ICYMI: the winner of the River Island NCAD Bursary has just been announced.

Imagine being a burgeoning fashion designer and bagging the internship of your dreams with one of the biggest retailers on the high street. One such dream came true today as the winner of the River Island NCAD bursary was announced at a ceremony in Dublin's Cliff Townhouse. The recipient of the €3,500 bursary is final year student Ciara Masterson who has also landed a three month paid internship at the River Island design studio in London. Masterson’s utility chic look, as modelled by Thalia Heffernan, below, included a plastic-chic mac layered with a utility dress with drawstring detail and transparent cuffs.

The winner was announced by Irish woman Lucy Moller, a previous winner of the bursary in 2006 who is now Design Controller for the brand. Speaking at the event this afternoon, Moller said the calibre of this year’s NCAD finalists was outstanding. "River Island’s NCAD bursary launched my fashion career 12 years ago, so I am delighted to be among the first to witness some of Ireland’s brightest new design stars as they start on their journey. Our industry thrives on fresh ideas and it’s fantastic to give NCAD graduates the chance to work as an extension of our design team in London." The bursary, now in its fifteenth year, has seen many Irish graduates fulfil permanent positions in River Island HQ.

"The ongoing support of River Island is central to supporting activity within our Fashion division at NCAD. Each year the River Island project advances skill-set in the students, developing knowledge and expertise in key areas of innovative high street fashion design. The bursary and placement in River Island’s design studios in London offer invaluable experience for our graduates, and a superb launchpad into the fashion industry," says Angela O’Kelly, Head of Design for Body and Environment, NCAD.

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