Year 10 student Zara Blackmore wows the judges at the inaugural Glen Innes Celtic Festival Fashion Awards

CELTIC RUNWAY: New England Girls School student Zara Blackmore was the overall winner in the inaugural Glen Innes Celtic Fashion Awards.

CELTIC RUNWAY: New England Girls School student Zara Blackmore was the overall winner in the inaugural Glen Innes Celtic Fashion Awards.

TARTAN isn’t a fabric typically found on the runway, but avid sewer Zara Blackmore has brought it back in style.

The Year 10 student won big the inaugural Glen Innes Celtic Fashion Awards, both in the student section, and the overall competition.

“I learned sewing from my mum mostly, I had done a bit of sewing when I was younger – I was just interested in it,” Zara said.

The dress itself took three full days of sewing and many more for planning to create.

“The first time I sewed was probably only a couple of years ago,” Zara said.

“I started off doing some sketches from what I wanted and I knew I wanted to incorporate some red tartan because it’s my favourite.”

Sophie Mitchell models the winning dress.

Sophie Mitchell models the winning dress.

With a deep Irish history, Zara said the competition was a way for her to connect with her roots.

“I have a big Irish history, I have northern Ireland and Scotland in my family – so I wanted to link in with that,” she said.

“The festival’s theme this year was northern Ireland as well, so I thought that was very relevant.”

The two-piece set features a red tartan rose detail with a diamonte in the centre, adding to the red carpet glamour.

And, the judges agreed, one wrote “Zara created an elegant black evening gown with a feature of tartan red roses,” the judge commented, “this dress could definitely be seen at red carpet events” and was also impressed by her sewing skill.

The red tartan rose detail.

The red tartan rose detail.

“I didn’t expect to do this well,” Zara said.

“I heard I was a finalist a week before which I was pretty excited about – but then when I found out I’d won I was super excited.

“At first I thought that I had only won the student section, but then I found out I had won the whole thing!”

Zara said she will continue to sew as a hobby, but it isn’t one of her career goals.

“I’ll stick to making handmade presents for my friends,” she said.

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