Racing Colours Competition

Racing Colours Competition in collaboration with The Curragh

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Kildare Village Racing Colours competition, an exciting national design competition for degree-level fashion students. The activity marks a new collaboration with The Curragh to announce the 2017 Summer Racing Season.

The competition set a brief to undergraduate and recent graduate fashion design students from NCAD, LSAD, Griffith College and Ulster University to create a contemporary interpretation of the international Racing Colours jacket, an iconic element of the Jockey Silks worn during racing events.

The finalists, listed below, have been selected by a high-profile judging panel including London-based Irish womenswear designer Richard Malone and International brand Consultant Paula Reed, along with international fashion media and horse racing industry representatives. The winner will be selected on 25 May, in advance of the Curragh's Classic Summer Racing Season.

The winning student will be awarded an internship from judge Richard Malone in his London studio. Richard's collections are shown at London Fashion Week and he is known for his innovative, cutting and fiercely independent vision. His collections are housed in some of the world’s leading luxury stores. Malone was nominated for both the LVMH prize and Design of the Year with the Design Museum this year, and has received support from the British Fashion Councils prestigious NewGEN scheme. Malone has been celebrated by international press including Vogue US, Vogue UK, Vogue Paris, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, LOVE, Dazed, Pop, i-D and many more.

As part of this exclusive prize Kildare Village will also award provide monetary support towards the student’s internship, enabling them to benefit fully from a unique opportunity to benefit from crucial international industry experience and launch their future careers.

Congratulations to the following finalists whose designs can now be viewed at the Village (beside Tourist Information):

Sorcha Rigney, NCAD.
The design concept has been inspired by Irish poet, Seamus Heaney and his poem The Forge. In the poem, Heaney raises concern for the impending redundancy of traditional Irish handcrafts. My grandfather’s bee suit has informed silhouette and embellishment of the jacket. The jacket has detachable and adjustable details, handprinted lino cuts,  appliqué and embroidery. Fabric choices include John England’s traditional Irish linens and cottons. This twist on a traditional racing colours jacket serves to celebrate the simple, everyday hard work of the forgotten folk people of Ireland.

Danielle McGregor, NCAD.
The inspiration for this piece came from my working-class upbringing where horseracing culture is a staple of everyday life. Inspired by street style, this racing jacket takes on a sportswear-inspired silhouette, while the neutral and pink colour palette, along with the word ‘Roughie’, derives from a story told to me by my grandmother about the time she woke up to find my dad had kept a Shetland in her pink kitchen overnight.  

Grainne Wilson, LSAD.
This jacket takes its inspiration from ancient North Indian sandstone figures of dancing women. Embellished sari remnants from the city of Jodhpur, India, are pieced together to create a glittering textile surface which echoes the decorated bodies of the sandstone figures. This jacket encapsulates a universal sense of tradition and celebration, whether that be with the dancing women of India, dressing up for Teej or the people of Ireland coming together in Kildare for the summer racing season.

Heather Gilroy, NCAD.
Horse racing takes me back to memories from my childhood. My father, a keen follower of horse racing, owned his own race horse named Mac Giolla Rua – our surname in Irish. I based research this design on my childhood. I chose the gingham fabric used in the jacket design as photos from my childhood show me wearing a lot of gingham fabric. The silhouette for the dramatic sleeve shape was drawn from my first shoe along with the floral embroidery.

Kate McGowan, NCAD.
The photography of Spencer Murphy was the starting point for my entry. His post-race portraits of jockeys Katie Walsh, AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh show the reality after the race. Old diagrams showing how to dress wounds and apply bandages inspired knotted sampling informs the silhouette. Lengths of fabric, twisted and sewn together, wrap the wearer in a protective garment. A delicate silk underlay was chosen in reference to the venerable side caught by Murphy's portrait.

Lousie Kavanagh, NCAD.
My collection is inspired by cowboys from a playful perspective. Bringing forth a childlike element with the beaded illustrated donkey.‘Giz A Jockey Back’ stems from the piggy backs children would give when growing up. Sleeves feature spots of tufting to reflect on the cowboys’ furry chaps.

Siu-Hong Mok, Griffith College.
Inspired by Dublin flag colour palette of navy, light blue, white and black. This look combines soft printed silk with durable linen, the juxtaposition of hard and soft. The top provides movement and comfort. The print (stripes) is manipulated into different scales that have visual interest, combined with a traditional silhouette.

Congratulations to winner, Kate McGowan, click here for photos and more information.


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