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Fashion student draws inspiration from nature and urban life

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A young Galway-based designer and committed vegan – who refuses to use fur, leather, suede or silk in her designs – has been shortlisted for the most prestigious student fashion awards in the country.

Lisa Dooley – originally from Offaly but now a student of fashion at Galway Technical Institute – is one of nine finalists participating in the DIT Fashion Show, now in its thirteenth year.

Run entirely by students, the fashion show attracts an audience of over 1.000 – and this year’s theme ‘My Metropolis – The Story of A City’, aims to explore the “hidden beauty” and “romance” of metropolitan cities.

Lisa’s collection is called ‘Symbio City’, and her aim was to ‘create an outfit inspired by a city, where natural and man-made elements are harmoniously interwoven; Mother Nature and the Mother City working together’.

The appropriately titled collection derives its name from an initiative introduced by the Swedish Government, ‘The Symbio City Approach’ – aimed at promoting sustainable urban development.

The competition brief was announced in January, whilst Lisa was completing an internship in Helsinki. On returning home she had just two weeks to complete and submit her sketchbook.

The design sketchbook is a place for testing and refining ideas. It requires showing evidence of research, development, experimentation with several materials, techniques and designs; all in all, a substantial body of work.

The idea of fusion between the natural and urban environment was one she knew she wanted to explore further.

With her trusted camera and artistic eye, Lisa trailed the streets of Galway looking for inspiration.

She shot and captured many images of urban landscape, “parts where nature was creeping in, or where the weather had visibly altered the city.”

“For some they might be an eye sore, but I discovered some really interesting patterns,” she said – but that only made her wonder!

“Imagine what could be done, or what the city could look like if we incorporated nature more into the design of the city – as opposed to big concrete blocks and boxes,” she said.

A committed vegan, Lisa believes the natural environment should be respected and protected – and her designs reflect her personal ethics and are made from recycled and renewable materials.

No fur, leather, suede or silk (from silk worm) is used. She does however use bamboo silk for the dress – an artificial silk made from bamboo viscose.

Lisa sourced the material from an organic fabric company in the UK. Bamboo fibre is said to have natural antibacterial, hypoallergenic and deodorizing properties, plus Lisa adds – “the proteins are good for your skin”

She also admits to hunting charity shops for vegan friendly fabrics and garments, picking up interesting patterns in pastel pinks and muted colours. The jacket features copper wire, which she says is ‘reflective of the central role technology plays in metropolis life’.

Her own favourite designers include fellow committed vegetarian, Stella McCartney, urban fashion designer Alexander Wang and Irish designer, Jonathan Anderson.

The young Irish designer is already making her mark on the fashion scene having won first place at the Cradle Fashion Show – the closing event of Dublin Fashion Festival 2015 – for her three-piece collection, using recycled materials, under the theme ‘Futuristic Beauty’.

She also qualified as a finalist in the 2015 Irish Fashion Innovation Awards, and was a Semi-finalist for the 2015 Young Designer of The Year award.

Lisa, and the other eight finalists will battle it out for the €2,000 prize fund, at the Fashion Show event in Vicar Street on Tuesday, April 19.

Judging the event is TV personality Brendan Courtney; former DIT design competition winner and influential Irish designer, Umit Kutluk; designer and stylist Maria Fusco; and fashion editor of the Irish Independent Bairbre Power.

Tickets for the DIT Fashion Show are priced at €20 with net proceeds going to The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation.

The charity supports 2,000 children nationwide with home nursing care, including 130 in Galway.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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