Louth Junk Kouture winner to appear on tonight's Late Late Show

Dundalk Grammar School student Theo Connolly has won a place in the Junk Kouture world finals in London with his creation 'Le Nouveau Riche’

Margaret RoddyThe Argus

Louth student Theo Connolly, who is one of the ten Irish finalists selected to compete in the Junk Kouture world finals, will be appearing on tonight’s Late, Late Show.

Theo, a fifth year student from Dundalk Grammer School, wooed the judges at last night’s finals in 3 Arena with his outfit ‘Le Nouveau Riche’.

He created the stunning gown and mask, inspired by illustrations of the 16th and 17th century Plague Doctors, using waste from vaccination centres, including vaccine caps, vaccine vials, and needle caps, an old wedding dress and cardboard.

"It’s absolutely brilliant – we’re so proud of him,” said art teacher Ms Hannah Martin.

Theo, who is from Blackrock, Co Louth, actually made the costume during transition year but forgot to enter it in time so it was definitely a case of better late than never.

He is looking forward to travelling to London for the world finals and hopes to study fashion at college.

There were great celebrations as he was announced as one of the winners who will now compete against against 50 other teams from Abu Dhabi, London, Paris, Milan and New York in the the Ovo Arena Wembley in London on October 12.to become the World Designer of the Year.

This year’s Irish heat was staged in front of a sell-out, live audience for the second time since the pandemic began and was judged by Louis Walsh, Keilidh Cashell, Tara Kumar and Stephen McLaughlin

Theo wasn’t the only local among the 80 entrants from around the country.

Fellow Dundalk Grammar School students Eillie Murphy and Grace Dunne had won a place in the Dublin City finals with their entry ‘Weight o Water’ created from plastic bottles, loofas, an old tablecloth and bedsheet.

Aoibhinn Pepper and Grace Rogers from St Vincents Secondary School created ‘Monochrome’ from can tabs, fishnet, umbrellas, old clothes, rubbish bags, foam, while ‘Made You Look’ by Sarah O'Kane from Coláiste Ris was made out of seatbelts and newspapers.

“I’ve been judging Junk Kouture a long time and I can say it never gets any easier to choose the winners – but I think we’ve got this decision right!,” Louis Walshe said as he wished the ten winners the best of luck in London. “It was important we picked designs who really rocked the stage of 3Arena as the World Final is the biggest event in the Junk Kouture calendar – you’ve got to bring it to a new level! “

Highlights and backstage action from the Junk Kouture Dublin City Final Powered by RTÉ will be screened on Thursday May 18 May at 7pm on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player.