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NTU Knitwear graduate winner IDI’s Fashion Emerging Award

By May-Anne Oltmans


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Recent Nottingham Trent University (NTU) graduate Fintan Mulholland was named the winner of the Fashion Emerging Award from a group of more than 300 designers at the Irish Design Awards. The prizes, which are awarded by the Institute Designers Ireland (IDI), the country’s largest association of designers in all disciplines, acknowledge the most talented designers in ten different fields ranging from fashion design to web design.

Mulholland, who graduated from NTU’s MA Fashion Knitwear Design in 2015, sent the IDI his latest collection Nephilim: a range of eight knitted sweaters and cardigans for men. The collection consists of chunky as well as fine knits, with all items coming in either grey or black: a colour palette which also describes the earlier collections of the Irish designer. In addition to being nominated for the Fashion Emerging category, Mulholland's entry was also nominated for the Sustainable Design Award, as his garments are made from natural fibres. “For my work I explore a range of techniques that enable me to sue the craft of knit to explore new forms taking the medium to its limits,” said Mulholland. “I take inspiration from theories of prehistory through to representations of science fiction and aim to push an ancient craft to the limits of design with the use of modern techniques and technology.” For his latest collection, he was inspired by the idea of extraterrestrial life. Furthermore, he build on exploration of gender which also played a role in his earlier work.

The IDI first organized the Irish Design Awards in 1990, and the competition is open to all members of the organization. The jury consists of a number of industry leaders. During the most recent edition, this included fashion designer Sonya Lennon, Slater Design Creative Director Kathryn Wilson and Architonic Editor-in-chief Simon Keane-Cowell. It is not the first time that Mulholland’s talent is being recognized by the IDI. In 2014, he was given the organisation’s Fashion Graduate Award.

Image credit: IDI Facebook

Fintan Mulholland
Institute Design Ireland
Nottingham Trent University