Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards  in the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa in Galway with five hundred other attendees. I was invited along by the organisers Galway Now Magazine along with my Into the West Bloggers Network comrades. I'm not going to claim for one second that I'm an expert on the Irish Design scene but I'm not going to learn anything sitting at home watching a shambolic Man Utd capitulate in Anfield. Sitting between fashionistas Ruth Kemple  and Laura Fox and talking to my fellow blogger’s, watching and listening to the stunning parade of style of creativity before me, I couldn't help but be impressed.

Forty two designers battled it out for awards in six categories: jewellery, accessories, millinery, student design, ones to watch and designer of year. Carla Johnson of Mona Swims was the big winner on the night being named fashion designer of the year. Student designer of the year was Colin Burke of NCAD. Dee Mangan of Kinsale Leather w on accessory designer of the year. The millinery designer of the year award went to Elaine Keogh, and jewellery designer of the year to Emma Bourke.

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                                                                                     Carla Johnson

This event was the showpiece of Galway Fashion week and it was a spectacular success. Events like this are essential for the West of Ireland, Galway is crying out for events like this and we as blogger’s especially but as residents of the city are indebted to Patrica McCrossan and her team for putting Galway on the fashion map. Some of the designers in the region are sensational but without a platform like this they are depending on Race Week to help them develop a profile and connect with influencers. The fact that Galway Now are engaging with blogger’s is also another major positive, we love nothing more than getting dressed up and taking selfie’s and snaps. The success of their sponsorship of the legendary Galway Hour and the phenomenal impact of that is justification of their faith in social media. I won’t be buying any of the hats or dresses but the few thousand views on my snapchat story may have sparked an interest for someone.

It was great to see coverage of the events by the like’s of RSVP and Her.ie, the Irish Times also, Galway has such a terrific reputation as a city of culture obvious from the passion and goodwill behind the Galway2020 bid, so there is no reason we can’t improve the cities reputation for fashion. Tomorrow will hopefully add to this, with the Fashion Trail, a stunning success last time out and promises to be even better tomorrow. It’s like Christmas Day for most of the ladies as they get to see the best of the best in Galway. We have an abundance of excellent stores for ladies clothing and tomorrow is a showcase for them. I get very jealous at an event like this but the lads are completely neglected when it comes to fashion in Galway, things are certainly improving.

The day kicks off with a blogger’s breakfast in Colm Quinn BMW generous sponsors of the day, from there we will be driven into town to begin the trail, organised by Galway Now but wouldn’t be possible without Catwalk Models, the remarkable Mandy Maher and her stunning models will be showing off the clothes in the best possible light, the mini fashion shows are run with military precision, grace and elegance.

This event could become something special as no other city can bring together the all elements that Galway has to offer, outstanding stores, really genuine and knowledgeable blogger’s, a very resourceful modelling agency, geographic proximity and a magazine with vision and passion.

I for one am really looking forward to the day follow me on snapchat "galwayplayer" for my unique take on the day.

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