Students turn trash to fashion
Local fashionistas were treated to an evening of glitz and glamour when the students of Louth showcased their striking works of recycled couture at the sixth annual 'Trashion Fashion' event at the Carrickdale Hotel.
A celebration of creativity and sustainability, the event drew a record number of entries this year, with almost 200 students taking part and 60 incredible outfits. The designs on display were crafted into so many styles of wear, from modern to male, and to high fashion and feminine. The golden rule was that they were made from 100% recycled materials which have lived out their intended purpose.
The fashion competition is open to all secondary school students in Louth. The challenge posed to students is to create a couture outfit of any shape and size made by the least couture of materials - junk! The students get their hands on industrial, commercial and domestic waste products and transform them into fashion masterpieces.
Used car tyres, playing cards, coffee beans, not to mention used shampoo bottles were just some of the unusual materials used to create these fantastic designs. The themes of the outfits also highlighted a wide range of topical societal issues such as road safety, environmental awareness, homelessness, mental health and breast cancer awareness.
The event, which is organised by Louth Tidy Towns Together and Louth County Council, continues to go from strength to strength, as it endeavours to combine the joint aims of creativity and sustainability, while encouraging active citizenship and community involvement at the same time.
The task of judging the competition fell to Deirdre Sweeney, Principal of Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire, Ardee, Caitriona McGee, a veteran of the fashion industry, Stefania Egan, a successful local model and Willie Martin, the proprietor of V & W Recycling.
St. Vincent's were delighted to have six winning entries on the night with "Poker Face" being modelled by Shannon Doherty who represented Knockbridge Tidy Towns. Martyna Czarnocka proudly modelled her creation "Queen Bean" for Louth Village Tidy Towns while Emma Durnin represented Stabannon Tidy Towns with the visually striking "Plant Plastic". The school were also represented by Kodie McEneaney modelling the colourful "Too Blue to be True" for Omeath Tidy Towns, Niamh Mulligan modelling "Final Destination" and Annie McGinn modelling "Ophelia" for Kilkerley Tidy Towns.
Colaiste Rís were delighted with their triple success, which started with Nathan McKenna's "A Chance to Change" representing Clogherhead Tidy Towns, Callum O'Hare's Spanish themed "Trashador" representing Dromiskin Tidy Towns and Robyn Kennedy's fairground themed "Merry Go Loom" which represented Blackrock Tidy Towns.
Colaiste Chú Chulainn were delighted with their winning entry "Road Safety" as modelled by Caoimhe Kampes which highlighted an important social issue, while Bush Post Primary School were thrilled with Jake McLaughlin's success with "Glam Glad" which represented Grange Tidy Towns.
Larry Magnier, Chair of Louth Tidy Towns Together stated that his group "are delighted to be part of this event which seems to go from strength to strength each year. We acknowledge that it encourages young people to think of waste prevention in addition to strengthening the linkages with their local Tidy Towns groups. What makes this competition so exciting is the breadth and scope of the recycled materials which can be used to create such awe-inspiring designs. I would also like to acknowledge the fact that the students and teachers worked tirelessly since the beginning of the school year and make such a huge contribution to the event'.
Cllr. Pio Smith, Leas Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council expressed his delight at being part of Trashion Fashion. He also welcomed the growing partnerships being formed between the second level schools, the local authority and community groups. He acknowledged the Council's role in using Trashion Fashion to heighten environmental awareness and the value of recycling. He also commended the students on generating awareness of a number of current social issues in Irish society. Finally, he wished all the students well in their quest for success in the forthcoming Junk Kouture national competition.