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Young Designer of the Year 2016 - winner announced!

Young Designer of the Year 2016 – winner announced!

The votes have been cast and Melissa Gormley has been named as the Young Designer of the Year 2016

Derry/Londonderry fashion designer, the incredibly talented Melissa Gormley has won the 2016 Young Designer of the Year title. A delighted Melissa was announced at the competition winner on stage at the live final which took place at Wedding Journal Show, Belfast this weekend.

Young Designer of the Year 2016 - winner announced!

Launched by Ireland’s Wedding Journal magazine back in May 2015, the annual Young Designer of the Year competition invited creative young designers across Ireland to design a wedding dress. From over 80 mood board entries, ten shortlisted dress designs went on to compete for a place in the final. Who made it into the final was the decision of the public who voted for their favourite dress designs online. Over 4,650 votes were cast, nominating Ellise Richards, Katleen Amazonas, Melissa Gormley, Roseanne Mc Namee and Zoe Murphy as the five finalists. They had only six weeks to make their dresses, which were then showcased by professional models on the International Fashion Catwalk at the Wedding Journal Shows in Dublin, Cork and Belfast.

Young Designer of the Year 2016 - winner announced!

A celebrity voting panel featuring international bridal designers Ian Stuart, Charlotte Balbier, and Amanda Wyatt chose Melissa’s gown as the winning dress. This is what Ian Stuart had to say:

I think Melissa demonstrates a natural flair for proportion, silhouette and elegant detailing. Her design is both classic and contemporary. The creative use of feathers makes the design more fashion forward that commercial bridal looks, but mixed with a  simple silhouette, allows the modern bride to make a stylish statement without going overboard.”

Multi-award winning designer Charlotte Balbier said:

Melissa’s design stood out to me for many reasons. I loved the style and fabrics used on Melissa’s design, the combination of the chiffon, lace and marabou worked really well. The gown is fashion forward, fun but also stylish and sophisticated, a delicious combination of all the right factors. The attention to detail really caught my eye too; the sleeves and little pearl details won me over. Congratulations Melissa your gown is fabulous!”

Young Designer of the Year 2016 - winner announced!

Those flattering comments were read out on stage by goQradio presenters Stephen Clements and Kathryn Wilson after Melissa Gormley was announced as the Young Designer of the Year 2016.

A delighted Melissa said,

I’m surprised, shocked and obviously really pleased. I actually can’t believe it!


When I found out I won my legs started shaking – it was overwhelming.


I love what I do and winning this award gives me the confidence to try and dive more into the bridal industry. I’m incredibly grateful to all of the people who voted for me online, and it’s surreal to think that international bridal designer judges have seen my dress and voted for my design.”

Young Designer of the Year 2016 - winner announced!

The Wedding Journal would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our incredibly talented finalists for all the hard work that they put into creating their gorgeous dresses. Thanks also to all the young designers across the country who entered the competition, all who took the time to vote online, and thanks our fantastic VIP judges.

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