THREE pupils from the Loreto Secondary School in Fermoy have transformed ugly waste into a white swan - qualifying for the final of a prestigious national fashion competition in the process.
The transition year art students will make up one of 80 teams from schools across Ireland to qualify for the final of the 2013 Junk Kouture competition at Dublin's Helix Theatre on Friday April 9.
The competition encouraged students to make the most of their rubbish by using discarded items to create stunning Haute Couture creations.
The Loreto team, of Ilona Platek, Rasa Bartuseviciute and Marie-Claire Caplice, was one of four groups from the school to qualify for the regional final of the competition.
Their creation 'White Swan', a stunning ball gown made out of pulped newspaper and recycled Junior Cert exam papers, wowed the judges with its imaginative use of materials and catwalk appeal.
Teacher Eleanor Curtin said it was fantastic to see the girls' hard work and ingenuity being rewarded with a place in the final.
"The whole project has really caught the imaginations of pupils at the school. It has created a great buzz around the school, with pupils keen to go to the final to cheer on the team," she said.
"This has been a great lesson about what can be done with a bit of imagination and the most unlikely of items."
Eleanor urged people to get behind the Loreto girls by voting for the White Swan creation at www.junkkouture.com.
"The public vote will make up 10% of their overall mark, with the judges making up the remainder. It would be a great boost for the girls if they could get a head start before they even foot on the catwalk in Dublin," she added.