My Story: ‘I did an art portfolio PLC to help me decide what college route to take’

Naoise Jo Farrell | Fashion Design, Griffith College

Naoise Jo Farrell's clothes
Naoise Jo Farrell’s clothes
Naoise Jo Farrell is on a six-week placement with the Penneys design team in Dublin

Naoise Jo Farrell was always interested in art, but when she finished school a few years ago, she wasn’t sure how she could turn her passion into a career.

The Dubliner also had a flair for fashion and, while a student at The High School, Rathgar, a fourth year project even evolved into a little business making customised shorts.

“I was always sketching clothes and people said to me, ‘you should do fashion design’,” says Naoise (22) ,from Churchtown.

But, even in sixth year, she still didn’t know whether she wanted to do fashion design or a broader art degree.

So, she took the wise decision to sign up for the one-year, Level 5, Art, Craft & Design Portfolio Preparation post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) course at Sallynoggin College of Further Education.

“It meant I could keep my options open,” says Naoise, who, not long into the course, realised her heart lies in fashion.

With a very successful year in Sallynoggin behind her, Naoise parachuted into second year of the three-year, BA (Hons) in Fashion Design at Griffith College, Dublin.

She graduated this summer, with a first class honours degree, and as Griffith College ‘Fashion Student of the Year’. She was also a finalist in both the UCD student design competition 2018 and the Galway Now Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2018.

The accolades don’t end there. Not surprisingly, Naoise landed a two-week internship with Liz Quinn at Avoca this summer and won the prestigious Primark Student Designer award; she is currently on a six-week placement with the Penneys design team in Dublin.

Naoise says womenswear and print are her main areas of interest at the moment and, when her current internship ends, she would like to stay working in Dublin. “I am really interested in promoting Irish design”, she says.

Her graduate collection, ‘Mine Heritage’, was inspired by her grandfather’s tales of working in the coal mines of Manchester and his worker number 663 can be found throughout the collection.

“Each piece has artistic elements such as digital print on plush velvet, industrial apron styling or Victorian frill embellishment to create a unique visual mix of heritage in a modern form,” says Naoise.

She relished her time at Griffith College, and says the course “really sets you up for the Irish fashion industry”, although graduates have gone on to work in fashion houses around the world.

As well as garment construction and design, including digital design, the course has modules in marketing and business. “Every aspect of the industry is covered,” she says.

Irish Independent

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