaving college and industry, otherwise we will lose all our talent,” she said.