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Designer making a splash down under

AN Irish designer is taking Sydney's fashion world by storm.

Ciara Nolan (29), from Tallaght, is being hailed as one to watch after she was chosen to take part in the prestigious Fashion Week Australia.

She has been living in Australia on and off since 2005 as she learns all the tricks of the trade, and cites Simone Rocha as her biggest inspiration.

Not only has she found her calling down under, she also nabbed herself a fiance, Laois man Ray Kinsella.

"I originally came to Australia in 2005 when I was 20 on a working holiday with my best friend when I met the guy I'm about to marry," she said.

"We went home together when our visas were up in 2006 and a couple of months later we applied for residency here. We came back in 2008 and have been here since."

The former childcare worker who lives in the eastern suburb of Randwick said it wasn't until heading to Australia that she decided to dip her toes in the fashion world.


"I did look at studying at NCAD but then I decided to make the move over to Australia," she said.

She enrolled at the fashion design studio at Ultimo College and has now created her first major collection.

She is one of six graduates chosen to take part in The Innovators show as part of Fashion Week which kicks off on April 6.

She said fashion in Australia is very different to Ireland.

"People have a more casual, laid-back style in Sydney as opposed to Dublin, said Ciara. "But the fashion industry in Sydney seems to be going from strength to strength and people are very supportive of local designers, which is really encouraging."