Creative students turn junk into high fashion

Simon Brouder

STUDENTS at Tralee's Ghaelcholáiste Chiarraí are turning trash and junk into high fashion as part of a high profile European design competition.

Five of the school's transition year students are taking part in the Junk Kouture fashion design competition and after months of hard work their stunning designs, all made entirely from junk and rubbish, have earned them a place in the regional finals of the national competition which take place this Friday.

Junk Kouture, which is run by the European Recycling Platform, is a competition aimed at students interested in fashions which asks students to make high fashion from junk and then display them as theatrically as possible on the catwalk.

Since October, and under the guidance of art teacher Deirdre Ní Shíocháin, the five students have been working on their designs. Their entries include a wedding dress made by Aoife Nic Ionnrachtaigh, Fionán Ó Cearrúil and designs called "Bís Faisean" made by Anna Ní Mhainseal and Aoife Ní Bheacháin," and 'Taking A walk Back In Time' by Orla Ní Chonicúir.

The students designs have earned them a place at the Southern Final of the contest which takes place at the University of Limerick Concert Hall on Friday night and will see them rubbing shoulders with Irish fashion figures including former Miss World Rosanna Davison, UK and US fashion TV presenter Darren Kennedy and Irish designer Tracy Fahey.

"We do this every year because the students love it," said Ms Ní Shíocháin.

"There's so much involved, hands on making and designing, make up, performing and choosing suitable music to go with the outfit. We have three dresses, one made from 1500 tissues that were damaged in a flood, one knitted from video tape and the last a vintage style made from video tape and old paper," she said.

"Friday night should be very exciting and they are all really looking forward to it and showing off their work on the catwalk."